Volleyball: Missoula tourney primes Libby for postseason

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The Libby High School volleyball team took 4th place at the Missoula County Public Schools Invitational last Thursday and Friday.

The October 18 and 19 tournament saw the Class ‘A’ Lady Loggers in heated matches against Class ‘AA’ teams for the Championship.

“Overall I felt like we competed well and gained valuable experience from playing against tough teams to take into postseason tournaments,” Libby Head Coach Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said by email.

Ostrem-Johnston called the team’s serving “solid” with 93 percent for team serving over the course of the 24 sets they played during the tournament. Senior Lynsey Walker led the team, landing 99 percent of her 94 serves, and none of the Lady Loggers fell under 88 percent.

Seniors Mehki Sykes and Jayden Winslow led the team on kills once again, with 82 and 63 respectively for the tournament. Senior Jessika Jones held her own at the net as well, bringing off 50 kills and 4 blocks.

Sykes led the team on blocks with 12, with senior McKenzie Proffit following with 6.

Ostrem-Johnston noted that the team had an overall good attack percentage with .219.

Though senior setter Alli Collins didn’t have as many attacks as Sykes and Winslow — who had percentages of .289 and .261 respectively — she pulled off a .467 attack percentage.

Collins also set up 205 assists over the 24 sets, and led the team in aces with 12.

Senior libero Emma Gruber pulled off 101 digs for the team, followed by Winslow with 87. Gruber also had nine aces over the course of the tournament, and had 96 percent for her 91 serves.

With the Missoula tournament concluded, Libby now heads into the postseason, with their first test against familiar competitors at the Northwestern ‘A’ District Tournament in Libby running today and tomorrow at Libby High School’s Ralph Tate Memorial Gym.

Libby’s first match will be at 6 p.m. against the winner of Ronan vs. Polson (2 p.m.). The winner of that match will play in the championship match at 3 p.m. Saturday. Leading into the championship match, Whitefish will play Browning at 4 p.m. Friday, and the winner will face Columbia Falls at 8 p.m. to determine who will play in the championship match.

Undefeated in the Northwestern ‘A’ district and with only one regular season loss, the Lady Loggers are the top-ranked team going into the tournament, followed by Columbia Falls (8-2 Conf, 10-3 overall) and Whitefish (6-4 Conf, 7-5 overall).

Regardless season records, both the Wildkats and Lady Bulldogs have given Libby fierce competition during the regular season. In their most recent matches, the Lady Loggers won against both teams in three sets, but those sets were among the closest-scoring of Libby’s regular season.

MCPS Invite

Thursday Oct. 18

Pool play (9-5 sets, 3rd place)

Libby split vs. Hellgate (AA), 15-20, 20-10; split vs. Corvallis (A) 13-20, 20-12; split vs. Flathead (AA) 20-9, 15-20; loss vs. Helena Capital (AA) 11-20, 15-20; win vs. Polson (A) 20-10, 20-5; win vs. Big Sky (AA) 20-15, 20-15; win vs. CMR (AA) 20-12, 20-13

Friday, Oct. 19

Championship (2-2, 4th place)

Libby loss vs. Helena High (AA) 20-25, 18-25; win vs. Glacier (AA) 25-15, 25-23; win vs. Florence (B) 25-21, 19-25, 15-12; loss vs. Flathead (AA) 16-25, 25-17, 11-15

Oct 18-19 stats

Team 39 ace, 234 kill, 215 assist, 21 block, 300 dig; Alli Collins 12 ace, 8 kill, 205 assist, 4 block, 20 dig; Sheyla Gallagher 10 kill, 3 assist, 2 block, 6 dig; Jayden Winslow 4 ace, 63 kill, 2 assist, 4 block, 87 dig; McKenzie Proffitt 21 kill, 6 block, 4 dig; Mehki Sykes 82 kill, 12 block, 5 dig; Ashlynn Monigold 4 ace, 26 dig; Kylee Quinn 8 ace, 2 dig; Linsey Walker 2 ace, 2 assist, 37 dig; Jessika Jones 50 kill, 4 block, 12 dig; Emma Gruber 9 ace, 3 assist, 101 dig

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