Flasher’s volleyball team is state tournament bound for the second straight season. A place many people didn’t expect to see them after losing the core of their lineup to graduation.
Now, the Bulldogs are using the underdog mentality to push them to the top.
“Coming up from the bottom is nice,” senior Tymber Boldt said. “It’s nice that we’re kind of coming up as underdogs when we have a chance, instead of coming out on top and feeling all that pressure, we’re able to come up from the bottom and we’ve got nothing to lose.”
The Bulldogs have four players that were a big part of last year’s state-run, which ended in the quarterfinals with a loss to eventual state champions Langdon-Edmore-Munich.
“That experience last year I think instilled a hunger in these returning players,” head coach Jerlyn Gabrielson said. “They liked that and they wanted more of it.”
The Bulldogs’ offensive power this season has been provided by all-region players Faith Marion and Tymber Boldt, but they say the glue that has held them together has been this girl — first-year setter Mckenzee Doepke.
“She’s worked really hard,” Boldt said of Doepke. “I mean when you’re a hitter sometimes you get kind of picky. You want the ball higher, you want the ball lower, and we’ve been really on her trying to get those sets just right, and she’s done it.”
“It just makes things easier, and it helps us get the set where we need it and get a kill when we need it,” Marion said.
While they know they can score in the middle the Bulldogs are spending their final practices finding more ways to score.
“Take advantage of our other hitters, because sometimes we don’t do that enough in the game, and sometimes that hurts us, but at the same time we’re blessed to have so many other great hitters that can also get a point up there.”
The Bulldogs have redemption on their mind. They face off in the first round against Thompson, a team they lost to in the fifth-place game last season.
“It’s always fun to have that back-to-back experience and be given the opportunity to build on last year’s success, and maybe reach a little bit further,” Gabrielson said.