Frenchie can hit. When Myriam Lebied-Julien signed on with the Buccaneer volleyball team, the freshman from Riom, France, nicknamed "Frenchie" by her teammates, expected to play as a setter. After all, that was her specialty. Or so she had been told. But it wasn't long after fall training camp began for the Dawson Community College women that Coach John Marble said Julien's talent as a hitter began to show. "We realized that she could contribute as an outside hitter," Marble said. "She reads the court very well and can find the open spot on the floor. She is super competitive.”
With three setters on the roster, Julien's transition to a hitter proved to be beneficial for the Lady Bucs and Julien, who put down a season-best 13 kills against Northwest College at the Toepke Center over the weekend. She had just four errors on 36 attempts.
"Sometimes I miss setting, but it's so good to hit, to play hard," she said. "I feel good when I hit hard and aggressive. Before I came, I wanted to play hitter, but I never had the chance to be. I do not regret playing hitter. I love it.”
Though the Bucs were not able to pull off the win against Northwest, Julien said she felt good about the game and her performance. She said she believes Northwest will win the Region IX championship, and she was proud of her team's level of competition. "The team played very well," she said. "We passed very well, served aggressive. We blocked and covered very good. We lost but we can be very proud of this game. We played like a team."
The Lady Bucs played their last home matches on Saturday, losing both to Northwest and Eastern Wyoming College.
"NWC is an excellent team," Marble said. "I felt like we played well against such a big and physical opponent. We hit well against their block." The Trappers swept the Bucs with scores of 12-25, 12-25 and 23-25. Against EWC, Marble said, his team lost momentum. Scores were 17-25, 15-25 and 22-25. "We started very strong in the first set and then just sat back and let the match happen," he said. "We have been talking about this a lot. While we are getting better with playing with consistency and intensity, we still have progress to make."
The two teams will match up again Friday, this time in Torrington, Wyo. "Eastern is a team we can beat," Marble said. "We are excited to play them again this weekend. We are planning and working toward a different outcome for our third meeting of the season." The Bucs played the Lancers in September at the Wyo-Braska Shootout tournament, held in Torrington and Scottsbluff, Neb.
On Monday, the Bucs finished up Mon-Dak Conference play in a tough match against Bismarck State College. Bismarck swept DCC with scores of 12-25, 13-25 and 17-25. Marble said low ceilings in the gym created a challenge, but the team also had a difficult time getting into the game. "They struggled to develop momentum and performed well below their capabilities," he said.
This is the last week of regular play for the Bucs. After their match up in Torrington Friday, they travel to Casper on Saturday.
The Region IX tournament is set for Nov. 4-7 in Riverton, Wyo.
More information and photos on the Buccaneer volleyball team is available online at www.dawson.edu/category/athletics/volleyball and on the Buccaneer Volleyball Fans page on Facebook.