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2014 Volleyball Season

Coach Danielle Arganbright


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Big Win for Last Regular Season Game 


The Lady Badgers stepped on the court Monday October 27th, for their last regular season match against the Bennett County Warriors.  As it was fall break I was a little worried with how the play of the game would take place, just being out of their routine for the typical game day.  


The Lady Badgers were ready to go for their last home game, they came out fired up and ready to fight during the first game of the night.  Getting a great lead in the game of 11-1, and being able to keep the lead and make sure to fight the Warriors off with a score of 25-14.  The second game was no different.  They came out and fought hard and stayed on top of the game by playing Badger Ball for the entire 25 points.  The Badgers had come to play and took the second game with a score of 25-8, no backing down.  The third game was a little bit different story.  We let our guard down and allowed Bennett County into the game way too early! The ladies were playing not to lose instead of playing to win like they had done in the first two games.  With both time outs used by a score of 8-13, Badgers down, it was in the hands of the ladies to take care of business and they had to make the decision as to how they wanted to end their season.  They made that decision with a score of 17-24, down by seven and any one mistake on our side would give the Warriors the third set victory and we would go into a fourth game.  The Badgers decided they were not backing down.  They played tough and smart for the next eight points.  Macey Mathis stepped behind the serving line and started to serve the ball like no other.  Her teammates worked hard at keeping her serving.  Macey has been one of our most consistent servers this year, so with confidence she stepped back there and served some tough serves.  I was very proud of their play for the last points of the game.  Being able to keep the composure and out score an opponent 8-1 is a tremendous feat in itself, Badgers took the third game with a score of 27-25.  Finishing a game like that has not been the Badgers strong suit this season, so being able to do so for the seniors’ last chance on their home court and just to finish with that strength and composure says a lot about the girls on the team.  The JV also took home a victory to end their season with a 9-11 record.  


Macey Mathis led the team with 9 kills, Sophie Lopez had 6, Chloe Jones with 4 (the last one of the night as well), McKenzie Anderson had 3, Payton Sandoz and Savannah Dean both with 1.  Madison Kelber led with 2 ace serves and 26 digs for the night.  The Badgers go into post season play on November 3rd, in Bassett with their first game against the O’Neill Eagles.



Lady Badgers fall short at Southwest Conference
October 28, 2014


The Lady Badgers headed to Gothenburg on Friday for the Southwest Conference Tournament.  The first game had #6 Lady Badgers facing the #3 Gothenburg Swedes.  We knew it was going to be a tough match with Husker Recruit Tiani Reeves back on the court.  She is a high caliber player, that can hit and block like no other.  The Badgers knew going into the game that the goal was to shut her down.  Our middles Jones and Mathis knew how to block her and the back row knew exactly what to do.  The Badgers did their job and shut her down.  Madison Kelber played a man up defense, along with our other defensive players, Leonard, Sandoz, Anderson, and Lurz, were able to dig her hits.  The first game we really battled point for point until the Badgers got stuck in a serve receive rotation that we couldn’t get out of.  The Lady Swedes took the first game with a score of 16-25.  The second game we really played error free.  We battled through the second game really playing lights out, we got blocks, hits, and had great serves.  We were able to play our game and play them tough, but they got the better side of the deal at the end with a score of 23-25.  There really was no concern with how we played. We knew it was going to be tough and we were going to have to play OUR game for 25 points and unfortunately that didn’t happen.  Leading the kill category was Mathis with 6, Jones had 4, Lopez with 3, Anderson had 2 and Lurz and Sandoz both chipped in 1.


Second game for the tournament was Cozad for the third time of the season.  It is always tough to beat a team three times in one season, but if we wanted to play another game we knew we were going to have to get the win.  I think our short break of only 5 minutes between games and lack of nutrients in our system got to the Badgers.  The ladies didn’t get much of a break between games and it was past “lunch time” so our bodies were telling us we were hungry, but our minds were saying we want to play. The first game was a battle and the Badgers just kind of shut down and the Lady Haymakers got the first game with a score of 16-25.  We knew we didn’t want the day to be over and that it was going to go two more games for sure. That is exactly what happened.  We started to get into their heads instead of us making the mistakes and the Badgers got the second and third game with scores of 25-21 and 25-20.  Leading kills for the Badgers was Mathis with 11, Jones had 8, Lopez with 5, Sandoz had 4, Anderson and Lurz both with 2.  Madison Kelber led with 3 aces.


