Playing blocks sends Maroons past Anaconda

The team play was probably as balanced as it can be for Butte Central as the Maroons defeated a good Anaconda squad 17-25, 25-22, 25-7, 25-18 Tuesday night in a Southwestern A Conference high school volleyball matched at the Maroon Activities Center.

(Click here for a photo gallery of Tuesday’s match.)

The serving of Cassidy McGree, back-row play of Danika Neumann and the setting of both Shannon McLaughlin and Taylor Marthaller complemented the net prowess displayed by Mariah Cooney, Danee Leary and a bevy of BC hitters.

Anaconda countered pretty well. Courtney Moodry let loose the tough serve while Brooke Chapman and Taylor Flynn were strong up front with Kaylea Jorgensen distributing assists. Karli King patrolled the back row at libero.

The Copperheads stepped out and played very well in winning the first game before Butte Central bounced back.

“It was a great comeback,” Maroon head coach Kaila Minehan said. “Even in the second game, we started kind of slumpy. We were flat, not really doing anything bad, but not in the game too much.’

The BC game came together as the girls did a good job in collecting themselves.

“Cassidy McGree served three aces for us tonight. She has kind of a fun little serve,” Minehan said. “She does a good job defensively, too.

“Our block made some good adjustments, starting in the second game. Mariah had seven blocks, which is really good, and Danee Leary had three from the left side, which is amazing, too. I felt like tonight our senior setters did a nice job spreading the offense and got us some good swings.”

Both teams showed spark and displayed talent from several players. There was little letdown, if any, in rotations of players in from the bench. The net, though, was telltale as BC outblocked the Copperheads 13-1.

“It was a team win,” Minehan emphasized. “Our passing was good and let our setters do their setting and our hitters hit. Toward the end of the match, we were able to execute those kills. Our intensity was good tonight and we were able to get the win.”

An ace by Flynn closed the first game. Anaconda had gotten to game point on a  Butte Central hitting error. The Copperheads took control of the set on a five-point serving run by Jorgensen that was boosted by a kill and tip for point by Chapman. Maroon mistakes accounted for the other points in the run.

Butte Central prevailed in game two on a big serving run by McGree. She took the Maroons from a 21-14 deficit to a 23-22 edge with help from two points each by Leary and Cooney on kills, a block and a tip shot. Anaconda won back a side-out, but Cooney killed a shot to bring game point. Leary killed the winner off a dig by Cooney and a set by McLaughlin. Moodry’s serving had helped the Copperheads to their 21-14 edge before McGree toed the line.

Marthaller set the last two BC points of the lopsided third game. Cooney executed the kill both times. McGree served three aces in an eight-point run as Butte Central took a 15-1 command. Cooney and Leary also scored in the run while Anaconda hurt itself with a couple of errors.

Leary and Cooney punched home the last two Maroon points of the match. Lear’s scored game point and followed on the heels of a six-point run McGree served.  Butte Central dominated the set early, but the Copperheads rallied and forged a 16-all tie on a pair of Maroon errors with Jorgensen serving for Anaconda. A Cooney kill then put BC ahead to stay.

Leary had 16 kills and Cooney 11 to lead the Butte Central attack. McLaughlin set 20 assists. Neumann led in digs with 23, Leary had 17 and McGree 10.

Flynn fired three aces for Anaconda. Chapman smashed 10 kills, Jorgensen put up 20 assists, Natasha Strommen tallied a block and the digs leaders were Flynn with 20, King with 16, Jorgensen with 12 and Moodry with 11.

Butte Central now has records of 5-3 in conference play and 5-5 overall. The Maroons will play a league match at Corvallis on Thursday in their next action. They will then play host to their Blocktoberfest event on Saturday.

Butte Central def. Anaconda 17-25, 25-22, 25-7, 25-18

Kills — Anaconda 28 (Brooke Chapman 10, Taylor Flynn 7, Mia Estes 5, Kiernan Gallagher 3, Natasha Strommen 3), Butte Central 38 ((Danee Leary 16, Mariah Cooney 11, Annie Ossello 5, Sadie Harrington 3, Shannon McLaughlin 1, Teresa Piazzola 1, Lacey McGree 1). Assists — Anaconda 22 (Kaylea Jorgensen 20, Gallagher 2), Butte Central 34 (McLaughlin 20, Taylor Marthaller 14). Aces — Anaconda 7 (Flynn 3, Karli King 2, Estes 1, Courtney Moodry 1), Butte Central 8 (Cassidy McGree 3, McLaughlin 2, Danika Neumann 1, Leary 1, Cooney 1). Digs — Anaconda 76 (Flynn 20, King 16, Jorgensen 12, C. Moodry 11, Gallagher 8, Chapman 5, Estes 2, Strommen 2), Butte Central 67 (Neumann 23, Leary 17, C. McGree 10, Marthaller 5, McLaughlin 4, L. McGree 3, Cooney 3, Ossello 2).  Blocks — Anaconda 1 (Strommen), Butte Central  13 (Cooney 7, Leary 3, Harrington 2, Ossello 1).



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