Hot Springs had a two-match split on the varsity volleyball court last week, with each match running the full gamut of five sets.
The Lady Savage Heat won the first two sets at Plains last Thursday, then lost the next two — allowing the match to go to a deciding game. Hot Springs controlled that one, winning by seven points. Set scores were 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 16-25 and 15-8.
Hot Springs rallied for a five-set win over Noxon on the road in early September, but the Lady Red Devils took the rematch, also in five games, on Saturday in Hot Springs. Scores were 19-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23 and 15-7. It was Noxon’s only match last week.
The Lady Savage Heat carry a 5-3 Western Division record into two key league matches this week — against division front-runners. They play Thursday at Arlee, then host Charlo for Senior Night on Saturday. Both varsity matches begin about 7 p.m.
Noxon, in fifth place in the Western Division, also has two divisional matches to go, playing this Saturday at Arlee (6 p.m. varsity) before hosting Charlo next Tuesday, Oct. 16 (7 p.m. varsity). The Lady Red Devils host a strong Clark Fork team this Thursday (7 p.m. varsity).
Those matches involving Hot Springs, Noxon, Charlo and Arlee will wrap up divisional play, and the outcomes will have a bearing on seeding for the 10C District Tournament Oct. 25 and 26 at Hot Springs High School. The top two teams have first-round byes, and it appears they will be Charlo and Arlee. Those team square off in Charlo on Oct. 18 to determine the No. 1 seed.
Lady Savage Heat head coach Alisha Pablo said her team “played OK” against Plains. “We like to dig our holes,” she said, seeing her squad fall behind 14-4 in the first set before ralling to win.
“They definitely showed some grit and never quit,” the coach said. “They didn’t give up working together.”
Pablo had praise for Savannah Roosma, who led the Lady Savage Heat with eight kills. “She played really well in the back row, too,” Pablo said, and she served well.
Sage Jackson had a “really nice game behind the (spiking) line,” the coach said. “She had nice digs and passing. She kept the game going with some pretty amazing saves.” Jackson, the libero or defensive specialist, had 22 digs.
McKennzie Cannon led Hot Springs in blocks with six, and she had four service aces. Sydney Jackson had 25 set assists.
HOT SPRINGS led Noxon two sets to one before the Lady Red Devils took the next two games.
“We really like playing against Noxon,” Pablo said. “They’re really a great ballclub. We usually play five (sets).”
It was a special night for the Lady Savage Heat and there were distractions.
“Homecoming, it kind of takes it out of a teenage girl,” Pablo said.
Delaney Weltz led the way for Noxon in the win. She led the Lady Red Devils with 19 big kills and four blocks. Riley Richter dished out 35 assists, and Madi Koonce led in digs with 20.
Katelyn Christiansen had a strong match against Noxon, leading Hot Springs with 16 kills.
Syndey Jackson dished out 27 assists against Noxon, and Sage Jackson had 31 digs. Cannon led in aces with seven.