Maiden volleyball opens season with a 3-0 win over rival Polson
RONAN – Two Mission Valley rivals started the 2018 volleyball season against one another on Tuesday, August 28, when the Ronan Maidens hosted the Polson Lady Pirates in their season opener.
Polson took two of the three meetings between these squads last season, including a match-up during the Northwestern A volleyball district tournament.
Ronan defended its home court and handed Polson their first conference loss of the season sweeping the Lady Pirates in straight sets 25-16, 25-23, 25-21.
“It is always a good feeling to get a win to start our season, especially against a rival school,” said Ronan Maiden head coach Charla Lake. “I look forward to playing Polson every year. Having school rivalries are important. They increase the energy of the games and make it more fun for the parents, fans and players.”
Ronan had some long scoring runs during the opening set, but it ended with the Maidens prevailing 25-16. Both teams traded points in the early going of the second match with the Lady Pirates taking a healthy 13-19 lead at one point before the Maidens stormed back to take the second set 25-23.
“I felt like the girls were starting to play more as a team,” said coach Lake. “The girls were tracking the ball well and making the big plays that might not have been pretty, but got the job done.”
In the third set, once again both teams battled back and forth trading points, and as the teams knotted a 20-20, the Maidens went on a 5-1 run to put the set and match away.
“It feels awesome to be back in the gym,” Maiden senior Kiana King said. “We are all so excited for the upcoming season. I think the win against Polson really helped with our confidence and team dynamic especially with them being our rival.”
King finished with three aces, tying Madison Clairmont for the team lead.
Tiana Ulutoa led the Maidens with nine digs and dished out 16 assist, while Madeline McCrea had a Maiden high of seven kills.
“Polson is a great team and it was definitely a good game. I think it was definitely fun to kick off the season with a little conference rivalry,” said Ulutoa for the Maidens. “I am very proud of everyone on my team and winning was an amazing feeling. We have all worked very hard over the summer and everyone has put a lot of time in for this upcoming season.”
For the Lady Pirates, Shea McGuiness led with a match high 17 assist, while Paige Noyes chipped in with a match high 15 digs. Mikaela Ducharme had seven kills and Olivia Perez accounted for three aces to lead the Lady Pirates.
The Maidens visit Polson on Saturday, October 6, a week prior to the beginning of the playoffs.