Bulldogs off to a rocky district start


IOLA — The North Zulch volleyball team dropped another tight matchup on Friday in Iola. The loss came in 5 sets and the Bulldogs are yet to earn a district win.

“We have to give Iola credit for fighting back in this one,” said head North Zulch volleyball coach Kim Branch. “As a team, we executed the game plan and just fell a little short. Our girls played hard and overcame some misfortunes.”

The Bulldogs managed to bring the contest down to the wire despite losing middle blocker Ana Osth for the game at the last minute. Considering the shakeup so close to game time, Branch was pleased with the team’s efforts.

After dropping the opening set 25-16, the Bulldogs used a thriller to even the game up. They took down Iola 27-25 and 25-22 in consecutive sets to gain momentum. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the rest of the game belonged to Iola.

Iola managed to shut down North Zulch 25-12 to force a final game that would decide the night. The Bulldogs couldn’t find the magic they had in the middle of the contest and dropped the fifth and final game 15-9.

Despite the loss, junior Alley Grier and senior Raegan VanCour impressed all night for North Zulch. Grier mixed it up from the service line and went on to record 15 kills while VanCour was effective blocking middles.

“We knew the start of district play would be the toughest for us,” said Branch. “But we need to put ourselves in a position to win these games. I know that once we beat one of these rivals, we will continue to do so. It’s just a matter of getting over that hump and finishing the close ones.”

The Bulldogs had another chance to breakthrough in district against Kennard at home on Tuesday evening. This was Varsity’s final home game until they welcome Normangee to North Zulch for a rematch on Oct. 6.

The next game for the Bulldogs is also a district bout and will take place on Friday evening against Latexo on the road. JV will start things off with a 5 p.m. start and will be followed by Varsity at 6.