The third game was a revenge match with the Broken Bow Indians.  The Badgers were able to get a little break and get some food in their bodies and ready to go.  You could tell that the Badgers’ legs weren’t really with them during the first game.  We couldn’t get anything going our way.  We were making way too many mistakes and the Indians took the first game with a score of 9-25.  We were going to have to work for the second game.  The ladies came out in the second game and battled point for point. We knew we had to just play for each point and work for each one.  The ladies really fought hard for the second game, but couldn’t get things to fall our way.  The Lady Indians took the second game with a score of 22-25.  Leading kills was Anderson and Jones each with 3, Sandoz, Lopez, and Mathis each had 2,  and Kelber with 1.  With only 13 kills in two games, things aren’t going to go your way.

The Ladies will have their final home game on Monday October 27th against the Bennett County Warriors.  On Monday November 3rd the Badgers will be competing in Sub-Districts. 


Tough Day At Badger Invite

October 21, 2014

The Lady Badgers took to the court Saturday morning to face off against the Ainsworth Bulldogs for the third time this year.  The Badgers were wanting this game really bad, losing to Ainsworth twice in the early season gave the Badgers a bad taste and they were ready to go.  We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  We were going to have to work for every point. The ladies had every opportunity to get the job done, but unfortunately we were not able to capitalize when needed to get the victory.  My hat goes off to Ainsworth that group of ladies have worked hard for the years prior and they are having a good season.  It wasn’t in the cards for this season with the Badgers and Bulldogs during regular season.  There is still conference and post season that we may have our opportunity and if we get that chance it will be out for blood I’m sure.  


Cozad Haymakers was on the schedule next for the second time this season.  Again it was going to be a battle as the first time we faced the Haymakers it was a three game match.  We knew we had to improve our communication, intensity, and the team work.  The Badgers know what they have to do to get that energy on the court.  We get too relaxed sometimes and stop focusing on what it takes for us to get the job done.  I didn’t see that during the Cozad game.  The Lady Badgers really stayed up for every point.  We worked hard for each point and made the Haymakers earn their points. This is the type of ball we know how to play and have tried to focus on for the last half of the season.  The Badgers were able to get the match in two games with scores of 25-18 and 25-21.  


Third match of the day was Chadron Cardinals, a very talented ball club.  They have a young team with some girls that can hit the ball.  The Badgers were able to play with them, but their powerful hitters and quick offense was too much for the Badgers.  The Cardinals got the victory in two games.  The JV team went 0-3 on the day.  


The ladies will be traveling to Broken Bow on Tuesday October 21st to face Doniphan-Trumbull and Broken Bow looking to improve our record to 12-14.   We know that if they play THEIR game and each of them shows up on the court that we are an unstoppable team.  Going into post season soon we have talked to the ladies that it is a new season, the team that shows up and wants it more and willing to work for the points can beat anyone.  I have told the girls that I still believe and will continue to believe until that final whistle blows. They are a talented group that can do anything if they want, we tell them that all the time, it comes down to them just doing on the court!  

Lady Badgers Go 2-1 For The Week
October 14, 2014


The Lady Badgers were on the road this last week headed to Todd County on Tuesday for a dual with the Todd County Falcons.  It is always a tough match when we go to Todd County.  They have some strong hitters and we have to make sure that we stay at the top of our game for every point instead of getting up and then letting our guard down. The Badgers were fired up and ready to go and they took to the court with some fire.  We took all three games with scores of 25-18, 25-16, and 25-20.  We stayed at the top of our game and played really strong.  Leading the kill department was Macey Mathis with a total of 10, Chloe Jones chipped in 6, Sophie Lopez with 5, Savannah Dean had 4, Payton Sandoz with 2, and Nicole Lurz had 1.  Madison kelber lead with 25 digs and macey Mathis had 2 aces to add to the stats.  


