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Volleyball: Polson defeats Libby in 3 games

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| October 5, 2009 12:00 AM

Back to work.

Following a loss in three games to Polson before a homecoming crowd on Saturday evening, the Libby High School volleyball team finds itself looking up at another school in the Northwestern A. The Loggers and Pirates entered the match with perfect conference marks but Polson made a statement in a 25-22, 25-21, 25-16 victory.

“We needed a wakeup call. … I think that’s more convincing than trying to tell them over and over again in practice that we have a lot of work to do yet,” Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said about the match. “They say you learn more from losses.”

The two teams were involved in a fierce battle in the opening game. Polson’s Nichole Davey even ran off a long serving streak with the Pirates scoring eight straight points. But Libby hung tough and pushed the Pirates to the end.

Polson jumped out to an 11-4 lead and held on late in the second game. Libby fought back to 23-20 with Katie Emery serving a pair of aces but the hole was too deep. A block at the net and a Davey kill ended the match.

“They didn’t lose anybody from last year … they’re playing consistent, they have hitters all the way around,” Ostrem-Johnston said about Polson. “In order for us to beat them, everybody has to play at their best.”

Unfortunately for the Loggers, the struggles continued into the third game. Libby could not find a groove against the experienced Pirates. Libby led 3-1 early with kills by Logan Best and Jackie Mee. But Polson took control with Davey serving to take an 11-5 lead. The Lady Loggers got back to within four at 20-16 only to see Polson finish strong.

“We struggled serving, passing and not picking up digs like we should have,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “We couldn’t run our offensive effectively because we couldn’t pass the ball.”

Libby served just 81.7 percent although Emery was a bright spot with four aces and 93 percent. The Loggers also had a season-worst serve-receive ratio at 1.60. Mee had nine digs with a 2.14 ratio and Alysha Martin added six digs.

Mee finished with a dozen kills and a .280 attack percentage to go along with four blocks. Martin had six kills and Alex Kulbeck added five kills. Evi Cernick finished with 24 assists.

Sallie Sams and Davey were big at the net for Polson with 10 and nine kills, respectively. Davey finished with nine aces along with 13 digs.

The Pirates lead the Northwestern A with a 6-0 record while the Loggers drop to 4-1. The two teams will meet again on Oct. 22 in Polson.

“We can learn from this and get the message that we need to be focused and be 100 percent whenever we step onto the floor in practice or wherever,” Ostrem-Johnston said.

Libby heads to Flathead on Thursday and will host Whitefish on Saturday.