Lady Pirates, Maidens head to state competition
POLSON — The Polson Lady Pirates and Ronan Maidens clinched bracket spots in the upcoming girls Class A state volleyball tournament, which is scheduled to be held at the Sidney High School in Sidney starting on Thursday.
The Lady Pirates secured tournament play by battling the Hamilton Lady Broncs last Thursday. Lady Pirate Hallie Moss finished with a triple double in Polson’s five set 25-18, 17-25, 25-16, 20-25, 15-5 win over the visiting Lady Broncs.
Moss had 10 kills, 10 digs, 16 assists and two aces. Maggie Todd hammered 16 kills and 10 digs. Kobbey Smith chipped in with 12 kills, two aces and 13 digs. Berkley Ellis added 22 assists and four aces, and Ara Mercer had 33 digs for the Lady Pirates.
Also on Thursday, the Maidens found themselves playing on the road against the Corvallis Lady Blue Devils after clinching the last Western A divisional tournament spot by defeating the visiting Libby Lady Loggers in a loser-out play-in game, 29-27, 25-13, 25-14.
The Maidens swept the higher seeded Lady Blue Devils in three sets 25-17, 25-22, 25-18. Madeline McCrea paced the Maidens with seven kills, eight blocks and 10 digs.
Last Thursday’s tournament wins, by the Lady Pirates and Maidens, set up a Friday-night divisional playoff battle between the Mission Valley rivals. The hosting Lady Pirates prevailed over the Maidens in four sets 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 25-21. Todd led the Lady Pirates with 21 kills and 15 digs, followed by Smith who had 11 kills and 14 digs. Ellis delivered 10 digs and 18 assists. Mercer posted a game-high 47 digs.
For the Maidens, McCrea delivered 14 kills and eight blocks. Olivia Clairmont added 10 kills and five blocks. Leina Ulutoa recorded 26 assists, and Rylie Lindquist collected 27 digs.
The win secured Polson’s second consecutive State A volleyball tournament appearance and advanced the Lady Pirates into Saturday’s divisional championship game hosted by the Columbia Falls Wildkats.
The Maiden played a Saturday afternoon loser-out game at Frenchtown against the Lady Broncs. On Saturday, Ronan bounced back from the loss to Polson and staved off a postseason elimination to earn a state playoff bracket spot by defeating Frenchtown in four sets 24-26, 25-14, 25-20, 25-20. McCrea sparked the Maidens with 12 kills, three aces and nine blocks. Posting game-high stats for Ronan were Lindquist with 20 digs and Ulutoa 34 assists.
This week, both teams will travel the 600 plus miles to Sidney where Polson, the number two seed out of the Western A, opens state tournament action against Glendive at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Ronan will face Hardin, the number two seed out of the Eastern A, at noon on Thursday.