The Butte Central streak stayed intact.
It was not without serious challenges from Dillon, however.
Butte Central streaked to an 8-0 overall record with all eight wins being sweeps in high school volleyball action, the latest victory coming Thursday night when the Maroons beat Dillon 25-20, 25-9, 25-18 in the Maroon Activities Center.The victory put the Maroons’ Southwestern A Conference record at 5-0.
The second game was controlled by Butte Central, but the Maroons had to repel the Beavers in the first set and rally past them in the third to keep the string of sweeps going.
“It was a little bit of a roller-coaster,” Butte Central head coach Becky Hancock said. “We saw a little bit of everything. There were a lot of ups and downs.”
Hancock attributed some of the Maroons’ rough spots to rust.
“We hadn’t played in over a week,” she said. “So, we had a little bit of a lack of focus. We came out slow. Then, in the second set, we just came out after it. We got behind in the third set, but we regrouped and came from behind.”
Butte Central served eight aces and downed 33 kills in the three-game win. Emily St. John hit three of the aces and Teresa Piazzola was the kills leader with nine. The Maroons also got team highs of 10 digs from Piazzola, 28 assists from St. John and five blocks from Lacey McGree in the Southwestern A Conference match.
“We need to get to that next level,” Hancock said. “We have to keep climbing each and every game. But, a win is a win and we’ll take it. I’d still like to see more consistency.”
The Maroons found success with the tipping game. They scored well with it at the net and was able to connect on several 50-50 balls to keep Dillon off balance.
Hancock said the tipping was due much to the team being a little out of sync from the competitive inactivity. The passes were a bit off, so the sets were a bit off and the hitters, therefore, were unable to line up big shots. They tipped into open spaces, instead, on several occasions.
“Everything affects everything,” Hancock said. “Our girls played smart, so when the sets were off they would go to those placement shots. We need to get the aggressive offense back for Saturday when we play Hamilton.”
Butte Central held off Dillon rallies to post the first game win, which came on an ace serve by Mollie Peoples after the Maroons had gained set point on a tip shot by McGree. The Butte Central girls held the biggest lead of the set at 14-7 after a McGree block. Dillon, after falling behind 5-0, had rallied to 5-all on a kill by Paige Rouse, but never led.
Butte Central dominated in the second set. A five-point service run by McKenzie Gallagher took the Maroons to a 7-1 lead. McGree downed a tip and a spike for two kills in a row and Corbyn Holm also pounded a kill in the run. Butte Central steadily built on the advantage and it became an 18-8 difference on a Beaver’s hitting error. Butte Central reached set point at 24-8 on an ace by St. John that rolled up and over the net. It capped a five-point run. After Lexi Belice scored for Dillon on a kill, the Maroons ended the set on a kill by Ryan Trudnowski.
The Beavers caused Butte Central plenty of worry in the third game before succumbing. Dillon roared out to a 5-0 lead behind an Alex Rouse kill and several Maroon errors. Butte Central didn’t catch up until a setting mistake by Dillon tied the count at 16-all. Butte Central then scored on a McGree tip while on a nine-point run served by Gallagher. Sierra Pica scored twice in the run on kills, Gallagher blasted an ace and Holm also belted a kill to highlight the surge. The run put the Maroons ahead 22-16. Minutes later, they hit match point at 24-18 on an ace by Taylor Wahl and finished off the match with a kill by McGree.
“McKenzie Gallagher was great serving back there,” Hancock said, nodding her head toward the service line. “She helped us get back in it in that third set. I was happy with the play of our front line, too.”
The Maroons notched 17 of their 33 kill points on tips.
Dillon leaders were Alex Rouse with six kills, Lexie Belice with three blocks, Bailey Berriochoa with 10 assists, Kylie Christiansen with 17 digs, and Belice and Berriochoa with three aces apiece.
Butte Central def. Dillon 25-20, 25-9, 25-18.
KILLS — Dillon 16 (Alex Rouse 6, Lexi Belice 4, Paige Rouse 4, Kylie Christiansen 1, Bailey Berriochoa 1), Butte Central 33 (Teresa Piazzola 9, Lacey McGree 8, Corbyn Holm 7, Sierra Pica 5, Ryan Trudnowski 3, Emily St. John 1). ASSISTS — Dillon 12 (Berriochoa 10, Kodi Ferris 1, Nicole Hritsco 1), Butte Central 29 (St. John 28, Pica 1). ACES — Dillon 7 (Belice 3, Christiansen 3, A. Rouse 1), Butte Central 8 (St. John 3, Taylor Wahl 2, Mollie Peoples 2, McKenzie Gallagher 1). DIGS — Dillon 42 (Christiansen 17, A. Rouse 6, Berriochoa 5, Ferris 4, P. Rouse 4, Adrianna Pittman 2, Hritsco 2, Belice 1, Kyra Wood 1), Butte Central 32 (Piazzola 10, Shawnee Hjelt 6, Mollie Peoples 6, St. John 4, Wahl 3, Gallagher 2, Holm 1). BLOCKS — Dillon 4 (Belice 3, A. Rouse 2, Berriochoa 2, Hritsco 1), Butte Central 6 (McGree 5, Pica 1).