Rachel Nevdal (left) and Rhiannon Robertson (right).

The good fortunes continued for the Durand Bulldogs when they traveled to compete in the Oregon Volleyball Tournament, last weekend.

On Friday, Sept. 1, the Bulldogs carried an overall record of 8-1.  Durand was riding a two-game win streak after bouncing back from their first loss of the season, just a week before.  They continued that streak into pool play, where they faced off with Stillman Valley, Pearl City, and Dakota.

The bulldogs opened the tournament with a bang as they routed Stillman Valley 25-12 and 25-13.  Rhiannon Robertson put up eight kills and two blocks in the first two sets, but she was just getting warmed up.  Carrigan Derus had five kills and Addy King added eight assists in the victory.

The second set was much of the same for the Bulldogs.  Pearl City matched up a little better than Stillman Valley, but the Bulldogs came away with another sweep.  Robertson added another five kills, while Emily Quine, Miranda Balentyne, and Cailyn Lane each had three kills.  Rachel Nevdal led the team with 10 digs and Kalli Kaskovich had seven assists as the Bulldogs won 25-16 in both sets.

In their third and final matchup of pool play, the Bulldogs punched their ticket to the gold bracket.  Durand picked up yet another sweep, only this time it was against the Dakota Indians.  The Bulldogs won the first set by a score of 25-19.

That took the wind out of Dakota’s sails as Durand took the second 25-11.  Once again, Robertson led the team with seven kills, while Balentyne and Derus had four kills each.  Lola Robertson had three aces in the victory, as well.

“We played strong in pool play and were able to play athletes in all positions.  We adapted to change very well,”  Durand’s head coach, Molley Kelsey, shared after the team’s first three games of the tournament.

While the Bulldogs were pleased to go undefeated through pool play. That meant a bigger challenge lay ahead.  In the gold bracket, the Bulldogs were set to square off with Genoa Kingston.  Last year, Genoa Kingston won the Illinois 2A State Volleyball Championship.  In 2023, they look the part of the defending champs, and they put that on display in the Oregon Tournament.

Durand was up for the challenge, however.  Even in a loss, the Bulldogs got a good look at how they compare with a championship team.  In the first set, the Bulldogs lost by a score of 25-15.  Durand wasn’t going to roll over so easily in the second set.

A back and forth run forced extra time but the Bulldogs ultimately fell by a score of 28-26.  Rhiannon put up a fight with another seven kills.  Cailyn Lane had two blocks in the loss, and Nevdal posted another 12 digs.  King continued to facilitate the offense with ten assists.

Despite the loss, Durand came out of the Genoa Kingston matchup with some confidence.  They wanted to go out of the tournament with a win and they did just that with a 2-0 sweep over the hosting Oregon Hawks.  The first set was a close battle as the Bulldogs came out on top 25-22.  The second set was the complete opposite, however, as Durand closed the tournament with a 25-9 blowout.

Total stats from the tournament showed the multitude of talent on Durand’s roster.  Rhiannon finished with twenty-four kills, 37 digs, two blicks, and eight aces.  Drus had eighteen kills, 33 digs, and five aces.  Lola, just a freshman, had fifteen kills, fifteen digs, and five blocks.  Kaskovich finished with thirty-five assists, nine digs, and four aces.  King led the way with forty-two assists, and Emily Quine had thirteen kills and five blocks herself.  Nevdal brought the energy on defense with thirty-seven digs.

In the end, the Bulldogs took third place in the Oregon Tournament.  Rhiannon Robertson and Rachel Nevdal were each named to the All-Tournament Team.  “We started off slow with Genoa, but came back hyped and aggressive during game two.”  Kelsey shared, adding that, “Our block was huge and very well rounded the second set.  If we continue this level of play and positive attitude, I can’t wait to see what we can do throughout the rest of the season.”

The Bulldogs appear to have done that, thus far.  Following the tournament, Durand picked up victories over Pecatonica and Hiawatha, which improved their record to 14-2 on the season.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.