Bulldogs bitten, bounced from bracket

by by John Heglie, special for the Leader
| November 9, 2020 11:30 AM

At the Western B divisional tournament in Anaconda, treading into a place nicknamed the Snake Pit is enough to give any team reason to pause. But the Mission Lady Bulldogs exercised other paws as they made the most of their incursions against tough competition this past weekend.

For their opening round match, Mission faced the undefeated Anaconda Lady Copperheads, a formidable opponent even without the advantage of home court who had only lost a total of five sets over the course of the entire regular schedule. With a lineup that features 6-foot middle Briana Puyear and college-bound 5-10 outside hitter Aubrey Tuss, who have combined for more than 350 cumulative kills and 75 cumulative service aces this season, the end result would yield a predictable outcome. But not before the Lady Bulldogs gave them their best effort.

Ella Arlint and Kooper Page collaborated on more than 20 digs that kept the ball alive to give their offense a chance at the net. But Anaconda dug out the majority of Mission attacks as the Lady Bulldogs would only notch eight kills and four aces in the contest, the collaboration between team leading spikers Syd Brander and Kooper Page tying for a season low.

The loss routed them into the consolation rounds against the District 7B runner up Lady Lions of Eureka. Mission pushed each game into the high teens, but Eureka maintained the margin to win the match and eliminate the Lady Bulldogs from further postseason competition.

Sydney Brander and Gabby Smith combined for 15 of the two dozen team kills. Kooper Page and Maysa Couture collaborated on five service aces, while Page and Ella Arlint led the defensive efforts with more than two dozen digs.

Anaconda, Florence and Thompson Falls advanced to the state B tournament that starts Thursday in Shelby.

2020 Western B Divisional

Anaconda Memorial Gym (aka Snake Pit)

Nov. 5-7

top 3 advance to state

(#2) 7B Eureka def. (#4) 7B Mission 3-0

Mission (6-15), Eureka (15-6)

Eureka def. Mission 25-19, 25-17, 25-20

KILLS – MSI 24 (Sydney Brander 11, Gabby Smith 4, Ahni Umphrey 2, Izzy Evans 2, Ko.Page 2, K.Thomas 2, M.Couture), Eur 33 (Katie Schmidt 11). ACES – MSI 6 (Kooper Page 3, M.Couture 2, E.Arlint), Eur 5 (K.Brown 3). ASSISTS – MSI (Maysa Couture 14, S.Brander 5, E.Arlint 3, I.Evans, C.Orr), Eur 29 (Kamber Brown 21). BLOCKS – MSI 2 (Gabby Smith 1BS, Keana Thomas 1BA, A.Umphrey 1BA), Eur 4 (Rhianna Hawkins 2). DIGS – MSI 40 (Kooper Page 18, Ella Arlint 7, S.Brander 5, M.Couture 4, K.Thomas 2, I.Evans 2, A.Umphrey, Cassidy Orr), Eur 52 (Katie Schmidt 13, Alyssa Utter 13). (Fr06Nov20gm7div)

Western B opening round

(#1) 6B Anaconda def. (#4) 7B Mission 3-0

Mission (6-14), Anaconda (15-0)

Anaconda def. St. Ignatius 25-7, 25-11, 25-16

KILLS – MSI 8 (Kooper Page 3, Sydney Brander 2, Izzy Evans 2, M.Couture), Ana 29 (Aubrey Tuss 8, Mia Sullivan-Sanders 7, Briana Puyear 6). ACES – MSI 4 (Maysa Couture 2, Ko.Page, E.Arlint), Ana 8 (Megan Reich 3, B.Puyear 2, T.Ferguson 2, M.Harris). ASSISTS – MSI 7 (Maysa Couture 3, S.Brander 3, Ko.Page), Ana 27 (Tiora Ferguson 15, Makena Patrick 10). BLOCKS – MSI 2 (Keana Thomas 2BA, Ahni Umphrey 1BA, Ko.Page 1BA), Ana 4 (M.S-S, B.Puyear, A.Tuss, M.Lunceford). DIGS – MSI 34 (Ella Arlint 14, Ko.Page 7, S.Brander 4, Cassidy Orr 4, Gabby Smith 2, K.Thomas 2, M.Couture), Ana 49 (Malia Harris 15, Maniyah Lunceford 7, A.Tuss 7, Cara DeMarios 6). (Th05Nov20gm1div)