By Bill Foley
The Butte Central volleyball team gave its fans a glimpse of just how good it can be Saturday afternoon.
The Maroons clicked on all cylinders in the fourth set to end Hamilton’s comeback hopes in a Southwestern A match at the Maroon Activities Center.
BC won the first two sets 25-15 and 25-22, and the Broncs battled back to take an exciting third set 25-23.
The Maroons wasted little time in the fourth set, rolling to a 25-13 win to put the victory away that capped an emotional Senior Day.
“That fourth game is what I want to start seeing every game,” BC coach Becky Hancock said.
Senior middle blocker Mollie Peoples caught fire in the fourth set. She tallied eight of her match-high 18 kills in the final game.
“Mollie had a great game for us,” Hancock said. “We’ve been really trying to get her going in the middle, and tonight she showed what she is capable of doing in that fourth game. That’s key for us to get our middles going.”
Corbyn Holm, who has been the team leader in kills all season, registered 13 kills. Fellow senior Taylor Wahl killed 12, helping the Maroons out kill the Broncs 53-20.
Hancock said getting consistent production like that is key for the Maroons’ success in 2016.
“We could be a deadly team,” Hancock said of consistent hitting. “That’s been our weakness right now, we’ve been kind of off and on. We are either on or we’re really off.”
Emily St. John directed the Maroon attack with 51 assists, and the team saw five players register double figures in digs.
Holm led the way 17 digs. Olivia Bolton added 14, while Peoples dug 13, Wahl dug 12 and St. John dug 11. Zoe Sullivan got into the action with four digs.
Peoples served three aces, while Wahl, Holm and Kassidy Criscuolo each served two.
Tristy Searle paced the Broncs with 13 kills. Hennesy Meyer (24 digs) and Searle (21) paced a scrappy Bronc defense that put up 102 digs.
Hancock said the Maroons struggle at times with intensity. That showed up in the third set when the Maroons couldn’t put the match away.
After the break between sets, the Maroons were a different team, and the Broncs had no chance.
“I liked what I saw in the fourth game,” Hancock said. “That’s what I’ve got to see on a consistent basis.”
Before the match, the Maroons honored seniors St. John, Holm, Peoples and Wahl and their parents. Senior Night was moved up from next Friday because of scheduling conflicts.
The Maroons will host Corvallis on Friday. Then they host their annual Blocktober Classic next Saturday.
Butte Central def. Hamilton 25-15, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13
KILLS — Hamilton 30 (Tristy Searle 13), BC 53 (Mollie Peoples 18, Corbyn Holm 13, Taylor Wahl 12, Kassidy Criscuolo 4, Emily St. John 3, Olivia Bolton 3). ASSISTS — Hamilton 28 (Caitlin Dillon 27), BC 56 (St. John 51, Bolton 2, Zoe Sullivan 2, Holm 1). BLOCKS — Hamilton 4 (Kacia Guisinger 2), BC 1 (Wahl). ACES — Hamilton 6 (Guisnger 2), BC 10 (Peoples 3, Criscuolo 2, Holm 2, Wahl 2). DIGS — Hamilton 102 (Hennesy Meyer 24, Searle 21), BC 83 (Holm 17, Bolton 14, Peoples 13, Wahl 2, St. John 11, Sullivan 8, Samantha Burton 4, Criscuolo 4).