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Lady Pirates, Maidens move on to state contest

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RONAN — The Mission Valley will be well represented as both the Polson Lady Pirates and the Ronan Maidens make their way to the 2021 State Class A Volleyball Tournament. The tournament starts Thursday and runs through the weekend in Bozeman at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Montana State University’s campus.

The Lady Pirates clinched a state tourney bracket spot by defeating the Maidens 3-1 during the second championship game of the double-elimination Western A Divisional tournament hosted in Ronan last weekend.

Winning momentum from the regular season carried over into divisional playoffs for the Lady Pirates as they made their way through the brackets. 

By defeating Hamilton 3-1 (22-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-22) and Dillon 3-0 (25-11, 27-25, 25-23) on Thursday and Corvallis 3-0 (25-18, 31-29, 25-23) on Friday, Polson secured a spot in the Saturday afternoon divisional championship with county rival Ronan.

The Maidens opened tournament action on Thursday with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-11, 22-25,25-15) win over Stevensville but fell 2-3 (18-25, 26-24, 7-25, 25-18, 12-15) to Corvallis in the late game.

In loser out action on Friday, the Maidens swept Hamilton in three straight sets (25-15, 25-22, 25-21.)

On Saturday, the Maidens battled their way into the tourney chipper by defeating Dillon 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21) and sweeping Corvallis in straight sets (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) during the consolation rounds.

Facing each other for the third time this season, rivals Polson and Ronan battled Saturday afternoon for the top spot in the Western A. 

The Maidens won sets one (25-17) and three (25-20), while Polson won set two (25-19) and four (25-14) forcing a fifth and decisive set. The Maidens came out on top, 15-12 in the final set to claim the match.

In the second championship game, the Maidens took the first set 26-24.

Regrouping, the Lady Pirates shifted the game’s momentum winning the next three sets (25-15, 25-22, 25-23) to win the Western A Divisional championship.

“The girls played their butts off today,” said divisional runner-up Maidens’ head coach Lacey Phelan. “I want to give credit to every girl on the team. Every girl went in this weekend and contributed in some way. Four games in a row could have toppled any team but those girls stayed strong mentally and physically.” 

On Thursday, Ronan opens the state tournament against Havre, while Polson plays the winner of the Miles City and Hamilton game.

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