Lady Red Devils get homecoming win over Miles City

Jamie Ausk Crisafulli
Sunday, September 18, 2022
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Lady Devils hitters Mataya Tipton (top) and Codi Nagle (middle) put the ball over the net in the match against the Custer County Cowgirls Thursday night. Tipton led the team in kills in a match against Fergus High School last Saturday and Nagle led the team in kills against Custer County. Bottom photo: DCHS libero Jaylene Silha prepares to defend a Cowgirl serve. Silha had the most digs for the team on Thursday with 18. Hunter Herbaugh photos

The Dawson County High School Lady Red Devils got a big homecoming win Thursday night when they hosted the Cowgirls from Custer County. The DCHS team won the match in four very close sets.

The first home match of the season drew a large crowd of fans, including participants in the ‘90s class reunion, and students filling the home stands.

The Lady Devils lost the first set 22-25, but were able to hold the Cowgirls off in the three sets to follow with scores of 25-21, 25-20, 25-23.

Coach Jessica Rahn said it felt good to get the conference win under their belt.

“We mentally fought, that was the bonus for last night,” Rahn said Friday. She noted the team’s play started out a “bit chaotic,” saying the Devils “played Miles City’s game,” however the nerves of the first home match in front of a large crowd eventually subsided. “In the middle of the second set we calmed down. There was a general sense of confidence I haven’t felt this year,” Rahn noted.

She noted it took time for her players to adjust to the noise level in the gymnasium, which also resulted in some communication issues during the match.

Besides the overall mental play of the team, there were some standout performances worth noting.

“(Codi Nagle) did a phenomenal job last night. I would say she was emotionally a leader on the court. It is really good to see her step into that this year,” Rahn said.

Nagle, a junior, has returned to front row play after a few weeks of resting a knee injury from last winter.

“Codi says she’s ready, she promised she will let us know if her knee is tired,” Rahn said.

The coach also noted that senior Mallory Robinson did a “great job hitting spots” against Miles City, calling her a “significant force” during the game.

Last weekend, on Saturday, the Lady Devils traveled to Lewistown for their first conference match of the season. The Lady Golden Eagles defeated the DCHS team in four sets: 25-16, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18.

Rahn said the Lady Devils stepped off the bus in Lewistown mentally unprepared to play.

“This is an issue in the past we are trying to work through, with all three teams,” Rahn noted.

She added the Lady Devils varsity team played “fine” the first set in Lewistown, but once they got down in subsequent sets, they began making errors. “The unforced errors were where we lost the game,” Rahn said.

With several missed serves Thursday night, serving will be a big focus of upcoming practices. Other focuses, according to Rahn, will be passing and the overall mental game.

The Lady Devils are now 1-1 in conference play. They will travel to Havre Saturday for another conference match. They will then take on Billings Central in Billings next Saturday for a nonconference match.

Havre returned some strong players this season, including one allstate player and several all-conference players.

“They are a very solid team and we will have to have everyone on for us to give them a run for their money,” Rahn noted.

DCHS def. Custer Co. 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23

DCHS stats: Aces (16): Codi Nagle 7 Kills (41): Nagle 12, Robinson 10 Assists (36): Kadence Nissley 19, Robinson 17 Digs (58): Jaylene Silha 18 Blocks (8): Sari Murphy 3, Nagle 3 Fergus def. DCHS 25-16, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18.

DCHS stats: Assists (41): Kadence Nissley (18), Mallory Robinson (17) Kills (42): Mataya Tipton (15), Codi Nagle (9) Blocks (8): Nagle (3.5), Tipton (2.5) Aces (9): Asia Niccolia (6), Jaylene Silha (2) Digs (67): Robinson (17), Silha (15)

“We mentally fought, that was the bonus for last night,” Coach Jessica Rahn