Bulldogs take down Dillon in four sets

Butte High head volleyball coach Dale Burgman didn’t really have a stroke between the second and third games of the Bulldogs’ match with Dillon Thursday night. However, something did occur that inspired Butte High to pull out a 25-19, 24-26, 25-19, 25-17 win in the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gym.

Burgman admitted to being quite excited for awhile, especially after the loss in the second game, but then settled in as the Bulldogs responded to the adversity and coach’s suggestions to play better.

He was calm after the non-conference cross-class victory.

“It was real nice for Amanda,” Burgman said in reference to the 14 kills of Amanda Pickle. “And Hannah (Amtmann) had about 20 more (digs) than on Tuesday.”

Amtmann had 32 digs in her libero role, compared with 14 on Tuesday in a loss at Eastern AA Conference rival C.M. Russell of Great Falls.

“We had 45 kills tonight and that’s the most we’ve had in awhile,” Burgman said. “About 30 were probably on tips. Brianna (Barsness) sat on the bench and told them to tip ‘em, tip ‘em, tip ‘em until they take the tip away.”

Barsness is Burgman’s top assistant and also his eldest daughter.

“Amanda didn’t have any spectacular kills but she had a lot and they were down the middle when nobody had the block,” Burgman said. “Mikayla McGivern had most of her kills (8) in the third and fourth games. Erika Spear served the ball extremely well.

“We were better than Tuesday night because Tuesday night, we were horrendous.”

The coach said he liked the response to the adversity of dropping a set to Dillon and being in danger of losing another. The Bulldogs bounced back to win the third set, then were more forceful in the fourth.

“I thought in the third and fourth games, we started getting tougher at the net,” he said. “I thought we did better against (Alex) Rouse. I swear she’s been there longer than four years.

“Some of our kids stepped up when they needed, when we needed. It would’ve been easy for them to just feel sorry for themselves, but they didn’t.”

Other team leaders included Spear with 25 assists and five aces, Abby Dodge with 13 kills, McGivern with two blocks and Pickle with 10 digs.

Dillon leaders were 6-foot Lexie Belice with eight kills, three aces and three blocks, Bailey Berriochoa with 23 assists and 18 digs, Kylie Christiansen with 16 digs, Kodi Ferris with 14 digs and Rouse with 10 digs.

Angela Racicot, head coach of the Beavers, said her team struggled with Butte High’s strength at the net, which, she said, let the Bulldogs wrestle away control of the match.

“They kept us from doing what we wanted to do, offensively,” she said. “But, that’s what they do. They take away your game.”

Dillon established that it was going to compete hard with the Class AA Butte High Bulldogs in the first game. The Beavers, from Class A, held a 15-14 edge after an ace serve by Belice. Butte High tied the score on a kill by Pickle, and then went ahead on an ace by Pickle. The Bulldogs held onto it and slightly expanded it.

They got to 24-19 and set point on a tip by McKenna Dahlman then put away the win on an ace by Krzan.

Christiansen served Dillon out in the second game to tie the match score at a game apiece. She toed the line with the Beavers trailing 24-21, then served for five straight points with Dillon scoring on a Butte High shot past the end line, a Belice block, an ace, another Belice block and on another Bulldog hit that traveled too far. Butte High had held a six-point lead, 23-17.

Dillon threw a scare into the Bulldogs in the third set. The Beavers rallied from 10-3 down to grab a 12-11 edge as Belice blasted a kill. The teams battled points and side-outs until the Bulldogs gained some space on three straight Beaver hitting errors. The miscues gave Butte High an 18-15 lead. The Bulldogs maintained and reached game point at 24-19 as Pickle landed a soft kill. Another Dillon hitting error ended the game.

Butte High took over control of the fourth set during an eight-point serving run by Krzan. She chained three aces in the splurge that also included two McGivern stuff blocks and a kill, and two Dillon hitting errors. The run took the Bulldogs to a 16-9 command. Dillon still chipped away at it. The Beaver pulled to within 23-16 when a Butte High serve tangled in the net. However, the Beavers then committed their own service error, which gave the Bulldogs match point. A contested point was replayed, delaying the Butte High victory a couple of serves. Libero Kodi Ferris rolled a tip into Butte High floor space for a Beaver point before the Bulldogs ended it with a kill by Dodge that Krzan set.

“Sam came in off the bench in that fourth game and had those eight points (the serving run),” Burgman said. “That was big. “The girls responded to the adversity. They were being smart.”

The Bulldogs are 2-7 for the season and will play a non-conference match on Tuesday at Helena High in their next competition. It will be the first of three consecutive road matches for Butte High with other stops planned at Bozeman next Friday and at Great Falls High the following Tuesday.

Dillon will be home on Saturday against non-league opponent Livingston. It will be the Beavers’ homecoming match.

Butte High def. Dillon 25-19, 24-26, 25-19, 25-17
KILLS — Dillon 29 (Lexie Belice 8, Alex Rouse 7, Paige Rouse 6, Kylie Christiansen 5, Bailey Berriochoa 3), Butte High 45 (Amanda Pickle 14, Abby Dodge 13, Mikayla McGivern 8, Kaity McGruder 6, McKenna Dahlman 2, Sam Krzan 1, Jenna Maroney 1). ASSISTS — Dillon 23 (Berriochoa 23), Butte High 37 (Erika Spear 25, Krzan 10, Hannah Amtmann 1, McGivern 1). ACES — Dillon 11 (Belice 3, A. Rouse 2, Christiansen 2, Berriochoa 2, Adrianna Pittman 2), Butte High 13 (Spear 5, McGivern 3, Krzan 3, Pickle 2). DIGS — Dillon 75 (Berriochoa 18, Christiansen 16, Ferris 14, A. Rouse 10, Pittman 4, Brynley Fitzgerald 3, P. Rouse 3, Kyra Wood 3, Nicole Hritsco 3, Belice 1), Butte High 64 (Amtmann 32, Pickle 10, Dodge 6, McGruder 6, McGivern 4, Krzan 3, Dahlman 2, Spear 1). BLOCKS — Dillon 5 (Belice 3, A. Rouse 1, Berriochoa 1), Butte High 4 (McGivern 2, Dodge 1, McGruder 1).

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