Cougars beat Fillies in five to kick off conference play

Mikaela Koski
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Carbon County News Photo by Alastair Baker

The Absarokee Huskies, on defense, track a Belfry pass last Thursday.

Carbon County News Photo by Alastair Baker

Absarokee Sophomore Keara Young goes for a kill against the Bats.

The Columbus Cougars opened conference play on a high note last week, as the team held on to beat the Shepherd Fillies in five games.

When the two teams faced off in the preseason, Shepherd came out on top. Columbus was determined to flip the script, and the team dug deep to do just that. After a close 25-23 loss in the first game, the Cougars won the second game 25-20.

The Fillies took game three by the same score, 25-20, but Columbus forced a game five with a 25-14 win in the fourth game. The Cougars won game five 15-8 to take home the match victory.

Senior Morgan Kirch led Columbus with 16 of the team’s 34 kills. She also put up the most aces for the Cougars with 13. Sophomore Reed Johnson also had a big game, leading in assists (26 of

28) and digs (15 of 70). Junior Brenna Rouane had 3.5 of the team’s 8 blocks.

“Shepherd was a great, nail biting match,” said Head Coach Lindsey Cross, “but it was great to see the determination that the team showed in winning the match.”

On Thursday, Columbus travels to Joliet, and Saturday the Cougars have an away match against the Roundup Panthers.

Cross explained that “both teams will require us to play very scrappy defense and have a solid serve receive so we can set up our offense.”


The Huskies took down two conference opponents last week.

This Thursday, Absarokee traveled to Belfry to take on the Bats. The Huskies won the match easily in three games – 25-8, 25-9, and 25-15.

Last Saturday Absarokee faced Roberts, and a battle ensued between the two 4C teams. The Huskies took the first game 25-22, but the Rockets battled back for a 25-21 win in game two.

Absarokee won game three 25-18, but could not outlast Roberts, as the Rockets took the fourth game 27-25. Game five was a 15-11 Absarokee victory, giving the Huskies the match win.

“I’m really proud of the way the girls persevered on Saturday,” said Head Coach Nicki Reissig. “It’s never easy to go five sets, let alone be resilient enough to come back and win when down 7-2. This competitive match is part of what makes us better.”

This Thursday, Absarokee will face a tough Bridger Scouts team in an away matchup. On Saturday, the Huskies will host the Fromberg Falcons in the team’s home opener.

Reissig said she is excited for this week’s matchups. She is eager to see the Huskies rise to the challenge of playing Bridger, and she knows that playing at home for the first time this season on Saturday should be an exciting match for the whole team.


The Panthers also chalked up a conference win last week when they played the Custer-Hysham Rebels on Friday.

Park City played well against Custer-Hysham, taking home the match victory in three games – 25-14, 25-18, and 25-13.

Senior Breanne Smith had a good night for the Panthers, leading in digs (8 of 22), assists (15 of 17), and aces (4). Junior Hayley Story also put up four aces. Seniors Alyx Grabowska and Kasidy Robbins split the team’s two blocks, and senior Blakely Verke led Park City with 10 of the team’s 24 kills.

Head Coach Kate Cristaldi was proud of her team’s effort, saying the girls got the job done last week, which is a great way to start the season.

“We wanted to come out strong and gain some confidence and that’s exactly what we did. We struggled all last season to play as a team, and, finally, we did just that. No one player carried our team and all struggled at moments here and there, but they covered each other and lifted each other up,” Cristaldi explained.

She noted that all of the time the players put in during the off-season at open gyms, scrimmages, and camps has been paying off because “all of that time in the gym has built confidence and helped our team grow together.”

This Thursday, Sept. 6, Park City will play Plenty Coups at home. Cristaldi mentioned that the Lady Warriors knocked the Panthers out of last year’s district tournament, so Park City will not take Plenty Coups lightly and will work hard to be prepared to play a tough team.

Next Tuesday, Park City faces Bridger in another home game. Last year the Panthers did not have a positive mentality going into the Bridger games, and Cristaldi said the team is working to improve in that area. Even though the Scouts are always a tough team, Cristaldi knows Park City “can absolutely stick with them, it’s just a matter of overcoming that mental block.”


The Renegades had mixed results last week.

Last Friday, RPR traveled to take on Shields Valley. The Renegades won the match in three games. In the first two games RPR played especially well, winning 25-14 and 25-10. The Rebels fought back in the third game, but the Renegades held on to win game three 25-20 to take the non-conference match victory.

On Saturday, RPR played an away match against Custer-Hysham. The Rebels won the first game 25-20, and the Renegades’ comeback in the second game fell just short, as Custer-Hysham won game two 25-22. RPR could not force a game four, and the Rebels won the match with a 25-18 game three victory.

Junior Carlee Blodgett led the team last weekend in kills and senior Jocelyn Ott led the Renegades in assists.

Head Coach Teresa Bare said RPR is looking forward to the team’s home opener in Rapelje against conference opponent Belfry this Saturday.