Rangers’ season ends with a five-set loss at divisionals

By 
Ryan Peerboom — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, November 8, 2019
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Photos courtesy of Michael Kokot

The Rangers celebrate a point.

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Abby Kokot strikes a ball during the divisional tournament on Thursday in Havre.

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Ryleah Floyd stretches to hit the ball. 

The Park Rangers notched a win in their first game of the MHSA Class A Eastern Divisional Tournament in Havre on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Rangers,  they lost the following two games which eliminated them from the tournament and ended their season.

 

Vs. Sidney

The Rangers opened the tournament with a three-set sweep over Sidney, 25-15, 25-21, 25-20.

The Rangers started strong with a 10-point win in the first set. They followed that win with a much closer set, but finished off Sidney by four, 25-21.

In the third set, the Rangers fell behind 7-0 early, but were able to rally and win the set by five, 25-20.

Skylar Higgs led the Rangers on offense with 13 kills while Shania Johnson had 11. Terran Speake had 32 of the Rangers 34 assists. 

Brylea Beye was strong on the defensive side of the ball with 21 digs. Abby Kokot had three blocks and Speake added two of her own. 

 

Vs. Dawson County

The Rangers looked to build off their win over Sidney with a win against Dawson County Thursday night. The Rangers were outmatched by the Red Devils, losing in three sets, 23-25, 22-25, 17-25.

The Rangers had a late lead in the first set, 23-21. The Rangers needed just two points to win the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match, but the Red Devils scored four straight points and won the set by two, 25-23. 

The Rangers refused to quit and played hard in the second set despite the unfortunate ending in the first. Yet again, the Red Devils prevailed, this time by three, 25-23.

Things fell apart in the third set for the Rangers as they weren’t as competitive as the first two. Dawson County ultimately prevailed, winning 25-17 and sweeping the Rangers in three sets. 

Johnson led the way in kills for the Rangers with eight. Kokot had five kills and Higgs had four. Speake totaled 17 of the Rangers’ 20 assists.

Defendsively, Speake led the Rangers with 14 digs and Johnson added 11. Kokot had another two blocks. 

Head coach Joey Lane said the Rangers failed to dictate the tempo and let the Red Devils control the game.

“We just came out slow and played to their low energy level instead of playing our game,” Lane said in an email Thursday night.

 

Vs. Custer County

On Friday Morning, the Rangers played Custer County in an elimination game. After a hard fought match, the Rangers lost in five sets, 25-17, 25-11, 15-25, 23-25, 13-15. 

The Rangers started strong and won the first two sets in convincing fashion to give them a 2-0 lead in the match. 

Custer County wasn’t ready to go down without a fight. They fought back and took the next two sets. The Rangers fought back to make it close in the fourth set, but couldn’t complete the comeback to win the match, falling by just two points. 

The Rangers were behind for most of the fifth set. Trailing 10-6, the Rangers clawed back and saw themselves within a point, 14-13, late in the set. The Rangers surrendered the final point on defense, giving Custer County the win. 

Kokot led the Rangers with 15 kills and Higgs was close behind with 13. Speake totaled 37 assists in the loss. 

Higgs led the Rangers with 19 digs. Beye and Johnson had 18 digs apiece. Kokot was a force at the net with eight blocks. The loss eliminated the Rangers from the Divisional tournament, effectively ending their season with a winning record at 11-10. 

Lane said she was proud of the team’s improvement from last year. 

“Really proud of how hard these girls have worked all season,” Lane said in an email Friday morning. “Last year we had a total of 4 wins and this year we had 11.”

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