The Becker Bulldog volleyball team has been showing steady improvement on the court, however they continue to face some of the top competition from across central Minnesota and find themselves unable to come out on top on the scoreboard.
The tough stretch of contests started two weeks ago on Thursday, as the Bulldogs faced the M8 leader in Chisago Lakes (7-4 record overall), with the Wildcats scoring a 3-1 win. Becker started out fast, picking up the win in the opening salvo before the Wildcats regrouped to win the next three. Set scores were 25-23, 19-25, 17-25 and 21-25.
Senior Cami Ramola led the hitting attack with 10 kills, while classmate Alexis Goebel picked up six kills and six blocks at the net. Evelyn Kreft chipped in five kills, as did Alexa Williams.
Defensively, it was a team effort for the Bulldogs, with Skylee Blomquist notching 10 digs, while Lily Berger added eight. Maya Wenner had nine digs to go along with her 25 set assists.
The competition didn’t get any easier last Monday night when Becker hosted Alexandria and fell in straight sets to the 8-1 Cardinals, 25-8, 25-20 and 25-20.
Alexandria came into the match in second place in the Central Lakes Conference with a 4-1 record and their senior-laden lineup was too much for the Bulldogs.
Ramola had six kills for the Bulldogs, while Evelyn Kreft added two blocks and four kills. Maya Wenner had 18 set assists, while Blomquist was the defensive stalwart with 10 digs.
Last Tuesday night was again a contest against a very talented group, and this time it was Monticello who presented a tough challenge with their 9-3 overall record, including a second place standing in the M8 Conference with a 3-1 record.
In this match, it was all Magic, as the host team piled up a straight set victory, 25-13, 25-11 and 25-9.
Blomquist was a leader at the service line, hitting on 100% of her attempts, while Lily Berger had six digs and Kate Mehelich added four.
Head Coach Patty Lindbom noted that her team continues to show promise with a strong serving game and will continue to work on their offensive sets.
“This has been a huge rebuilding year with a new setter, new outside hitters, an all new right side and only one returning middle hitter,” Lindbom said. “The back row is all new this year also so it’s definitely a rebuilding year, but we’ve been working on team chemistry and building momentum into the last part of the season. We have great athletes and great talent!”
The Bulldogs hosted North Branch (9-4 overall) in a Parents Night matchup last Thursday and came up short, losing in three games: 15-25, 15-25 and 10-25.
Goebel and Kreft led the hitting attack with five kills each, while Wenner had 11 assists and seven digs.
Last Saturday, the Bulldogs went to Mora and faced four opponents in the Mustang Tournament.
Becker finished the day 0-4, falling to Aitkin, Hermantown, Upsala and Carlton.