DIVING DOWN — Cowgirl Shanae Newmiller, senior outside hitter, dives to put up an incoming serve in play against Fairfield on Thursday. Ciara Bender, a senior setter, #13, looks on. The Eagles won the match in straight sets, 3-0. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
For the second time in less than a week, the Cowgirl volleyball team faced off with the Fairfield Eagles.
At home on Thursday, the home girls were looking to avenge an earlier loss to the Lady Eagles on their court.
It wasn’t to be. Conrad may have played one of their best matches to date in the young season, but Fairfield pulled out the win in four games.
Conrad took it to the Eagles in the statistics portion, but it’s the points that count and Fairfield was on top there. The scores of the four game match went like this: 25-18, 25-20, 16-25 and 25-18.
This is an interesting side note; usually the team that wins in stats will also win a match. Conrad topped the Eagles in four out of five categories.
The Cowgirls pounded back 43 kill shots to 35 for the Eagles. Rashelle Johns and Taylor Judisch both had a terrific night at the front court zipping back 18 and 10 kill shots respectively.
The 18 kill shots by Johns is a new school record, the old one was 17 held by Johns and Jenny Silvernale. The Eagles shot back 35, led by sophomore phenom Jill Barta, a 6’-3” middle hitter.
Brittany Greyn dished out 29 of the team’s 33 assists while the Eagles had 24. She broke her own record for assists, getting 25 last week against Shelby.
Back to the net, Conrad blocked 34 shots with Johns stopping 15 and Jayde Richardson 10. The Eagles had 26 blocks on their side.
From the back court, the Cowgirls pulled up 64 digs to 54 for the Eagles. Judisch put up 17 and Kristine Warlick 12.
At the service line, both teams dropped in 10 aces. Shanae Newmiller, Grey, Johns and Judisch each had two serves with no returns written on the volleyball to lead the Cowgirls.
Conrad got their set-win in the third game, just taking it to the Eagles. Coach Dale Janzen said, “This was the best volleyball we have played all year, the hitting was very good and it was smart hitting.”
Early on the team built a 9-4 lead, at the time, their biggest advantage of the night over the Eagles. Points came on terrific line play at the nets by Johns and Judisch, and ace serves from Greyn and Judisch providing the damage.
If Johns wasn’t booming a kill shot, she was tipping back dink shots at the net that had the Fairfield front line frustrated.
The team came on to build a 17-10 lead. Newmiller also fired up an ace to the left corner of the court to get the team up to 20-12.
A John’s service ace put the Cowgirls at 23-15, a nasty kill shot by Judisch put them at game point and they ended up with a dandy 25-16 win.
In game four, the Cowgirls looked to be headed to another win, leading at one point 12-8, but the Eagles rallied back and pulled out the win, 18-25 and the match. Janzen commented, “It was hard to lose that match, when so many things went well.”
The Cowgirls fell to 0-3 in conference play and 0-3 overall.
Next up was a match in Browning for which the team came out and got their first match of the season, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-17, 26-24, 25-17.
“We played pretty well against Fairfield and continued to pay better at Browning,” commented Coach Janzen.
He went on to add, “Our passing was good and that let Brittany get the ball to our hitters.”
Conrad piled up 11 ace serves with Johns having five and Warlick three.
Of the 36 assists, Greyn put up 30, once again breaking her own school record of 29 (Fairfield). This is the fourth time this year she has broken the record and more than likely not the last.
Of the 45 team kill shots, Judisch slapped back 17, Johns 12 and Newmiller nine.
“Our hitters are being able to put the ball on the floor for kills,” said the coach.
Richardson blocked 11-24 and Taylor five.
Of the 76 digs, Newmiller put up 16, Warlick and Johns 13 each.
“I’m pleased with overall play, now we need to continue to elevate our play this week,” said Janzen.
Friday the team is at Rocky Boy and Saturday they travel to Cut Bank.
The home girls have two more road games after that and then are at home for Homecoming, with Cut Bank, on Oct. 7.