Loggers fight off Maroons in tournament opener

Loggers fight off Maroons in tournament opener

WHITEFISH —  For the Butte Central Maroons, great wasn’t good enough this morning.

An inspired BC effort fell short in the opening match of the Western A Divisional Tournament. Libby, the No. 1 seed from the Northwestern A, knocked off the Maroons 25-22, 25-20, 25-14.

“We played some great volleyball this morning against a very tough Libby team,” BC coach Becky Hancock said. “It’s the team I have been waiting to see all year, and of all places this is where you want to be playing your best.”

The Maroons will play Stevensville in a loser-out match at 10 a.m. Friday. The Yellowjackets fell in three sets to Columbia Falls, which will play the powerful Loggers later today.

Once again, Butte Central got contributions from up and down the lineup. Cassidy Strizic led the Maroons with 11 kills and nine digs.

Marissa Anderson added seven kills, while Amira Bolton killed four and Allyson Mueller and Avery Kelly each spiked three. Emma Keeley’s 23 assists ran the BC attack, while Sophia Burton added eight digs. Kelly dug seven.

Hancock said the Maroons had a chance to win the first two sets, but BC just couldn’t put the victories away. She said she is optimistic heading into the match against Stevensville, the No. 2 seed from the Southwestern A. BC is the No. 4 seed from the same division.

“If we can continue to play that type of volleyball throughout the remainder of this tourney, we have a great shot of coming out in the top four,” Hancock said.

The top for teams in the double-elimination tournament advance to next week’s Class A State Tournament in Bozeman.

Central needs to win three matches Friday to make it to Saturday. Two wins will send the Maroons to state.

Libby def. Butte Central 25-22, 25-20, 25-14
— Kills 28 (Cassidy Strizic 11, Marissa Anderson 7, Amira Bolton 4, Allyson Mueller 3, Avery Kelly 3). Assists 24 (Emma Keeley 23, Avery Kelly 1). Blocks 4 (Kelly 1.5, Strizic 1, Anderson 1, Bolton .5). Aces 6 (Keeley 2, Mueller 1, Kelly 1, Strizic 1, Anderson 1). Digs 39 (Strizic 9, Sophia Burton 8, Kelly 7, Keeley 5, Sophie Sullivan 4, Anderson 4, Mueller 2).

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