The Charlo Vikings volleyball team got an additional boost at the conclusion of its regular season when they defeated their conference rival Arlee.
The Vikings defeating Arlee in a closely contested match winning 25-23, 26-24, 25-23. According to the Lady Vikings’ coach Janelle Pruitt, the victory gave Charlo the additional boost it needed as they prepare to host the Western Class C District Tournament Oct. 26-27 at Charlo High School.
“Beating Arlee in the season finale was pretty great,” Lady Vikes’ coach Janelle Pruitt said. “This year’s district was so tight that it came down to a draw between us, Arlee and Plains, to see who would get the No. 1 seed.”
Pruitt said she felt drawing the No. 1 seed would be advantageous towards her team’s goal of moving forward to the divisional tournament. Last year, the Lady Vikings and Scarlets both qualified for a divisional birth.
“I think it helps a little bit and we will have to see how tight the district is,” Pruitt said. “It’s really not as significant as it normally would be because of how close our district is. Every match this year was a battle.”
One big key to the Lady Vikings’ late season run was the addition of defensive specialist Tearra Truman, according to Pruitt.
“Tearra brings a solid attitude and helps bring us a lot of flexibility,” Pruitt said. “She allowed us to add a left-handed hitter and alternate setter. We have a couple of key back row players that have a lot more floor time. We have one of the two best defensive specialists that allows us to get a little more floor time and have a little more flexibility for my rotation. It helps having them there.”
Pruitt said she felt her team is coming together at the right time of the season.
“I do think the team is coming around and moving together and this is right on time for districts,” Pruitt said. “The team communication has increased and our defensive play has been phenomenal the last three weeks that we’ve played.”
Like last season’s Lady Vikings team, Charlo makes up for their lack of height with their ability to jump.
“You know what I found this year is that we don’t have a height advantage and we have worked a lot on our timing, athletic ability and vertical jump,” Pruitt said. “With our ability to jump, they are getting there as high as those girls who are six-footers and I think that is an equalizer.”
Pruitt said she felt her team will have a “home court” advantage as they head into the district portion of their season.
“You know it’s an advantage,” Pruittt said. “We are going to have the home crowd and the home energy. That helps our team and is very advantageous.”
With Plains, Arlee, Hot Springs and Charlo, this is one of the most competitive districts they’ve seen in years. Unfortunately for two of the teams, it will be their last matches of the season as only two teams will advance from this talented pool.
“From talking to the coaches, refs, and ADs, this is the most competitive our district in about ten years and it’s going to be a good district to watch,” Pruitt said.
Charlo and Arlee hope to advance to the Divisional tournament Nov 2-4 at Manhattan Christian.
The following is a copy of the 2017 District Bracket that will be played Oct. 26-27 at Charlo High School: