Buckaroo volleyball prepares for state
by Jill Pearson
The Monument Valley volleyball team hosted the Monticello Lady Buckaroos this past Tuesday, October 19. Senior setter Lakenya Begay started the Cougars out with strong serves and setting junior Alyah Blackwater for a kill.
Hitting errors on the Monticello side brought the score to 4-0 for the Cougars before the Bucks were able to set a side-out.
Abbi Christensen got the Bucks going with good serves until Cougar Shimequa Hudson killed on a nice cross-court hit. Then Blackwater pushed to the corner for a kill. The Bucks called a timeout with Monument Valley up 8-3.
Monticello rebounded as Jade Nielson received, Christensen set, and Kylie Rogers killed in the middle. But Blackwater tipped it to the hole in the center to send it back to the Cougars advantage.
Buckaroo Alise Lewis powered through the block for a kill. Lewis hit a second kill down the line and a third strong in the middle.
Strong serves from Taylor Barry and a set to Ali Barry for a kill, followed by an ace serve put the Bucks within two.
The duo of Jessi Slack and Ali Barry blocked two Hudson attempts to tie the set at 15. Sonomie Bigman killed off the block for the Cougars. Strong serves by Begay and kills by Blackwater carried the Cougars to a 25-17 win.
Buckaroo Jade Nielson opened the second set with an ace. The scrappy Cougars battled but Ali Barry killed on a gimme to take the second 25-13.
Taylor Barry started with an ace jump serve in the third set. Nielson dribbled a back row hit over the net for a kill. Kylie Rogers blocked a couple attempts in the middle.
Team Rogers and Taylor Lewis blocked Bigman. Saydi Young got a kill to take the game 25-17. The Cougars dug everything thrown at them to match the Bucks point-for-point.
Finally, Monticello inched ahead and took the fourth set 25-19. Jessi Slack killed off the block. The 1A state play-in game with Dugway at Monticello was played on Friday afternoon, October 22.
The Bucks bested the Mustangs easily in three sets 25-14, 25-12, and 25-4. #11 Monticello meets #6 Wendover in the second round of the state tournament on Friday, October 29 at Utah Valley University in Orem.