Pioneer Days volleyball tournament has another large turnout

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PIONEER DAYS volleyball participants Garrett Lazaro (left) and his cousin Lily Ilac (left) attempt to dig a volleyball during the Ronan Pioneer Days Sunday afternoon at Ronan City Park. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

There is a cliché that is applicable when referring to summer outdoor athletic tournaments such as the Ronan Pioneer Days volleyball tournament Sunday afternoon at the Ronan City Park.

Anyone can, will and does show up at events that can alter the competitive complexion of the tournament.

Charla Lake’s cousin Katie Glaze, who used to play NCAA Division I volleyball at the University of Houston, was one of those elite college players that made an appearance in the volleyball tournament.

Garrett Lazaro, who was here from Utah visiting family, was another player participating in the volleyball tournament.

“I just found out about this tournament the day of,” Lazaro said. “I was visiting my cousins, and I just jumped in and starting playing on their team.”

Lazaro said he felt the Pioneer Days was good for the community.

“It actually gets all of the neighborhoods involved and it just shows us what Montana has to offer,” Lazaro said. “Montana has a lot to offer with beautiful lakes and scenery, and that is why I keep coming back every year to hang out in Montana.”

Lake, who was a player for Ronan from 1999-2004, said she felt the Pioneer Days volleyball tournament wouldn’t be a success without all of the help of her volleyball players and coaches that volunteer their time to make the 12-team tournament a success.

“The fact is our little volleyball family of girls shows up at 8 on a Sunday morning to help me showcase a lot of character and dedication to our volleyball family when you need it,” Lake said.

Lake remembers the first year of the tournament that was a struggle and is now a far cry from where the tournament began.

“We were struggling to get it going when we first started,” Lake said. “Now, our competition is growing and we have players come from all over to participate in this event.”

The proceeds made from the Pioneer Days go to support the volleyball club.

“I think this really helps at the start of the season for our team building,” Lake said. “It’s a great way to end the summer and have fun. It’s a healthy event for people to be a part of these types of things for adults.”

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