Volleyball teams open season with tip-off tournaments
Early season injuries didn’t stop the Charlo Lady Vikings from being a force to reckon with in their 2016 tip-off tournament Saturday in Drummond. Junior Sakoya Goustad and sophomore Allie Delaney, both starters for the Lady Vikings, were out with ankle injuries. Without two of their main players, the team was forced to communicate, according to Head Coach Cammie Evenson.
“I guess there is a silver lining in most situations,” Evenson said.
Charlo ended pool play in third place and took on Darby for the first tournament game. The Lady Vikings defeated Darby in the first two sets, which put the team in position to play Drummond.
“We started our game against Drummond with too many serving errors,” Evenson said.
Charlo lost the first set, but found redemption in the next two.
“The girls started the second game serving, passing, and blocking well; although our hitters did not connect, our defense came through,” Evenson said.
The Lady Vikings won the next two sets to beat Drummond, which sent Charlo to the championship game against Valley Christian.
“I have a lot of respect for the coaches and team at Valley Christian, they know who they need to get the ball to, and each player plays their role,” Evenson said.
Charlo won the first game, but Valley Christian answered back winning the following two sets.
“We ended the tournament in second to Valley Christian, a team that was better than us that day,” Evenson said.
Despite two of their starters out with injuries, Evenson was impressed with her team’s success and ability to adapt.
“This tournament is great, you get to play teams that you won’t see during the regular season, teams that will find your holes, your weaknesses, and highlight them,” Evenson said.
The Lady Vikings will travel to Seeley on Thursday, Sept. 1 for a 7 p.m. game.
In the first seven points of the opening game of the Lady Pirate’s season, senior outside hitter Chadelle Smith had already racked up four kills; however, in the following rally Smith tweaked her knee and was out for the rest of the tourney.
“It sounded like it was a mild MCL strain,” Head Coach Patty Luetzen said. “She is a huge piece of our team.”
Smith will most likely be back after a week’s rest, according to Luetzen.
“We had a chance to strengthen our team while she was out,” Luetzen said. “We luckily have some younger girls that stepped up to fill her role.”
Despite the rough start, the Lady Pirates found their rhythm by the end of the tip-off tourney in Whitefish this past weekend.
“We got a really good sense of what teams are going to be strong in our conference,” Luetzen said. “I am also impressed with how my seniors, Lauren Lefthand, Hannah Fryberger and Haley Fyant, played.”
In the first day of the tournament, The Lady Pirates fell to Corvallis 0-2, beat Hamilton 2-0, and split with Stevensville 1-1.
“We are an athletic team and had some impressive blocks this weekend that were more than I expected,” the coach added.
In the second day of games, Polson fell to Dillon and Butte Central early in the day, but answered back to beat Dillon in their final game.
“I feel like if we stick to our plan, we will be a competitive team,” Luetzen said. “I really feel like we have what it takes to be successful.”
The Lady Pirates will travel to Stevensville on Saturday, Sept. 3 for a 1 p.m. game.
With only two seniors starting for the Lady Bulldogs, the volleyball team is relying on lower class to step-it up. Head Coach Kendal Anderson is in her ninth season with Mission and is expecting a learning curve early in the season. “This group hasn’t really ever played together,” Anderson said. “Being on varsity is new to a majority of them and they have to get used to playing at this level.”
Freshman Karolyna Buck played in her first varsity tournament the past weekend and Anderson was impressed with Buck’s presence on the court. “Buck had the most attack attempts and wasn’t afraid to keep swinging at the ball,” Anderson said. “That is impressive for a freshman.”
Although a young team, Anderson has one senior who will be a leadership role in the 2016 season. “Ran’dee Charlo will be a role model on the court,” Anderson said. “She played all-around last year and stays very calm under pressure.”
The Lady Bulldogs competed in a tip-off tournament the past weekend and finished with a 5-7 record. “We still have a lot to work on, but I am excited to see the growth over the season.”
Mission will host Thompson Falls on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a 4 p.m. start