The Polson-Ronan rivalry began its first-ever chapter as conference opponents Saturday afternoon at the Ronan Events Center.
The Maidens, who transitioned from Class B to Class A starting the 2017 season, won the first match of the season defeating Polson 23-25, 27-25, 25-20 and 27-25.
Ronan coach Charla Lake, a former Ronan volleyball player, said her players were “excited,” to get the opportunity to play Polson in a meaningful conference competition.
“I think we are all excited to renew the Polson-Ronan rivalry in volleyball,” Lake said. “We haven’t played them in quite a few years. We really did a good job starting the year off strong by renewing the rivalry between the neighboring schools pumping the student body up for the upcoming games.”
Louetta Conko-Camel, who finished with 30 kills on the match, led the Maidens in kills. Madline McCrea had a block and Madison Clairmont finished with 102 digs. Setter Tiana Ulutoa finished the match with a total of 24 assists. The Maidens finished the match with a total of eight aces with Dailee Deluarenti, Marissa Mock and Ulutoa finishing the match with two kills each.
Polson Pirate head coach Patricia Luetzen said she is still in the process of shuffling her lineup and her team is still getting acclimated to the 6-2 format. Luetzen said her goal for her team is to solidify her roster by the mid-way point of the season. Luetzen is still matching the right combination.
Luetzen said her Lady Pirates still need to work on their efficiency but her team has showcased the ability to fire aces. The Lady Pirates finished with a team total of 13 aces and Kyla Blixt was responsible for half of the service aces. Blixt fired six of the team’s 13 total aces in the victory.
Luetzen said she was pleased with the performance of Paige Noyes and Blixt’s ability to serve.
Luetzen also said she got good production from her middle hitter Kaelyn Smith. Smith finished the match with a total of 16 kills, and Kyler Lundeen had 37 of the team’s 77 digs.
One of the Lady Pirates key components continues to be Jaycee Fryderlund, who finished with 17 of the team’s 23 assists.
Luetzen’s assessment of Ronan is that they will continue to be a difficult conference opponent throughout the years. Luetzen has already seen evidence of teams making the successful jump from Class B to Class A competition. Last week at the Frenchtown Tournament the Libby Lady Loggers captured first and went undefeated in the tournament. Luetzen has also acknowledged Browning to be another formidable opponent as Polson prepares to play Whitefish.
“Ronan is very athletic and they are a very young team,” Luetzen said. “That combination is very concerning when we play them in the future and they will be entering into a bigger pool of competition for some of their younger players moving up a class.”
Lady Pirates fall in three to Frenchtown
The Polson Lady Pirates lost to Frenchtown in three games 9-25, 25-21 and 25-19.
Polson was led by Smith who finished with five kills, Kyler Lundeen had eight digs, Jaycee Frydenlund finished with six assists and Kyla Blixt finished with four of the team’s eight recorded aces.
The following are statistics from Ronan and Polson matches this week:
Stevensville def. Ronan 3-0
Stevensville def. Ronan 25-13, 25-10, 25-11
KILLS – R7 (Madison Clairmont 4), S25 (Angel Richards 9, Prestley Robinson 8). ACES R4 (Louetta Conko-Camel 2), S19 (Robinson 8). ASSISTS – R6 (Tiana Ulutoa 6), S19 (Quinn Larson 19). BLOCKS – R3 (Madeline McCrea 2), S7 (Richards 3). DIGS – R32 (three with six), S18 (Cassi Kopsa 16). (Th31Aug17)
Ronan def. Polson 3-1
Ronan def. Polson, 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 27-25
KILLS – P30 (Kaelyn Smith 16, Mikaela Ducharme 9, Paige Noyes 3, Kyla Blixt 2), R30 (Louetta Conko-Camel 11). ACES – P13 (Kyla Blixt 6, Jaycee Frydenlund 4, Smith 2, Laurel Bitterman), R8 (Bailee DeLaurenti 2, Marissa Mock 2, Tiana Ulutoa 2). ASSISTS –P23 (Frydenlund 17, Bitterman 6), R28 (Ulutoa 24). BLOCKS – P4 (Ducharme 2BS, Noyes 2BS), R3 (Madeline McCrea 1). DIGS – P77 (Kyler Lundeen 37, Smith 14, Frydenlund 9, Kaylee Evertz 7, Bitterman 4, Noyes 3, Olivia Perez 2, Blixt), R102 (Madison Clairmont 21). (Sa02Sep17)
Frenchtown def. Polson 3-0
Frenchtown def. Polson 25-9, 25-21, 25-19
KILLS – Frenchtown 30 (Alivia Williams 10, Emilie Hinrich 10, Morgan Snow 10), Polson *14 (Kaelyn Smith 5, Paige Noyes 4, Mikaela DuCharme 3, Kyla Blixt). ACES – Frenchtown 6 (Kylie Willet 3), Polson 8 (Blixt 4, Noyes 2, Smith, Jaycee Frydenlund). ASSISTS – Frenchtown 32 (Willet 32), Polson 11 (Jaycee Frydenlund 6, Laurel Bitterman 5). BLOCKS – Frenchtown 8 (Alivia Williams 4), Polson 1.5 (Smith 1BS+1BA). DIGS – Frenchtown 17 (Maddy Bollier 17), Polson 20 (Kyler Lundeen 8, Bitterman 5, Smith 3, Frydenlund 2, Ducharme, Noyes). (Th31Aug17)
Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant between daily newspaper writeup and online postings: P12K (Noyes 3K).