On Thursday the Badgers traveled to Gordon for the Gordon-Rushville and Alliance triangular.  It was a tough match against the Gordon-Rushville Lady Mustangs. They have had a lot of young players the past years and they have really improved and have some great hitters.  I could tell by the warm-ups that it was going to be a battle, it was that exactly.  The Badgers came out ready to go, we were talking we were playing our game. We had to fight back for the lead, but once we did we were able to keep it.  There were a few calls by the refs that were questionable at crucial times for us, but we can’t let that affect how we play the game.  The Mustangs took the first game with a score of 23-25, but we knew it was going to go three so that we could get our ninth win of the season.  We were able to play our game for games two and three getting both games with scores of 25-20 and 25-16.  We stayed up and played Badger ball doing what we do best, playing with intensity, energy, and communication.  We know that when we play our best we are unstoppable.  Leading with kills was Chloe Jones with 6, Sophie Lopez with 5, Macey Mathis and Payton Sandoz both had 4, and McKenzie Anderson with 3.  It is a joy when you can have 5 ladies in the books with a high number of kills.  Madison Kelber had 29 digs with Macey Mathis behind her with 19.  


Alliance Bulldogs was next on the agenda, a class B school with some height was going to put up a fight for the Badgers.  The first game was a fight from behind from the beginning.  The Badgers played tough, but fell short with a score of 15-25.  We knew we could play with them, we just had to get our heads re-focused and play our game and be unstoppable. We came out the second game and played tough.  Nothing hit the ground, we were digging their hits like crazy getting into their heads and making them make the mistakes which beginning to happen more so.  We were playing some aggressive net play and playing how we know how to play.  Payton Sandoz shut down their right side hitter with three great blocks as well as hitting the ball hard into the block getting some well earned kills. The Badgers had the lead with 21-18 at a point, but missed two serves that crucial time and allowing the Bulldogs to get control and the Badgers couldn’t get it back.  The second game went to Alliance with a score of 21-25.  I was not upset with how we played, they kept their heads up even when down and still fought back.  Just that mental toughness that we have honed in on the last few weeks is so important to staying focused and getting the things done right.  

Lady Badgers Had A Rough Go In Gothenburg
October 7, 2014


The Lady Badgers traveled to Gothenburg on Tuesday to face off with two tough conference teams, Ogallala Indians and the Gothenburg Swedes.  Going into the match we knew it was going to be a tough night.  Both teams have strong quality hitters and players all the way around.  


The Badgers showed up against the Swedes.  They were out their strong setter and Husker recruit.  It was a battle through three games with the Swedes getting the first game with a score of 22-25. The Badgers battled back in the second game and took it with a score of 25-22, the third game was a little rough for the Badgers.  The passing game wasn’t going our way and we got down and made a run to late in the game.  The Swedes took the match from us with a third game score of 17-25. It was a tough game and rough loss.  


The second match of the night was Ogallala vs. Valentine.  The ladies knew that this was going to be a tough game as Ogallala is a superior team in the state.  It was as though the Lady Badgers didn’t show up for the game.  It was tough to watch a caliber team such as the Badgers get down like they did.  


There was a long discussion afterward about what season is left and how we can still have a great season if they want to.  The USA Women’s Volleyball coach Karch Kiraly stated after the women won a 4 game gold medal match on Sunday, “it wasn’t easy, but if it was easy we wouldn’t be getting better.”  I see this as a theme for the Lady Badgers, we keep improving each time we step on the court, practice and games.  If things were easy then there would be no improvement for the team.  So, as a team we will keep pushing along and doing the right things to improve each step of the way.  Our next match is Tuesday in Todd County, with a triangular in Gordon on Thursday and the Valentine invite on Saturday.

Tough Week For The Lady Badgers
September 30, 2014


On September 30th the Badgers wore pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness for our third annual Pink Out game.  The ladies took on the Hyannis Longhorns and North Central Knights in a tough battle!  


The first game of the night had the Lady Badgers controlling the court against the Hyannis Longhorns.  We came out playing Badger ball from the beginning of the match.  It was fun to watch the girls click and work together.  They were communicating and having fun, two things that we have discussed that are very important in order to win volleyball games.  The ladies came out on fire and ready to go.  The second set didn’t fare so well for the Badgers. The ladies forget what they had been doing and get too complacent.  We allowed Hyannis to get the best of us and take the second set.  The third set we knew was going to be a battle.  Point after point the Badgers and Longhorns battled.  The Ladies worked hard and pulled out a great victory.  The scores of the match were 25-15, 16-25, 25-22.  Leading the team in kills was Sophie Lopez with 7, Chloe Jones chipped in 6, Macey Mathis with 4, McKenzie Anderson and Payton Sandoz had 2, Savannah Dean and Bailey Leonard with 1 each.  Madison Kelber led the digs with 35 and again our serving percentage was at a 90%.  


