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Volleyball: Glacier takes match on Libby's home floor

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Playing up a classification against the likes of Glacier, the Libby High School volleyball team had hopes of finding the type of rhythm that comes in handy with the stretch run approaching.

But the visiting Wolfpack never allowed the Lady Loggers to get in tune with one another in a 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory at Ralph Tate Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

“We just couldn’t put anything together and go on any runs,” LHS coach Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said. “With poor passing, it was hard to create any opportunities to run our offense.”

In the opening game, the Lady Loggers got off to a slow start, rallied to get back into it and then finished slow. Libby trailed 6-1 early but chipped away at the lead and got to within 16-15. Jackie Mee and Logan Best had a few good hits and Katie Emery put together a run at the service line to close the gap.

Glacier took over late, however, and answered with eight straight points to steal back momentum. Cami Mathison served during that Wolfpack run and by the time Libby stopped the bleeding, Glacier had game point and an insurmountable lead.

“They passed the ball pretty well and ran some stuff at us we don’t normally see,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “We just kill ourselves out there with mistakes.”

The Loggers battled back from a 7-3 deficit in the early going of the second game to eventually take the lead at 14-13. From there, the two teams exchanged points until the Wolfpack again took control late. With Paige Latimer serving, Glacier scored the final four points to put Libby in a 2-0 hole.

The Wolfpack got another battle out of LHS in the third game but persevered to get the sweep. Libby had a two-point lead early and later a 10-9 advantage but Glacier was too strong down the stretch. In the late going, the Loggers came back from a five-point deficit to within 22-20 with Mee serving. At that point, Tiffany Marks of the Wolfpack got a sideout with a kill and the Glacier then won the final two points.

Mee finished with 10 of the team’s 23 kills with Alex Kulbeck adding seven. Evi Cernick had 20 set assists while Best and Emery each had two ace serves. Libby had a pretty good performance at the net with eight blocks. Kulbeck led with five and Emery added three.

Libby’s 41 digs included 10 from Mee, nine from Best and eight from Alysha Martin.

The Lady Loggers took a 4-1 conference record and 6-3 overall mark into Thursday’s scheduled match at Polson, which was played after presstime. Libby will play in the MCPS Tournament in Missoula on Friday and Saturday.

“We need to step up and play at a higher level,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “Win or lose, we need to play as hard as we can and stay focused.”