Billings Central Catholic blanks Cowgirls

The Custer County High School girls volleyball team  faced Eastern A power Billings Central Catholic on Saturday, with seniors Kylee Licht, Tori Ogolin, Angel Ramirez, Jenna Swope and Savanna Walker lining up for the home crowd for the last time. 

“It means a lot that these girls come out year after year and play with everything they’ve got all the time,” Cowgirl head coach Marci Mollman said of her seniors. 

Between Senior Parents’ Night festivities for volleyball, cross-country and golf, and the CCDHS student section decked out in produce-section costumes, it was literally bananas in the gym. But the atmosphre wasn’t enough for the Cowgirls, who fell 20-25, 15-25, 15-25 to the undefeated Lady Rams. 

The Cowgirls were led by senior setter Tori Ogolin with six kills, 14 assists, 11 digs, and two aces. Jenna Swope contributed two assists and 19 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Saige Diegel nailed seven kills at the net.  

“I’m proud of how we played,” said Swope. “I think we could have come together a little more, but I’m happy overall.” 

The Cowgirls struggled to handle hard-hitting Lady Ram Bailey Kufeld, who recorded 12 kills. Devin Nielsen notched 29 of the Lady Rams’ 34 assists. 

“Miles City is a great defensive team, so I definitely had cause to be nervous,” said Lady Rams head coach Kylie Reitz. “We were excited to come in here with the opportunity to be undefeated [this season], but we had to work for it.” 

“It’s very bittersweet,” Walker said of her last home game. “I’m happy to play with these amazing people, but it’s very sad to know that it’s almost done.” Walker was enthusiastic about the Cowgirls’ chances in the divisional playoffs. “We play pretty well tournament-style,” she said.

“I’ve played with a lot of great players, and I’m really thankful that I’ve had the opportunity here,” Swope said as banners were being lowered and balloons collected in the empty gym following the game.

The Cowgirls face Central A champs Belgrade in the divisional playoff matchup in Belgrade on Thursday. “We just have to play aggressively,” Mollman said about the Cowgirls’ game plan for the tournament. “We get down on ourselves and just don’t have the confidence sometimes, but then there’s my team that is aggressive and excited, and that’s the team that wins.” 

Divisionals kick off Wednesday between the Eastern and Central A divisions in Laurel. The Cowgirls head into the tournament as the fourth-place seed out of the Eastern A conference. Second and third place conference standings were decided on Friday, with Hardin taking the second seed and Sidney the third.

See Tuesday’s Miles City Star for Saturday’s junior varsity and freshman game results.