Going into the second match of the night against North Central we knew it was going to be a battle, watching them battle it out with the Longhorns we knew there were some hitters as well as just some scrappy play.  We came out strong again, kept the intensity and seemed like they were going to be unstoppable.  The Badgers controlled the first game of the match and were going into the second match strong.  The Lady Badgers had the lead in the second and going strong.  Somewhere in the game our guards were let down and we allowed the Knights back into the game, going point for point until the very end and not able to hold onto the win.  So another third game was in order.  We battled in the third again going point for point through the entire match.  I don’t think either team had a point difference of more than 3 points at any given time during the match.  The battled continued until the Knights claimed the victory, scores 25-17, 24-26, 25-27.  Leading with Kills was McKenzie Anderson with 7, Payton Sandoz, Sophie Lopez & Macey Mathis chipped in 6, Chloe Jones, Madison Kelber, and Nicole Lurz each with 1.  Our serving percentage was lower than it has been in the last four games with an 86.5%.  When we miss 10 serves in three games and lose by a total of four points in the last two sets, those are too easy of points to give up.  We have visited a lot about being mentally focused every time you step behind the line to serve.  We can’t give up those unanswered points.  The Badgers have to control the ball, give the opponents the opportunity to make a mistake.  There is a lot of season left, we tell the ladies that it is up to those on the court to make it work together.  Any given night anything can happen.  


On Thursday the Hershey Panthers traveled to Valentine for an annual battle.  The Badgers were fired up and ready to go with it being Parents night.  The intensity level was high for the first game, the Badgers came out and out scored the Panthers 9-1.  We were able to keep the lead through the first game and go up 1-0 with a score of 25-19. McKenzie Anderson went down with an injury the first game and Savannah Dean stepped up and played first and second games for the Badgers and played some tough volleyball.  The second game the ladies stayed up and played some great volleyball, really played point for point, making some mental errors with missed serves and starting to play timid instead of playing our aggressive style of play and we allowed the Panthers to get the second game with a score of 22-25.  The third set was definitely controlled by the Badgers, there was no letting down and working hard through twenty-five points was the goal for the ladies.  The Badgers weren’t backing down and winning the third with a score of 25-13.  Momentum was something we had to keep for the fourth set.  The Badgers again played tough, worked hard and did what was asked of them.  Hershey started covering where we were tipping, so the back row started communicating to our hitters about open spots and they responded.  It was a little too late and some mental errors again cost the Badgers the game with a score of 22-25.  I knew with the intensity that the girls had we were ready for the fifth game.  We came out in receive and stayed on the north side of the gym, which seems to be the side that we couldn’t get a win.  We fought point for point during the last game, until Payton Sandoz got back to the serving line and served some great serves and the team was able to keep her back there giving us the lead of 10-8, the first real lead of the game.  The Panthers weren’t going to back down, they came back to 12-10, and we knew we had just three points to score.  The Badgers were able to get 13 and then lost the serve to the Panthers.  The score was now 13-11 and the ladies would allow just one more point for the Panthers, before the final serve of the night for the Panthers with the score 14-12, and the Badgers played smart Badger ball and placed the ball where it needed to be, with McKenzie Anderson getting the last kill of the night.  


It was an exciting match, as it usually is with the Panthers.  I was proud of the girls and how they stayed positive and worked hard through all five games.  It was a much needed victory for the ladies, we needed that mental wall torn down so now we know what it takes as a team to stay mentally tough and get the crucial points when needed.  The seniors went out with a bang for their last game!  Each of them played extremely well and I couldn’t have been prouder for each of them.  Thanks to the community and the AWESOME student section.  It was a fun environment for some volleyball.


