Bolduan, Lady Tigers approaching milestone wins
By Jay Davis
Entering her 10th year at the helm, Lady Tiger volleyball coach Keri Bolduan is about to reach an important milestone. With the first win of the year, Bolduan will hit the 200-win plateau.
And that, folks, is pretty impressive. Bolduan is 199-80 since taking over the volleyball program in 2004. She has had just one losing season while winning seven district titles and six region championships.
We will delve into Bolduan’s success a little more at a later date, because, well, because finding out about her milestone led me to spend the summer digging up the history of Lady Tiger volleyball. It is a brief history compared to some other sports, but it is a rich history, one that has had more success than any other sport since Mobridge played its first game against an opponent (football in 1915).
Volleyball began in 1988 when the Kathy LaBerge-coached girls won 6 games and lost 16. Paula Candrian took the team over the next year and things changed in a hurry. The Lady Tigers went 14-8 in the second year. In year three, district play started. The Lady Tigers won the district and the region, while going 28-5 and taking eighth in state.
The program has been spending most seasons winning ever since. In 25 years, the Lady Tigers have had 18 winning seasons against just seven losing campaigns. Even win finishing the season above .500 was not possible, postseason success has been everywhere.
There will be no district play from now on as they have been eliminated (basketball is also going straight to region play). In 22 years, there were 23 district tournaments. In 2002, the season was switched to fall so there was a district in the spring and the fall. So there were 23 district tournaments. The Lady Tigers managed a mere 17 district championships. Yup, there were only six times that someone ousted our girls. The girls won District 15B twice, District 12A 11 times and District 11A four times.
That leads us to another milestone that is going to be met and surpassed sometime early in the season. The Lady Tigers’ all-time record is 495-329-22. Win number 500 could come as early as the Mobridge-Pollock Tournament on Sept. 14.
So which teams have the Lady Tigers played the most matches against over the years, and which ones have they had the most success and least success against?
What are we gonna eat? Tiger meat! How we gonna eat it? Raw!
The Gettysburg slash Potter County Battlers have faced the Lady Tigers 53 times since the rivalry began during the 1991-92 season. It has been close. In fact, the Battlers led 24-23 before the Lady Tigers won the last six to hold a 29-24 edge in the all-time series.
Second on the list is Lemmon. The Lady Tigers have dominated this series 38-12-1.
The Lady Braves of Cheyenne-Eagle Butte have taken the court against the Lady Tigers 47 times. The matchup has been very one-sided. The Lady Tigers are 42-4-1 all-time against the Lady Braves, including 17-1 in district play.
Fourth on the list is the closest fight for supremacy two teams can have. The Lady Tigers and Chargers of Sully Buttes are tied 21-21-2 after 44 matches. The Lady Tigers had to win five of the last six years just to catch up with the Chargers.
Number five on the teams-most-played list is the McIntosh Tigers. This is another lopsided series. The Lady Tigers hold a 29-4-2 bulge against McIntosh. The Lady
Tigers are 13-1 since the change to a fall season.
Team six on the list has been a lot of trouble for the Lady Tigers over the years. Linton is 21-12 all-time against the Lady Tiger. The girls beat Linton in 2004 and 2005 to draw to 14-12, but Linton (HMB now) has won seven straight years.
Timber Lake is next on the list with 31 games. The Lady Panthers have had some pretty good teams over the years, but have had little success against the Lady Tigers, who hold an overwhelming 26-3-2 lead. The Lady Panthers’ three wins came in two years. They beat the Lady Tigers twice in 2002 and once in 2008.
You would not expect that team eight would have so many struggles against the Lady Tigers. The Groton Lady Tigers have matched up against the Mobridge girls 29 times. Our Lady Tigers hold a 21-8 lead in the series. It has balanced out over the last few seasons. At one time Mobridge led 17-3.
The Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers and Lady Tigers have always had an intense rivalry, but the Lady Tigers have always held a slight edge. Roncalli won last year to close the gap to 16-12. That came on the heels of the Lady Tigers beating the Cavaliers for third at the state tournament in 2011.
Rounding out the top 10 is the Faith Lady Longhorns. Faith had one of the best programs in the state a few years ago. The series was tied a 9-9-3 after 2002. The Lady Tigers have won the last five meetings and lead 14-9-3 after 26 matches.
Not quite making the list are the team the Lady Tigers have had their best success against and two teams who basically owned them in the past.
The Lady Tigers have played the McLaughlin Lady Midgets 19 times and have won all 19 matches. Few have even been close. Broken down into sets, the Lady Tigers are 51-2.
During the ‘90s and early 2000s, the Lady Tigers won nine district titles and lost nine regions. The two teams that stood in their way were Redfield and Philip. The Lady Tigers are just 4-17 all time against the Pheasants and 12-12 all time against the Scotties. The Lady Tigers never got to exact any revenge on Philip. The Scotties won the last 12 times the teams squared off, the last being during the 2000-01 season. They beat Mobridge six times with a trip to state on the line.
Redfield beat the Lady Tigers 15 times in row from ’94 to ’03, including edging our girls 3-2 for a trip to state in 2003. After knocking out the Lady Tigers 15-7 in the rubber set, the Pheasants went on to win the Class A title. The Lady Tigers won two out of three in ’04 including a 3-0 whitewash in the Region 6A championship game. For some reason, the Pheasants quit playing us after that. We did meet them again as Redfield-Doland in the 2010 state tournament. The Lady Tigers went on to claim seventh place with a 3-0 win.
There is plenty more to the Lady Tiger volleyball history, but that will be for another time and another tale. What matters now is history that will be written by the 2013 team.