Lady Vikings handle Hot Springs in straight sets
DRUMMOND – The Lady Vikings followed up a sweep of conference rival Hot Springs in the season opener with a semifinal finish at the Drummond tournament Saturday.
After starting the season with a 3-0 victory over the Savage Heat at home Friday, the Lady Vikings went 4-2 in the morning play and won their first two matches of tournament play before running out of gas against the tournament host in the semifinals.
Charlo coach Sheryl Kain said that in the 15-5, 16-14 loss against the Lady Trojans that her team wasn’t moving and were caught standing flat-footed.
“I said at the beginning of the year that conditioning was going be the key to the season and by the end of the afternoon it showed that we still need to work on our conditioning,” Kain said.
Kain said that their lack of conditioning played more of a factor in the loss than the fact that the Lady Vikings started the season with only three of their starters really having played together a lot and Kinley Pope, one of those three starters, not being at the tournament.
“Conditioning, mental and physically played more of a factor than our inexperience,” Kain said, adding that the Lady Trojans had played together more than the Lady Vikings. “They know each other a little bit better than we do right now.”
The loss couldn’t diminish a good opening weekend for the Lady Vikings. After making a lot of unforced errors in a 25-18 season-opening victory against Hot Springs Friday, the Lady Vikings got the first game jitters out of the way and beat the Savage Heat 25-16, 25-13 the next two sets.
“In the first game adrenaline took over, but by the third game everybody had calmed down and started hitting the ball and finding the holes. They were actually trying to hit to the holes,” Kain said.
The Lady Vikings finished with 51 kills in the three-set match. Pope finished with a match-high 14, which was two more than the entire Savage Heat team.
Dawn Blevins dished out 23 of the Lady Vikings’ 45 assists in the match. Blevins and Pope also finished with two blocks apiece. Rachel Hoyt led the team with five of their 11 aces in the match.
The Lady Vikings met up with the Savage Heat again in Drummond during the pool play. After splitting with Lincoln (9-15, 15-6) and Arlee (15-6, 13-15) they defeated Hot Springs 15-6, 15-8 to earn a spot against Victor in tournament play. After beating the Lady Pirates 15-9, 15-5, the Lady Vikings beat the Scarlets 15-11, 15-8 to advance to the semifinals against Drummond.
The Lady Vikings finished with 84 kills at the tournament with Hoyt leading the way with 28. Blevins set up 61 of the team’s kills. Derika Stipe had nine of the team’s 22 aces and Royelle Esterby knocked down four of their 10 blocks.
The Lady Vikings (1-0) travel to Seeley Lake to take on the Lady Blackhawks Thursday.
Charlo def. Hot Springs
25-18, 25-16, 25-13
Kills - Hot Springs 8 (Hannah Retallick 5), Charlo 51 (Kinley Pope 14). Blocks - Hot Springs 0, Charlo 5 (Pope and Dawn Blevins 2). Digs - Hot Springs 44 (Lindsey Salmi 11), Charlo (not counted). Assists - Hot Springs 10 (Retallick and Salmi 5), Charlo 45 (Blevins 26). Aces - Hot Springs 8 (Retallick 5), Charlo 11 (Rachel Hoyt 5).
Charlo splt. Lincoln; 9-15, 15-6
Charlo splt. Arlee; 15-6, 13-15
Charlo def. Hot Springs 15-6, 13-15
Charlo def. Victor; 15-9, 15-5
Charlo def. Arlee 15-11, 15-8
Drummond def. Charlo 5-15, 14-16