On Saturday, the Lady Badgers traveled to Stuart for a triangular with the Stuart Broncos and West Holt Huskies.  The ladies came out ready to play against the Huskies.  We pushed through our tired legs and sore shoulders to earn a victory.  The Badgers came out strong jumping to the lead right away.  We stopped playing to win and began playing not to lose mid way through the first set and let the Huskies back into the game.  The ladies continued to stay focused and took the victory with a score of 25-23, but it was not at our level of play.  It was the same thing for the second set.  We didn’t stay at our level of play.  It was evident to those on the sidelines that our girls were tired.  They had a long week and we began to just go through the motions instead of executing with strength.  We pulled off the victory with a score of 25-21, but it’s games like those that we have to stay mentally tough and play out game until the very last whistle, tired or not we leave it on the court.  Macey Mathis led the team with 3 aces, McKenzie Anderson had 2, Payton Sandoz and Sophie Lopez both chipped in 1.  Lopez led with 6 kills, Macey Mathis had 3, Payton Sandoz chipped in 2, Chloe Jones and Bailey Leonard with 1 a piece.  Madison Kelber led the team with 15 digs, and Nicole Lurz had 11 assists.


The second game of the day was Valentine vs. Stuart.  Stuart is a top team in the state, they have powerful hitters from every position.  It was a rough start to the game, we got stuck in a serve receive that we couldn’t rotate.  They were able to take a substantial lead and it was difficult for us to recover.  We would get back to serve but only get one point to their three.  They got the first set with a score of 8-25.  We knew we were going to have to battle back for two more sets to get our eighth win.  We battled, made some adjustments to our blocking, focused on blocking on the ball instead of our game plan of taking line or cross away from the hitter, played better defense, and came out to give them a game.  We played more Badger Ball instead of letting them roll over us.  Unfortunately the Broncos got the victory with a score of 18-25, but  we fought back and I was glad to see that focus in the second game.  


The Badgers will take the court again Tuesday October 7th in Gothenburg in a triangular with Ogallala and Gothenburg.



Tough Battle Against The Burwell Longhorns 
September 25, 2014


The Lady Badgers traveled to Burwell to face off with the Lady Longhorns. This is a match that every year seems to be a battle until the end, this year was no exception.  After a twelve day break the first game was a little shaky.  I was a little worried for the ladies, they came out timid and not with the full energy that we typically have.  With the Badgers only scoring nine points in the first game, who knew what the night was going to have in hold for us.  After a visit in the locker room the girls came out with some intensity and fire, we started in serve receive and got the ball back early enabling us to be in control of the game.  There was no stopping us the second game our game was on fire.  We communicated and played as a team, our passes were right where they needed to be, and Nicole was able to give our hitters a chance to make a good attack. The Lady Badgers came out and played a tough game beating the Longhorns with a score of 25-14.  The third game was no different.  The Badgers came out ready to win, we knew it was going to go at least four games these girls were not ready to be done.  We were able to get the Longhorns on their heels, they were making the mistakes of hitting the ball in the net or out of bounce, we were NOT helping them out by going for the hits that were clearly out, we were communicating as a team and played some of the best volleyball that I have seen us play.  The Badgers took game number three with a score of 25-22.  Going into the fourth was a point for point battle.  We stayed strong against them, but they had their top two hitters get on point and they were taking it to us.  We made some adjustments that worked, but they came too late in the game for the BAdgers.  Unfortunately the Longhorns got the fourth with a score of 12-25.  The loss took us into the fifth and final game of the night.  The Lady Longhorns got off to a good start using the momentum they just had from the fourth set.  This would not have been a Valentine vs. Burwell game had it not gone into five competitive games.  It was point for point until point seven.  The Longhorns took the lead at 7-10, Badgers battled back, but still were down 9-12 at one point.  We were able to stop them and tie it up at 13.  A mental block gave Burwell point 14 when a Badger server stepped on the serving line while attempting her serve and then a poor pass gave Burwell the win.  Leading the team with kills was Mathis 8, Lopez 4, Sandoz 3, Jones 2, and Lurz 1.  The Badgers continue to improve their serving ending the night with a 93.5%.

As we visited with the team we were not upset with how they played, they could have hung their heads and let Burwell walk all over them after that first game, but they chose to fight back and make it a game, until the very final points.  Volleyball is such a mental game and overcoming those mental blocks is the most important part of the game. As an individual player you need to be able to stay mentally strong and prepared for each and every ball, know what you are going to do with the ball when it comes time for you to make contact.  We are a strong team fundamentally and we need to be able to showcase that at all times.  There has been nothing but improvement since our first games of the season, and I see the team continuing in the right direction.  We need to play as a team and play strong every point and the Badgers will prevail.  


