BIG HORN — Despite a strong effort, the Big Horn volleyball team lost at No. 1 Sundance Friday in four sets, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 26-24.
The loss dropped the Lady Rams to 3-2 in conference play and 9-15 overall. With the win, the Lady Bulldogs, who are now on a six-game winning streak, improved to 5-0 in conference and 17-4 overall.
Other than the third set, which Sundance won relatively easily, each set was back and forth, Big Horn head coach Katie Stewart said. Big Horn served and passed particularly well and was able to win the first set to put the pressure on the Lady Bulldogs.
But Sundance won the next three sets, thanks in large part to its skilled outside hitters, whose kills occasionally overwhelmed the Lady Rams defense, Stewart said. The Bulldogs started strong in the fourth set, but it turned into a tug-of-war struggle and went into extra points. Big Horn ultimately fell short, losing the match in disappointing fashion on a passing error.
Sundance defeated Big Horn in a similarly close match at the beginning of the season, 25-21, 25-22.
Big Horn head coach Katie Stewart said she was extremely proud of the team’s performance and is optimistic about the direction the team is headed for the second half of the conference schedule.
Now that every player has been healthy for a couple of weeks, Stewart said the team is hitting its stride. The players are more comfortable with Stewart’s rotations and are able to play well off one another.
In spite of the loss, Stewart said the players’ spirits were higher after this loss than the team’s win last week against Upton. She said the team was frustrated but not discouraged, as the players knew the match could have easily gone five sets.
“They know how proud I am of them, and I know they’re proud of themselves,” she said.
The Lady Rams play at Upton Saturday at noon. Big Horn defeated the Bobcats in four sets last week.