Despite only a few returners on the roster, the Broncs have shown they are not to be underestimated. The Belle Fourche Volleyball team started their 2023 season 2-0, clean sweeping Sturgis Brown and Lead-Deadwood. Both matches were played in the Edwin Petranek Armory before the team spent the next two weeks on the road. The season record tallies in at 5-3.
Another full Senior class for the Broncs include Outside Hitters Mataya Ward and Sloan Young, Setter Reese Larson, Middle Hitter Jacie Baxendale, Libero Avery Cherveny, Defensive Specialist Olivia Nehl, and Senior Right-side Hitters Katelynn Lee and Sarah Juelfs. Senior managers are Morgan Kruhl and Chloe Schmoker. Kailey Nowowiejski and Bailey Moke are the Juniors and Denali Larson and Syd Pelster are the Sophomores to round out the varsity roster at the start of 2023 season.
Scores for the home opener against Sturgis Brown game were 25-21, 25-5, and 25-23. R Larson contributed 34 assists while Ward and Young threw down 18 and 12 kills respectively. Young also led the defensive effort with 8 digs. Ward scored 4 aces from the service line while Larson and Nehl each contributed 3 more.
On the following Thursday night the Broncs kept Lead-Deadwood from double digits in two of the sets, winning set one and set three 25-7. Set two wasn’t much closer with a score of 25-11. As the team’s first server, R Larson had an impressive 8 aces from the line. She also contributed 20 assists and Juelfs added 4 more. For the defense, Cherveny had 7 digs and D Larson added 5 blocks. Ward reached a major career milestone, turning over her varsity kill count past the 1000th mark with one of her 11 kills.
The Broncs traveled down to Mobridge-Pollock on September 1st for a rematch of last year’s SODAK 16 victory that earned them their 2022 state berth. The tigers had unfinished business, stunning the less experienced Broncs 25-7, 25-, and 25-. St Thomas Moore was the next opponent at the Cavalier’s gym. Belle ballers dropped set one 19-25, but quickly rallied to secure the next three matches 25-19, 26-24, and 25-19. Nehl was 12 of 13 serving with 4 aces. R Larson added 5 aces on. Young had a stellar offensive night hitting +.255 for 19 kills. Cherveny led the defensive effort with 18 digs. Ward contributed a double double in 13 kills and 13 digs.
The West River Tournament took place at the Monument over last weekend, quickly doubling the Broncs’ total number of matches played this season. Kadoka was the first scheduled opponent of which set scores favored the Broncs 25-11, and 25-21. Double AA school Brookings traveled across the state to participate handing the Broncs with a 0-2 loss and scores of 19- 25 each set.
The final match up Friday saw Belle Fourche handling Conference rival Rapid City Christian 25-17 and 25-19 for another win. Saturday’s bracket play in Summit Arena gave the Broncs an immediate chance to defend their win the night before, battling Rapid City Christian in first round play of the gold bracket. The Comets came away with the 2-0 this time.
A third match up between the two teams will take place at Rapid City Christian’s gym on the 19th. The girls are scheduled to return to their own gym to play this Tuesday, September 12th. The Homecoming week matchup will be with Bowman, ND and start times are scheduled for 5, 6, and 7pm. They will then travel to Hot Springs on the 14th.
Come out to support and cheer on the Lady Broncs!