Badger Volleyball Earns 3rd Place At Cozad
September 13, 2014


The Lady Badgers traveled to Atkinson to take on West Holt Lady Huskies and O’Neill Lady Eagles.   After a rough start to the season and some switches that occurred with the line up at Monday’s practice the ladies were ready to face the Huskies.  On the bus ride home from Minden I searched for the best way that is going to use each player to their full potential.  By switching two girls in the rotation I think we have found what is going to work best.


The ladies stepped on the court and were ready for a victory.  We took off in the first game against the Huskies.  Communicating and really playing what we consider Badger Ball, they worked really well together and played some strong volleyball.  We let our guard down just a bit and allowed the Huskies into the game more than we should’ve, but we hung on to the lead and took the game 25-21.  The momentum from that win helped us to keep playing strong and we worked hard to stay in the lead from start to finish with a second game win of 25-14, giving the Badgers their first victory of the season.  I know one positive of the game was our serving was right at 92%, compared to our first games of the season being 85% or below.  This has been something we have focused on in practice and really have tried to emphasize to the girls that we aren’t a tall team that has a lot of power, so we have to strive in other areas, one being serving.  We will face the Huskies again at the beginning of October so we have to be ready to fight another battle.  Lead kills was McKenzie Anderson with 3, Chloe Jones, Macey Mathis, Payton Sandoz, and Sophie Lopez all helped by chipping in with 2 each.  


O’Neill Eagles were next on the agenda.  We again had momentum from the beginning and were going to have to work hard to get the job done.  The ladies really stepped up and started the first game strong and stayed strong through the end. The Badgers had a 10 run lead and were ready to keep going.  But, by letting our guard down for just a bit allowed the Eagles to get back into the game.  The ladies had to battle back for a strong victory and that is just what they did.  They held the Eagles off for the first game win with a score of 25-18.  The second game of the match had the Badgers playing from behind in the first 5 points.  The Eagles took off to a great start and we were caught on our heels and having to come back.  The Lady Badgers did just that, they rallied behind their servers and worked together to make sure they stayed back there serving strong.  The ladies came back and played a really strong game to get the second match of the night with a score of 25-20.  I know the girls were very happy with the outcome of the night.  They played together, worked hard a team, and got the victory. They now have those first victories under their wings so we are ready for anything that will come our way.  The JV ladies got two wins as well beating West Holt 25-20, 23-25, & 15-10, and O’Neill 25-11 and 25-9.   


Saturday the Lady Badgers traveled to Cozad for the annual Cozad tournament.  The first game of the day was against conference team Broken Bow.  The Badgers were ready to play. I was very happy with how they communicated and played together as a team from the beginning.  The teamwork and communication was helpful when we let our guard down and let the Lady Indians back into the game.  The Badgers kept the lead through most of the first game, but allowed Broken Bow to come back and tie the game at 20 and we had to fight point for point to earn the victory with a score of 25-23.  The huddle had the coaches talking about how much they worked as a team and stayed positive to EARN the win and how important that is for victories.  So the second game of the match didn’t have it any other way either. The ladies really played well together for the first game of the day holding off the Lady Indians with a 25-19 win.  If this was the way the entire day was going to go, it was going to be GREAT.  


The win gave the Badgers a chance to face another conference team the tough Ogallala Indians.  A team that is always ready to go and is a tough team, but nothing the Badgers couldn’t handle.  The mental aspect of the game got the best of the Badgers.  I think the girls psych themselves out to much when they have to go up against our top conference teams.  This was a game that I told the girls afterwards we learn from the mistakes and move on to the next. We can’t dwell on the past and think about what we could’ve done, should’ve done, etc., but what we can improve on and do better the next game.  The loss put the Badgers into the third and fourth place match against a third conference team, Cozad Haymakers.


