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After playing tentatively in two losses to start the match against Philipsburg, the Scarlets stopped worrying about making mistakes and came storming back against the Lady Prospectors to pass their first major test of a very young season.

Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time and playing the first official volleyball match in Arlee’s new gymnasium, many of the Scarlets looked nervous in their 21-25, 22-25 losses to start the match Thursday, but seemed to gain confidence with each point in their 25-13, 25-22, 15-13 comeback.

“I think we came out on our heels. It was our first game with our whole varsity team, so I think we were a little nervous, but when we started to realize that we did have what it takes to win we just started playing,” said Arlee setter Cortney Dix, who finished with 19 assists, five blocks and two aces. “We just decided that the only way to win was to take the next three games, so that’s what we did.”

“They just need to have confidence. Confidence will win the game for you. If you make a mistake, forget about it and go get the points back,” said Arlee coach Brian Big Sam, adding what better way to gain confidence by coming back from a 0-2 deficit to beat a team that won the opening Drummond tournament and should contend for the District 13-C title.

Once they stopped being afraid of making a mistake and stopped getting down on themselves when they did, the younger and inexperienced Scarlets started pitching in on the comeback – six of their seven players finished with kills.

“Once they got it through their head that they could let the last play go, everybody stepped up,” Dix said.

The diminutive, but hard-hitting Becca Nelson led the Scarlets’ attack with 11 of their 25 kills. Nelson’s final kill of the night gave the Scarlets a 14-11 lead in game five, which was the biggest lead in the back-and-forth game that was tied five times. Nelson also had a team-high seven aces.

After the Lady Prospectors pulled within a point, Maria Pablo ended the match with her fifth kill. Maria led the Scarlets with seven of their 30 digs. 

In their first starts of the season, Melissa Ivanoff finished with six digs, five kills and an ace and Cassandra Kline added five digs, two kills and two aces.

Summary

Arlee def. Philipsburg
21-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-22, 15-13

Kills - Arlee 25 (Becca Nelson 11), Philipsburg 27 (Shanna Johnson 12). Blocks - Arlee 15 (Cortney Dix 5), Philipsburg - 5 (C.J. 2), Digs - Arlee 30 (Maria Pablo 7), Philipsburg - 61 (Devyn Poser 13). Assists - Arlee 20 (Dix 19), Philipsburg 26 (C.J. 22). Aces - Arlee 12 (Becca Nelson 7), Philipsburg 13 (Jessie Metesh 6)

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