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Polson shuts down Frenchtown on senior night

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Polson fans certainly got their money’s worth on Thursday night when the Lady Pirates played host to the Frenchtown Broncs for the “pink-out” and senior night. The Lady Pirates put on an amazing show for all of their fans, beating the Lady Broncs 25-22, 26-28, 27-25, 25-17.

“It was the best high school volleyball match I have seen in a very long time, on both sides of the net,” head coach Jan Toth said. “We had a huge crowd, and my girls were playing with a ton of emotion. My hitters pounded the ball harder than I have seen all year. Heidi Rausch lit up the court with her power and agility to get to any ball and to put that kind of power behind it, you knew the ball was going down.” 

Frenchtown coach Gypsie Ray said Thursday’s game was the best ball her girls had played all year. 

“They have some of the hardest hitters we have seen all year, too, and my defense proved again to be at their best,” Toth said. “In fact, I know we have the best defensive team around. I am always in awe over how hard they work to get balls up, especially when our block isn’t always slowing them down. I have the toughest girls around.” Senior Tanisha Matt was able to play gradually on senior night after coming off a bad sprain, which has kept her out for about a month. “She did great things when she was in,” Toth said. 

Sophomore Kaelen Wall has been playing for Matt and does a phenomenal job, according to Toth.

“(Wall) does everything we ask of her and more. She has a deadly swing and is not afraid to put power behind the ball,” Toth said.

On Friday, traveling to Libby for their final match did not prove as successful for the Lady Pirates, who lost the match 25-22, 16-25, 25-17, 18-25, 6-15.

 The Loggers were playing on adrenalin and emotion, as they were having their senior night. 

“We started out sluggish and it just didn’t get any better. As a whole, nothing was working; our hitters, with the exception of Rausch, could never find their groove.” 

Libby boasts one of the best liberos in the state, and Polson couldn’t find an open hole away from her. 

“With our mistakes and their diehard play, it just wasn’t our night,” Toth said. “It wasn’t from a lack of trying; my girls often try too hard, (and) it takes them out of the game mentally.” 

According to Toth, the fundamentals were working for her girls, but there were too many missed key serves and bad calls. 

The Lady Pirates travel to Frenchtown for the divisional tournament Thursday, and as Toth put it, “It really is anybody’s championship this year.”

“We have to come into divisionals with the attitude we displayed against Frenchtown, and we will be unstoppable,” Toth said.  

With the hometown advantage, Frenchtown will be a team to beat, and Polson will need a full, healthy roster. Jessica Hoel sat out against Libby, resting her knee and elbow, and Matt is playing more and more on her ankle but is far from 100 percent, Toth noted.  

Polson’s record is 8-7 and 5-3 in conference.

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