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Lady Vikings, Lady Pirates enter volleyball divisional postseason

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HOT SPRINGS – Class A Polson Lady Pirates and Class C Charlo Lady Vikings will both continue their volleyball seasons with divisional appearances starting this weekend.

On Thursday, the Arlee Scarlets and Charlo Lady Vikings fell in the first round of districts. Arlee fell in straight sets 26-24, 29-27, 26-24 to the Hot Springs district tournament host. The undefeated Charlo Lady Vikings fell to Plains in four sets 27-25, 20-25, 25-20 25-23.

Lady Viking head coach Rhondell Volinkaty said: “We started out extremely flat. Our passing wasn’t on point, and we had a tough time getting the ball through their blocks. Losing is always hard to swallow and can be even tougher after having an undefeated regular season. I think dropping the first match against Plains helped us turn on the fire and come back strong.”

Arlee bounced back on Friday to defeat Noxon 25-13, 25- 23,20-25, 25-11. Charlo also won their first game of the day against St. Regis 25-14, 25-12, 25-11. In loser-out matches, Charlo ended Arlee’s season in four sets 25-15, 17-25, 28-26, 25-23. Charlo also won against Hot Springs with a score of 12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18. The wins sent Charlo to the championship in a rematch against Plains.

“Aside from that loss, the girls bounced back and got back into their rhythm,” Volinkaty said. “With the long road they had to take, I could see that all of the hard work and conditioning that we did all season truly paid off. Four full matches isn’t an easy feat.”

In Friday evening’s district championship game, Plains prevailed in a five-set battle 17-25, 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 18-16. The Lady Vikings finished second in the district and grabbed a berth in Thursday’s divisional tournament in Manhattan.

“After the loss on Thursday, I told the girls that we had a lot of work to do on Friday and it was going to be a true test of discipline and courage to fight back to get to the championship,” said Volinkaty. “I asked each one of them to give me their hearts and leave everything they had on the court and to trust each other. They rose to that and I couldn’t be more proud of their marathon second place finish.”

In Libby on Friday, the Lady Pirates defeated the Ronan Maidens 3-1 to open the Northwest A district volleyball tournament. Saturday, the Maidens season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Columbia Falls. The Lady Pirates captured a fourth-place district finish and a divisional berth by defeating Browning 3-1 while falling 3-0 to Columbia Falls. Thursday, the Lady Pirates travel to Whitefish for a divisional match against Corvallis at 4 p.m.

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