Killdeer barely avoids Wildfire net upset

Mott-Regent coach Kayleen Meckle celebrates as her squad takes a break in second set while holding the lead.
Herald photo / Brad Mosher

By Brad Mosher
The Herald

Two points.
In the fifth set of Monday’s battle between Mott-Regent and Killdeer, that is what decided the victor at Mott Armory.
On an evening when the winless Wildfire stunned the visiting Cowboys with a 25-20 victory in the first set, the hosts rallied to tie the fifth set at 14-14.
It was visiting Killdeer that came up with two straight points to claim a 3-2 win over Mott-Regent.
The Wildfire started off by taking an early 4-2 lead in the first set and kept holding off runs by the visiting Cowboys throughout the contest.
Mott-Regent was ahead by a 20-14 margin when the Cowboys sparked their biggest rally with five straight point, cutting the lead to 20-19.
In the final minutes, the Wildfire went on a 5-1 run to claim the win.
In the second set, the two teams battle back and forth, with the Wildfire rallying to tie

Karagan Friedt (25) appears shocked with Mott-Regent’s first set victory over visiting Killdeer. The Cowboys held off the Wildfire to escape with a 3-2 victory over Mott-Regent.
Herald photo / Brad Mosher

the score at 15-all.
Killdeer was the first to 20 points, but the hosts rallied again to close the gap to 24-23 before picked up the game point and the win, tying the contest at 1-1.
In the third set, Mott-Regent was behind for most of the contest until they tied it at 16-all and again at 18 and 19 before they made a run on the Cowboys.
The hosts made a run that kept the Cowboys at bay until the two teams tied again at 22-22.
Killdeer took the lead on a service ace by Myranda Reiss, but the Wildfire scored the next three points to pull out the win.
Ahead by a 2-1 score, the Wildfire needed just one more win to claim their first victory of the season.
Instead, the visiting Cowboys got an early lead and kept it to claim a 25-22 win and force a fifth set.
The Wildfire build an early 3-0 lead, only to see the Cowboys come back to tie the contest at 4-all, 5-all and 7-all.
A Cowboy attempt to kill went out of bounds and tied the game at 8-8, but then the Cowboys took the lead for good.
At least until the Wildfire tied it again at 13-all.
But after tying the score one last time at 14-14, the Cowboys came up with two straight points for the hard-fought win.
According to Killdeer coach Allison Sampsel, the Cowboys came up with just enough to win Monday in Mott Armory, making the long cold trip back home easier.
“We just struggled to play in sync tonight (Monday),” she said after the win. “But thankfully, we came out with the win gave those last few points our all and it turned out good for us.
“Everyone kind of had their moments. I’d like to see more of us all being in sync together. We had a kill when we needed one and we didn’t when we needed one. That’s just how tonight (Monday) worked.”
For Wildfire coach Kayleen Meckle, their was a positive side to the team’s latest lost in an 0-21 season.
“Hands down, this was the best game we have ever played,” she said. “We had the most kills we have ever had… the most assists we ever had. Our defense has been really stepping up the last few weeks.
“This is the best I have ever seen us play,” she added.
“We are the last team in the region and haven’t won any games this season… and people think they can walk all over us. We are not going to let that happen.”
The Wildfire will visit New England Monday in search of the first win of the season, with the team returning home Tuesday night for a senior night season finale against New Salem.
“Monday will be our last regional game,” Meckle added.
“I know that New England has been playing very well this year and they have some big blockers, which is something we have tended to struggle with,” she added. “I am just hoping we do what we did tonight… again.
“We have don a great job this year with team chemistry and keeping our heads up. I have been very proud of them every game they have played.”
Sophomore Kattie Honeyman led Mott-Regent with 10 kills, followed by Karagan Friedt with six and Maci Wehri with five.
Honeyman also had three blocks while Wehri and Friedt each finished with one.
The Wildfire also got three aces each from Wehri, Jenessa Zentner and Friedt.
Senior Kiara Koepplin had 36 digs to lead the team, followed by MaryJane Mayer (26) and Zentner (24).
Friedt also finished with 18 assists Monday.

Mott-Regent plays
The Wildfire will take an 0-9 regional record (0-14 overall) to New England Monday (Nov. 4).
The Tigers broke a losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Beach and battled Hazen Tuesday (Oct.29) at home. Going into the battle with Hazen, New England had a half-game lead in the standings over the Bison.

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