This last game of the day was a good spot for the Badgers.  A third place finish would be excellent, but the girls were going to have to work.  Cozad is a team that we can compete with and use our talents to the fullest ability and really control the game.  The Lady Badgers came out and played some really strong volleyball after the Ogallala loss.  They controlled the game after coming back from a three point deficit.  They worked hard to better the ball each time they got the opportunity to touch the ball.  The Badgers got the first set victory with a score of 25-16.  The second set got off to a rough start and we let our guard down and stopped playing at our level of play and dropped to the opponents.  By letting our guard down we allowed the Cozad Haymakers to win the second game by a score of 18-25.  The third set was going to take a lot of focus and work to be sure we EARN the third place spot.  The Badgers started with a lot of focus and worked well together to get and keep control of the third game.  I was really proud of how they played together and worked on everything we had worked on in practice to put the ball in play and focusing on their next play.  We anticipated our opponents next move played smart volleyball and really worked well as a team to win the third set with a score of 25-19 and to bring home third place.  


This week we focused a lot on serving and serve receive.  We brought our serving percentage up from an 85% to 93%. That is so important in and of itself that we were able to give the opponents something to work with instead of just handing them a point.  Our Serve receive is still not where I would like it to be.  We need our passers to focus on moving their feet and freezing to their targets instead of passing and then done.  It is all a work in progress and little improvements will go a long ways, if we continue to improve on those areas. The Badgers next game will be Thursday September 25th in Burwell.  The Reserve and JV take the court on Tuesday the 16th against Cody-Kilgore and on the 23rd against Gordon-Rushville.  



Lady Badgers Have A Tough Start
September 10, 2014



The Lady Badgers debuted their 2014 season on Thursday September 4 in the Badger gym against the Lady Warriors of Winner and Lady Bulldogs of Ainsworth.  The ladies were prepared for the upcoming battle and knew that each team was going to be a force.  The Badgers faced the Warriors first of the night.  It was a rough start for the Badgers getting down by a few points in the first part of the game.  Lack of communication and making our own mistakes allowed Winner to take the first game.  The Badgers came out with some power the second game, but again with just a few mistakes and allowing the Warriors to take the lead it took the lady Badgers out of the game mentally and Winner walked away with the victory with the second and third game.  The night wasn’t over as the Badgers had to take on the rival Ainsworth Bulldogs.  Knowing that this was a team with a lot of experience on the varsity court I knew it was going to be a tough match.  It was exactly that.  The lady Badgers came out ready to go, but again the lack of communication on our side of the net and making our own mistakes, hitting the ball in the net, missed serves, etc. isn’t going to allow for a victory.  The ladies worked through some of the challenges, but came up short for the night.  Starting the season 0-2 going into a tough weekend tournament in Minden.

Saturday the Lady Badgers took on the Minden Whippets, Ainsworth Bulldogs, and Blue Hill Bobcats.  The ladies came out strong against Minden, had them scared for the first 15 points.  I was really proud of how they came out and took the lead at 9-5 and weren’t backing down.  We took advantage of Minden making their own mistakes, we focused on just playing the game and putting the ball in play.  Minden being who they are regrouped and figured their mistakes out and pushed back.  Earning the 1st victory of the day.  The Badgers second match was Ainsworth Bulldogs.  There was no stopping the Badgers in the first game of the match, they were ready to do some work and that is what they did.  We served tough and took a 10 point lead early in the game.  We were up 20-12 at one point and let our guard down to let them back in the game, but got the 1st game win of the season with a score of 25-19.  The second game we didn’t start of with the fire that we had the first game.  I was disappointed in the intensity they showed on the court.  I was lost at how we could come of a great win and lose that momentum within a minute of starting the next game.  It wasn’t that we made too many mistakes, we just weren’t playing the game to win, we were playing not to lose.  Again we let our guard down and let the Bulldogs back into the game too much and they took the second and third game from the Badgers. It was back to the court to take on the Bobcats of Blue Hill.  The girls wanted to end the day on a high note, so they came out ready to fight.  They battled back and forth the first game, but Blue hill got the advantage in the end and took the victory from the Badgers. The ladies knew that in order to end on a high note they were going to have to battle in the second game, that’s exactly what they did.  They took off in the beginning working hard, they let the Lady Bobcats back in the game, but were able to fight them off with a 25-23 win.  The third game was a battle after two matches going to three games it was going to take a lot to work through and battle till the end.  Again our mistakes out shined our positives and the Bobcats got the best of the Badgers.  

The Lady Badgers are ready to go this week.  taking on West Holt and O’Neill at West Holt on Tuesday and traveling to Cozad for the Cozad tournament on Saturday.  I know the girls are ready for a victory. They have played together for many years, they know what it is going to take and we just have to work together as a team, communicate and push one another to be the best.