The Libby High School volleyball team had another winning weekend, with the varsity team going four sets for the win against Columbia Falls on Friday and again against Whitefish on Saturday.
The Lady Loggers had a sweep Saturday against the Lady Bulldogs, with the froshmore, junior varsity and varsity team all taking hard-won wins.
Both teams did well at the Western ‘A’ Tip-Off Tournament August 24 and 25, Libby Head Coach Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said. “Both of them are good teams — good, solid teams.”
“It was good to get the win in four, even though we did have a lot of unforced errors,” Ostrem-Johnston said Saturday. “We ended pretty solidly in that last set.”
Ostrem-Johnston said the first set against Columbia Falls stood out as well.
“Everything was flowing out there. They were just in sync,” she said.
Ostrem-Johnston said she wants to see the girls move more in that direction, becoming more of a “well-oiled machine” as the season progresses.
What errors the team did deal with, she said they mostly need to work on mental toughness and focus.
“They have the skills,” she said. “I think it just kind of gets in their heads.”
But with how significant momentum is in volleyball, Ostrem-Johnston said the challenge is maintaining focus and energy throughout.
“It’s hard to stay at that level the whole match,” she said.
Senior Mehki Sykes towered over the net on both nights, taking top place for kills with 20 of 49 on Friday and 23 of 53 on Saturday. She also led on blocks, smacking down six on Friday, and had the only two blocks for the entire team on Saturday.
“We got in a rut, but we came out of it,” Sykes said after the win against the Lady Bulldogs. “We came out strong, and smiling. The most important thing, we had fun.”
On assists, senior Alli Collins lead the way in setting her team up for success, with 39 of the 41 team assists on Friday and 50 of 51 on Saturday. Collins also led in aces on Friday, scoring on four serves against the Wildkats out of 12 aces for Libby
Senior Jayden Winslow had top place for the Lady Loggers with aces on Saturday, serving up three of the team’s eight, and was just behind Collins on Friday with two.
Wherever their minds may go on the court, when talking about the match Saturday, Sykes and Winslow both responded by commenting on how well their team played, rather than their personal performances.
“We played really well as a team,” Winslow said. “And even though we dropped that third set, we came back in the fourth as a way better team than we started as.”
Ostrem-Johnston expressed excitement for what the season has in store for the Lady Loggers as they improve over the coming weeks.
“They’re just a great group of girls. They’re working hard and having fun together, and we’re just going to keep working to get better throughout the season,” she said.
Libby’s next match is tonight at home against Flathead, with the froshmore game scheduled for 4:15 p.m., junior varsity at 5:45 and varsity at 7:15.
Libby (1-0) 3, Columbia Falls 1
Sets: 25-16, 25-27, 27-25, 25-9
L: 12 ace, 49 kill, 41 assist, 9 block, 72 dig
Alli Collins 4 ace, 39 assist, 8 dig; Sheyla Gallagher 1 kill, 1 dig; Jayden Winslow 9 ace, 14 kill, 23 dig; Kenzie Proffitt 7 kill, 1 dig; Mehki Sykes 2 ace, 20 kill, 6 block, 3 dig; Ashlynn Monigold 1 ace, 7 dig; Linsey Walker 2 ace, 6 dig; Jessika Jones 1 ace, 7 kill, 2 assist, 1 block, 6 dig; Emma Gruber 18 dig
Libby (2-0) 3 Whitefish 1
Sets: 25-18, 25-13, 23-25, 25-15
L: 8 ace, 53 kill, 51 assists, 2 block, 62 dig
Alli Collins 1 ace, 50 assist, 11 dig; Sheyla Gallagher 2 kill, 1 assist, 1 dig; Jayden Winslow 3 ace, 9 kill, 10 dig; Kenzie Proffitt 9 kill, 1 dig; Mehki Sykes 2 ace, 23 kill, 2 block, 2 dig; Linsey Walker 7 dig; Jessika Jones 10 kill, 7 dig; Emma Gruber 2 ace, 24 dig