Hot Springs seeded third at District 14C volleyball tourney

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The smile on the face of Hot Springs volleyball head coach Alisha Pablo tells you the Lady Savage Heat are playing well. They are focused on continuing that trend in the District 14C Tournament this Thursday and Friday at Hot Springs High School. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

Charlo seeded first, Arlee 2nd, Plains No. 4, Noxon fifth

By JOE SOVA

Clark Fork Valley Press

Only two of the six teams competing in the District 14C Volleyball Tournament this Thursday and Friday at Hot Springs High School advance to the Western C Divisional

Tournament in Manhattan next week, and the host Lady Savage Heat have their collective sights set on doing just that.

However, Hot Springs goes into district as the No. 3 seed. The Lady Heat face St. Regis, the sixth seed, in the first round of the District tourney at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. In the other first-round match, No. 4 Plains takes on No. 5 Noxon in the opener at 11:45 a.m.

Top-seeded Charlo and No. 2 Arlee have first-round byes. Charlo plays the Plains-Noxon winner at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, and Arlee goes up against the Hot Springs-St. Regis victor at 5 p.m. The tournament proceeds to the championship match at 6 p.m. Friday. This is a true double-elimination tourney, with teams battling to stay alive in matches earlier Friday.

They say it’s tough to defeat the same team three times in the same season in high school sports, and Hot Springs will have to do just that to advance and play Arlee in the semifinals. The Lady Heat swept St. Regis in both conference matches this season.

Hot Springs head coach Alisha Pablo is pleased overall with how her team has been playing in recent matches.

“They definitely need to keep doing what they’re doing, but be more positive with themselves and more confident,” Pablo said.

THE LADY HEAT put together a complete match last Tuesday in the regular-season finale, sweeping Darby 25-17, 25-10 and 25-8, in Darby.

“The first game we decided to dig a hole again,” Pablo said. “Then they just put everything together. They communicated well, they were moving well.”

Sydney Jackson set up most of Katelyn Christensen’s team-high 11 kills, and had 16 assists. Sage Jackson, the libero who is adept at helping the team make the transition from defense to offense, had 14 digs and four service aces. Christensen had four blocks.

Pablo is happy with that transition to the offensive attack.

“They’re really working hard to do that. They know what they need to do to keep all three hitters in the mix,” the coach said.

Last year, Hot Springs did not get beyond the District 14C Tournament, and that is the primary goal this week. Should the Lady Heat get a first-round win over St. Regis, they’ll have confidence against second-seeded Arlee.

“We knocked Arlee off (in five sets) last week (Oct. 11) and we’re going to have to do it again,” Pablo said as her team looks to qualify for the divisional tourney.

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