Renegades go into district tourney as fourth seed

By: 
Mikaela Koski
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Photo by Trudi Downer

Photo by Trudi Downer

Renegade Abby Schladweiler bumps the ball against Bridger.

Photo by Trudi Downer

RPR’s Kassidee Humphreys passes the ball as Ciara Fagone (middle) and Carlee Blodgett (top) wait to see how the play develops.

Photo by Bud Chenault

Absarokee junior Mackinzie Allen goes for a block against Plenty Coups last Thursday.

Photo by Bud Chenault

Husky junior Lexi Meier makes a play as junior Kaiya Holmquist looks on.

Photo by Bud Chenault

The Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades split the last two games of the season last week.

Last Friday, RPR played the very tough Bridger Scouts for the Reed Point Senior Night game. The Scout offense came out strong while the Renegades struggled to get going in the first game, as Bridger cruised to a 25-12 victory. RPR played better in the second set, falling 25-19, but the Scouts kept rolling to a 25-11 game three victory to win the match.

The Renegades were led by several players. Junior Carlee Blodgett had the most kills, with 11, and blocks, with four. Senior Mercedes Hoff had two aces, and fellow senior Jocelyn Ott had 12 assists. Ciara Fagone, a freshman, had four digs for the night.

On Saturday, RPR turned around and traveled to Roberts to face the Rockets in a tight, competitive match.

The Renegades came out flat, and the Rockets took advantage to win the first set 25-15. RPR’s offense rebounded, but Roberts was not going to give away any games. The Renegades won the second game 26-24 and the third 27-25 as the two teams battled. RPR won the match with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set.

Blodgett again had a good night, putting up 19 of the team’s 24 kills, along with five digs and three aces. Hoff also had three aces, and Ott had 20 assists and four blocks.

Renegade Coach Teresa Bare felt like the team had a strong weekend, playing tough in the second set against Bridger, and being able to adjust to a slow start against Roberts to finish the game strong.

RPR finished the regular season with an even 6-6 conference record, good for fourth place in the 4C district. Saturday’s win against Roberts ensured the Renegades fourth place over the Rockets.

At this week’s 4C district tournament in Absarokee, RPR will again face Roberts for a showdown between the fourth and fifth seeds on Thursday at 4 p.m. If Saturday’s game is any indicator, this first round match should be a good one. The winner of the RPR/Roberts game will most likely face Bridger in the second round, while the loser will play the winner of the play-in game between Fromberg and Plenty Coups.

Bare said the Renegdes are excited to have earned the fourth place spot going into the tournament, and the team is looking forward to a rematch against Roberts.

PARK CITY

The Park City Panthers also traveled to Roberts for the team’s last game of the regular season.

As with the Renegades, the Panthers had to battle the Rockets to come out on top last Thursday. Park City won the first and second sets 25-15 and 25-22. Roberts would not go down without a fight, and won the next two games 25-21 and 25-18. It all came down to a very tight fifth set, with the Panthers coming out on top 16-14 for the match victory.

Park City, as a team, racked up 34 kills, led by senior Blakely Verke with 11. She also had a pair of blocks. Of the 66 Panther digs, senior Arica Hedges led with 15, followed by senior Kasidy Robbins with 11; Robbins also had four aces. Senior Breanne Smith had 20 assists.

Panther Coach Kate Cristaldi noted that the Roberts game “was a great test for us because matches will likely be close like that during tournaments.”

She went on to explain how Park City “struggled to put the ball away in crunch-time situations, so that is something we will focus on in practice this week.”

Thursday’s win over Roberts ensured Park City finished the season with a 10-3 conference record, with two of the losses coming to Bridger and one to Absarokee. The Panthers earned the second seed for the district, and so will face number seven Belfry at the district tournament; the game will take place on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

“Heading into districts, we are focusing on playing to win, rather than just to not lose,” Cristaldi said. “I think that small tweak in mindset will help us stay strong and mentally tough throughout each match during districts.”

If the Panthers beat the Bats, Park City will play the winner of the Absarokee/ Custer-Hysham match-up. If Park City loses, the loser-out game will take place Friday morning between the Panthers and the loser of the game between the Huskies and the Rebels.

Cristaldi mentioned that, “Our goal as a team is to leave it all on the court and have no regrets by the end of the season, be that this week, next week, or the week after.”

The Park City team has improved leaps and bounds from last year, and Cristaldi said the coaches have been trying to show the team how far they have progressed.

ABSAROKEE

The Huskies finished out regular season play with a pair of home games last week.

On Thursday, Absarokee played the Plenty Coups Lady Warriors. The Huskies played well, rolling past the Lady Warriors in three sets with wins of 25-12, 25-8, and 25-11.

Senior Mallorey Sheppard led the way for Absarokee with 10 kills and 14 digs. Junior Kaiya Holmquist also played well, putting up 14 assists and the team’s only block. Sophomore Keara Young had four of the team’s 17 aces.

Friday, the Huskies fell in a non-conference match against Roy-Winifred. Absarokee played tough in the 25-17 first game loss, but the second and third games slipped away 25-12.

The Huskies finished the season in third place in the district with a 9-4 conference record. That sets Absarokee up to play Custer-Hysham, the sixth seed, Thursday afternoon to kick off district tournament play for the two teams.

If the Huskies win, they will face the Park City/Belfry winner Thursday evening in the second round of tournament play. If Absarokee records a loss, then the team will play the Panther/Bat loser on Friday.

COLUMBUS

The Cougars wrapped up the regular season early last week, so the team has been able to have about a week to rest up and prepare for the 4B District Tournament that will be held at the end of this week in Roundup.

Columbus finished the regular season with a 1-7 conference record. That means the Cougars will face third seed Roundup Friday morning at 10:45 a.m. A win would send Columbus on to face Joliet Friday afternoon. A loss would mean the Cougars would play Friday evening, most likely against the winner of the Shepherd/Red Lodge match.

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