by Jodi Turner

  The season opener for the Belmond-Klemme volleyball team Aug. 29 was at home against the Golden Bears of Algona Garrigan.

  The Golden Bears jumped to a fast lead as serve reception was a struggle, falling behind 10-3. Kenedie Gabrielson got a quick side out with a kill from the middle, bringing Broncos fans to their feet. B-K continued to work through the struggles early on, as lone senior Haley Beminio had a nice hit from the middle halfway through the first match. Madison Barrus collected seven digs to keep play alive a bit longer, but the Broncos took the first loss of the season, 25-15.

  The hitters would have some great swings in the second set, but good defense by the Golden Bears kept the ball alive. Addison McMurray and Allie Barrus each had nice digs from the back row but AG was too much to handle, and claimed another win, 25-17.

  In the third set, McMurray continued to impress with two greatly positioned tips for kills to put B-K up early. Jennah Meyer used outstanding serving to help the Broncos stay into the match before the Golden Bears used quickness and tough serving to claim the game, 25-16.

  The Broncos had the first tournament of the year in Clarion Aug. 31. The first game was against the South Hamilton Hawks.

  The Broncos took an early lead with great serving by Addison McMurray (who went 8-8) and Allie Barrus (going 7-7). The Broncos claimed victory 21-16.

  The second set didn’t go as cleanly as B-K fell behind early, 15-8. Jennah Meyer had six assists with some nice sets to Madison and Allison Barrus who had two kills each. The Broncos tried to gain ground after falling behind, but would take the loss 21-15.

  In the deciding set, middle hitter Kenedie Gabrielson made a big statement with a kill to start the match. With the set tied 5-5, the Hawks pushed ahead with tough serving, and won 15-7.

  The Broncos faced the top-ranked Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, who were coming off a 2018 state tournament appearance.

  The Cowgirls continued to impress, jumping to a 13-1 lead. The Broncos struggled to dig the big hits coming from CGD as the Cowgirls took the first set 21-3.

  The Broncos had a better set in the second round but still struggled with the big hitters on the CGD court. B-K lost 21-8.

  The Broncos tried to reset their approach to start the third game of the day. But serve reception was a struggle against the North Butler Bearcats, as B-K trailed 13-1. Playing catch up would be a big task for the Broncos. Addison McMurray was the player to give B-K that shot with great serving to push the score to 13-8. Allie Barrus had two more kills to push the Broncos closer 15-11, but the Broncos took a tough loss 21-13.

  In the second set, Addison McMurray started the game with an ace, but the Broncos struggled again on serve reception, falling behind 11-6. Jennah Meyer did her part, serving 6-6 to bring B-K back within two, 18-16. Big kills by Allie Barrus tied the game 19-19 and again at 21-21. A mistake by the Bronco side pushed the Bearcats up by one, before NB claimed the 23-21 victory.

  The fourth game of the day would be the game-changer. The Broncos played a great set against Eagle Grove, commanding the court 9-7. Good serving by Jennah Meyer and two early kills by Allie Barrus pushed B-K further ahead 13-8. Maddison Dougherty took the victory with consistent serving as B-K won 21-12.

  The Broncos once again took a big lead to start the second set, and again serving was a key part. Kenedie Gabrielson was a perfect 3-3 with an ace to start off the set, followed by a big kill by Madison Barrus. B-K jumped to a 13-5 lead. Haley Beminio and Addison McMurray added two kills, followed by Allie Barrus’ 3-3 serving and ace. The Broncos took the second set and claimed their first victory of the season, 21-13.

  B-K continued to play tough volleyball in the next game against Harris Lake Park.

  Falling behind early, Madison Barrus went a perfect 6-6 serving, pushing B-K to an 8-7 lead. The Broncos did not look back, capitalizing on the mistakes by the Wolves. Madison Barrus added three kills as Maddison Dougherty collected three digs. The Broncos held on for the victory, 21-17.

  In the second set, Kenedie Gabrielson served great, pushing B-K to a 10-5 lead. Allie Barrus kept the scoring going with two kills, followed by serving 5-5 with two aces. The Broncos held the lead 20-17 before Gabrielson added the last exclamation point to the victory with a big kill from the middle. B-K took their second victory of the day, 21-17.

   The last game of the tournament was against the Lions of