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HAMILTON — The Lady Pirates battled valiantly in the Western A divisional tournament in Hamilton, but came up just shy of a win in a loser-out, game-four contest against their own northwestern rival Whitefish Lady Bulldogs.

Going in ranked third in their NW district behind Whitefish and number-one ranked Columbia Falls, Polson was immediately nipped 3-0 by powerhouse Corvallis, sending them in the wrong direction on the bracket.

But the Lady Pirates battled in five sets to claim victory over Stevensville on Thursday followed by a 3-1 win against Dillon on Friday.

That brought them to the contest of their lives in a loser-out match against their local Whitefish foes. The first set extended into extra points as the teams rallied, but the Bulldogs pulled out the 28-26 win. 

In set two, middle hitter Lauren Lefthand rolled her ankle and was out for the rest of the competition. Sophomore Kaelyn Smith replaced her and kept the team playing at that higher level, but momentum was lost in that set and Polson lost by another small margin, 22-25. 

Yet the Lady Pirates refused to give in and lit the afterburners in a marathon third-set victory.

“In set three we didn’t want the season to be done; it took thirteen more rallies beyond the 25 point end to win 35-33,” Luetzen said.

In the final set, Whitefish advanced to the state tourney 19-25, winning the match 1-3. 

Yet throughout, the ferocious Lady Pirates tallied more kills, aces and blocks than Whitefish.

“It was exciting to compete with that much team and individual intensity in the state berth match against Whitefish,” Coach Patricia Luetzen said. “All teams prepare to play at their highest level at the end and we achieved that goal.” 

One of the Lady Pirates’ points of emphasis this year was a “reset” mindset when following an error, according to Luetzen.

“Our play this entire tournament reflected growth in this area —definitely a life-skill,” she said.

Luetzen recognized seniors Marlee Congdon, Shawna Lenz, Julia Sanderson, Nichole Lake, Lydia Dupuis, and Erin Sampson for holding their teammates and themselves to high standards in respect to team concept and player relationships. 

“These girls are a class act,” Luetzen said.

Divisional Tournament results

Thursday, Nov. 5 game one

Corvallis def. Polson 3-0

Polson – Kills 18 (Chadelle Smith 5, Haley Fyant 7) Aces 5 (Lydia Dupuis 2, Hannah Fryberger 2), Blocks 4 (Chadelle Smith 2), Digs 29 (Dupuis 9, Carlee Congdon 6), Assists 18 (Erin Sampson 18). Corvallis – Aces 17 (Taia Tully 5, Holly Wilson 5), Kills 37 (Hannah Capko 13, Tully 9), Assists 36 (Wilson 32), Digs 56 (Wilson 12, Ashley Davis 12, Tully 12), Blocks 7 (Genesis Keith 3).

Thursday, Nov. 5 game two

Polson def. Stevensville 3-2

25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 13-25, 15-12

Polson – Kills 43 Chadelle Smith 14, Haley Fyant 14), Aces 10 (Hannah Fryberger 5, Lydia Dupuis 2), Blocks 7 (Lauren Lefthand 4, Hayley Fyant 3). Digs (Shawna Lenz 11, Haley Fyant 10, Lydia Dupuis 10), Assists 43 (Erin Sampson 42). Stevi – Kills 53 (Mariah Hinson 16, Tori Scotthorn 15), Blocks 9 (Scotthorn 4, Hinson 3), Digs 95 (Abby Austin 26, Hinson 18), Aces 12 (Rylee McCoy 4, Hinson 4), Assists 46 (McCoy 45, Hinson 1). 

Friday, Nov. 6 game three 

(loser out)

Polson def. Dillon 3-1

15-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-18

Polson – Kills 47 (Smith 15, Fyant 15, Lefthand 9), Aces 8 (Sampson 4, Congdon 3), Blocks 4, Digs 49 (Congdon 14, Dupuis 11, Lenz 8)., Assists 40 (Sampson 40). Dillon – Kills 29, Blocks 5, Assists 28, digs 77, Aces 15.

Friday, Nov. 6 game four 

(loser out)

Whitefish def. Polson 3-1

28-26, 25-22, 33-35, 25-19

Polson – Kills 57 (Fyant 27, C. Smith 17, K. Smith 5, Nichole Lake 5), Aces 11 (Shawna Lenz 3, Lydia Dupuis 3), Blocks (Fyant 3, C. Smith 2, K. Smith 2, Lake 2), Digs 56 (Congdon 14, Dupuis 12, Lenz 9), Assists 52 (Sampson 52). Whitefish – Kills 54, Aces 10, Blocks 7, Digs 72, Assists 54.



THOMPSON FALLS — Ronan opened the divisional tournament in Thompson Falls with a three-set loss to the hosting Blue Hawks.

In the contest Ashley Peterson scored six on kills while Wirz fought for 17 of the team’s 48 digs. Tania Ulutoa led serving with four aces and Shaina Snyder had seven of 10 assists. Lee Camel blocked twice.

Ronan battled Eureka to five sets but ended their season with a 3-2 loss in the loser-out game.

Nov. 5

Thompson Falls def. Ronan 15-25, 17-25, 18-25

Ronan — Kills 11 (Ashley Peterson 6, Lee Camel 2, Alicia Camel 1, Silye Pete 1, Shaina Snyder 1) Digs 48 (Sadie Wirz 17, Tania Ulutoa 9, Jordyn Clairmont 8, Peterson 5, Snyder 4, Bri Harris 3, Pete 1, A. Camel 1) Aces 9 (Ulutoa 4, A. Camel 2, Wirz 1, Harris 1) Assists 10 (Snyder 7, Clairmont 2, L. Camel 1) Blocks 2 (L. Camel 2).

Nov. 6 (loser out)

Eureka def. Ronan 3-2

No other stats reported

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