Bears falter in clash with Gillett

Bonduel searching for leadership following loss

By Morgan Rode

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Kylie Guenther spikes the ball as Grace Petcka (10) looks on during Thursday’s nonconference clash in Bonduel.

Gillett’s relentless attack game proved too much for the Bonduel High School volleyball team to overcome during a nonconference match on Thursday in Bonduel.

Bonduel battled hard for all three sets, but Gillett was able to pull away for a 25-19, 26-24, 26-24 win.

“They (Gillett) were very consistent in their play. They let very few balls come over the net unattacked,” Bonduel coach Kimberly Strayer said. “They weren’t just going to send us free balls over, and that’s what helped them come out on top of us.”

Gillett pulled out to a slim lead in the first set, but Bonduel slowly whittled its way back until it tied the set at 14. The Tigers claimed the next three points before the Bears battled back to tie things at 18.

Gillett earned the next two points to force a Bonduel timeout and then took five of the next six points to take the first set.

After the teams changed sides, the visitors again held a slim advantage in the second set, with Bonduel again needing to rally to tie things at 12 and again at 17. With senior Grace Petcka serving, the Bears won six straight points to force a pair of Gillett timeouts. The second break helped the Tigers stop the Bears’ momentum.

Gillett closed its deficit to one, but Bonduel took the next point to go ahead 24-22. The Tigers again responded, winning the next four points to stun the Bears and take the set.

Down two sets, Bonduel got off to a better start in the final set. After the score was tied at six, Gillett claimed five of the next six points to take an 11-7 advantage and force a Bonduel timeout.

The Bears responded after getting a short message from coach Strayer and soon had tied the score at 12.

The Tigers then took control of the set, going up three to force the Bears to take another timeout. This time, Gillett kept its foot on the gas.

Gillett worked its lead to 22-15 before Bonduel rattled off five straight points to trim its deficit to one. The Bears were able to tie the third set at 24 before the Tigers won two straight points to take the set and match.

“I think our attitude plays a big part, we get down on ourselves which doesn’t help us at all. Then we can’t get upbeat again,” Bonduel senior Kylie Guenther said of what the team needs to fix in future matches.

McKenzie Wollenberg, a senior, and Guenther each led Bonduel with six kills in the match. Sophomore Grace Thorne led the Bears with eight assists while Guenther posted a team-high 12 digs. Sophomore Halea Sporisky served three aces.

With so many underclassmen playing key roles for Bonduel, the team is looking for a player to step into a leadership role.

“We (upperclassmen) can start to talk, have better communication and be better role models,” Guenther said. “We need to do what we are supposed to do and not get into bad things.”

“I have three starting seniors and I’m looking for all three of them to step up and take charge,” coach Strayer said. “I understand that some of the underclassmen are a little timid and a little shy and this is really fast-paced and a new thing for them. They (the underclassmen) are talented, but they just need some direction.”

Bonduel slipped to 2-4 on the season. The Bears will hit the road to take on Tigerton on Tuesday, Sept. 4, in its next scheduled match.