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Volleyball: LHS girls play well at starter tourney

by Western News
| September 1, 2009 12:00 AM

The Libby High School volleyball team had an encouraging start to the season on Saturday by winning six of eight games at the Whitefish Starter Tournament.

“We lost the first one and lost the last one and won all the games in between,” LHS coach Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said. “But that’s not what’s important over here. It’s that we got good playing experience with a new mix of kids.”

Ten teams participated in the tournament – split up into two five-team pools. Each match included two games to 25.

Only the host school – playing in the opposite pool – had a better record than the Lady Loggers at 7-1.

“They played really well at times, and not so well at other times. I thought overall, they did all right,” Ostrem-Johnston said of her squad. “We need to work on staying focused throughout a whole game, a whole match. We had some real ups and downs.”

Within its pool, the Lady Loggers swept two games over Browning (25-18, 25-16) and Belgrade (25-20, 25-14) and split with Polson (23-25, 25-20) and Stillwater Christian (25-17, 21-25).

Libby saw significant leads slip away on occasion.

“Eight-10 point leads, we blew them instead of taking advantage,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “We really need to work on finishing games.”

As she indicated during the preseason, Libby’s primary areas of concern revolve around communication and its serve receive. But after the tournament, she said, “I also saw some really bright spots in our play today.”

Libby played exceptionally well in the two games against Belgrade.

“I thought the kids played intense. They played hard and I liked that we were able to feed different hitters and that we had variation in our offense,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “We want to be able to set the ball to other hitters – that keeps the defense honest. We want all the hitters to be ready … Jackie Mee is the big gun, but we have good hitters around her, too.”

Mee led the Loggers in the kill department with 34 hits and a .365 attack percentage. Alysha Martin and Alex Kulbeck each had 15 kills with .443 and .294 attack percentages, respectively.  Overall, the team had a .218 attack percentage.

LHS had 24 serving aces with seven by Katie Emery, six by Mee and four by Maleena Sweet. Evi Cernick contributed 74 set assists. Logan Best had a team-high 24 digs to go along with 17 each by Martin and Mee. And at the net, Kulbeck had seven blocks and Emery added three.

Libby’s varsity will not play again until a Sept. 11 trip to Anaconda for another tournament.

Whitefish Starter Tournament

Saturday at Whitefish

Pool B Standings

Libby 6-2, Polson 6-2, Belgrade 4-4, Stillwater Christian 2-6.

Libby Results

Polson 25, Libby 23, Libby 25, Polson 20

Libby 25,Browning 18, Libby 25, Browning 16

Libby 25, Belgrade 20, Libby 25, Belgrade 14

Libby 25, Stillwater Christian 17

Stillwater Christian 25, Libby 21

Polson match moved to October

Libby High School’s volleyball matches at Polson have been moved to Oct. 22, activities director Wayne Baker announced.

LHS was originally scheduled to play on the Pirates’ floor on Sept. 1.

Also, junior varsity and freshmen/sophomore matches scheduled for Sept. 10 at home against Eureka have been moved up to Sept. 8. And the JV and freshmen/sophomore matches at Glacier on Sept. 8 were rescheduled for Sept. 22.