Lady Hawks just short of state B qualification

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  • Thompson Falls sophomore Riley Wilson (6) sets up an attack during the Lady Hawks’ semifinal match against Florence at the Western B Divisional Tournament last Friday night in Florence. Jody Detlaff (8) is in the background. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Lady Hawks senior libero Maya Stiles awaits a serve during last Friday’s semifinal match against Florence during the Western B Divisional Tournament. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Thompson Falls teammates huddle after scoring a point against eventual champion Florence during the Western B Divisional Tournament last Friday. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Lady Hawks front row players Ellie Pardee (12), Brooke Bowlin (4) and Jody Detlaff (8) prepare for a potential block during last Friday’s Western B Divisional semifinal match against Florence. Scarlette Schwindt (3) and Riley Watson (6) are in the back row. The Lady Falcons swept Thompson Falls and beat Deer Lodge for the tourney title. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Thompson Falls sophomore setter Riley Wilson watches the ball into her adept hands during last Friday’s match against Florence. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

  • Thompson Falls sophomore Riley Wilson (6) sets up an attack during the Lady Hawks’ semifinal match against Florence at the Western B Divisional Tournament last Friday night in Florence. Jody Detlaff (8) is in the background. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Lady Hawks senior libero Maya Stiles awaits a serve during last Friday’s semifinal match against Florence during the Western B Divisional Tournament. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Thompson Falls teammates huddle after scoring a point against eventual champion Florence during the Western B Divisional Tournament last Friday. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Lady Hawks front row players Ellie Pardee (12), Brooke Bowlin (4) and Jody Detlaff (8) prepare for a potential block during last Friday’s Western B Divisional semifinal match against Florence. Scarlette Schwindt (3) and Riley Watson (6) are in the back row. The Lady Falcons swept Thompson Falls and beat Deer Lodge for the tourney title. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Thompson Falls sophomore setter Riley Wilson watches the ball into her adept hands during last Friday’s match against Florence. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

All a high school volleyball coach can realistically ask from his or her players is to be playing your best when tournament time rolls around, and to “leave it on the floor” each time you go out to compete.

Thompson Falls may not have qualified for this week’s Class B State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman, but the Lady Hawks did finish the season with a flourish.

The Lady Hawks closed out the regular season with a five-set win over a strong Bigfork team before sweeping Troy on Senior Night. That set the stage for more good things to come at the Western B Divisional Tournament last Thursday through Saturday in Florence.

T-Falls had a great day Thursday, opening with a four-set victory over Deer Lodge (Powell County) before sweeping Anaconda in three close sets in the quarterfinals.

Rested and ready, the Lady Hawks went up against a homestanding Florence team that had not lost a dual match all season, finishing fifth in the AA-dominated Missoula tournament.

T-Falls started strong, with the first set tied 3-3, but the Lady Falcons reeled off 10 unanswered points to take control, winning 25-10.

The Lady Hawks battled back from a 9-4 deficit to tie in the second set, but Florence pulled out to a 20-14 lead — largely due to strong net play from a bevy of Lady Falcons. Florence took a 2-0 lead with a 25-17 win.

T-Falls led 12-9 in the third set, playing ever-so-scrappy defense for a solid transition to offense. But Florence got its mojo going and advanced to the title match with a hard-earned 25-19 victory.

THE LADY Hawks were still “a win away” from a state tourney berth, needing another victory over Deer Lodge on Saturday morning. T-Falls stormed to a 25-5 win in set one. After a Wardens win, T-Falls went up 2-1. But Deer Lodge — a team with seven seniors — took the next two games, 25-23 and 15-11 to advance to face Florence in the championship match.

Florence won the divisional title in a sweep — 25-11, 25-16, 25-10.

“They gave it their all,” T-Falls head coach Sandra Kazmierczak said. “They had a great season. The girls were very happy (with their play) and I’m very proud of them.

“We started the season with a younger group of kids. They had a lot of potential. They reached their peak at the right time,” she said. “They’re such a good group of kids who played well together.”

T-Falls has just two seniors — libero Maya Stiles and Sarah Detlaff.

“Our leadership from the two seniors was great … their work ethic and encouraging the kids to step up,” Kazmierczak said. “They will be missed. They’re always very positive kids.”

SCARLETTE SCHWINDT, just a freshman, was most often the leading hitter for T-Falls. “She had a great season with her hitting. She’s a great all-around player.”

The coach also had praise for sophomore Riley Wilson, the team’s primary setter, and she lauded Stiles for her back-row play and sophomore Jody Detlaff as middle blocker.

Getting wins over both Bigfork and Troy just before the Western Divisional Tournament was a huge stepping stone to success.

“From that point the players started thinking, ‘we can do this together.’ They had their goals set … Coming in third (place) is an accomplishment. They had a fantastic season.”

THOMPSON FALLS MATCH SCORES & STATISTICS

T-Falls def. Deer Lodge 25-16, 25-12, 20-25, 25-21

T-Falls stats — Kills: 42 (Scarlette Schwindt 14). Assists: 29 (Schwindt 7). Digs: 109 (Maya Stiles 28). Blocks: 14 (Belle Cooper 5). Aces: 5 (Schwindt 2, Stiles 2).

T-Falls def. Anaconda 25-18, 25-22, 27-25

T-Falls stats — Kills: 23 (Schwindt 10). Assists: 8 (Schwindt 4). Digs: 53 (Stiles 20). Blocks: 8 (Jody Detlaff 5). Aces: 8 (3 tied with 2).

Florence def. T-Falls 25-10, 25-17, 25-19

T-Falls stats — Kills: 10 (Schwindt 4). Assists: 9 (Riley Wilson 8). Digs 38 (Stiles 13). Blocks: 2 (Schwindt, Cooper). Aces: 2 (Stiles, Bowlin).

Deer Lodge def. T-Falls 5-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11

T-Falls stats — Kills: 52 (Brooke Bowlin 18). Assists: 50 (Wilson 47). Digs: 58 (Stiles 18). Blocks: 7 (Detlaff 3). Aces: 17 (Schwindt 9).

Western B Divisional

Nov. 1-Nov. 3 at Florence

(Two teams advance)

Thursday

Match 1: Florence def. St. Ignatius 25-10, 25-14, 25-16, first round

Match 2: Bigfork def. Missoula Loyola 23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 18-25, 15-8, first round

Match 3: Anaconda def. Eureka 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-10, first round

Match 4: Thompson Falls def. Deer Lodge 25-16, 25-12, 20-25, 25-21, first round

Match 5: Florence def. Bigfork 25-6, 25-13, 25-15, second round

Match 6: Thompson Falls def. Anaconda 25-18, 25-22, 27-25, second round

Friday

Match 7: Missoula Loyola def. St. Ignatius 25-22, 25-18, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12, loser-out

Match 8: Deer Lodge def. Eureka 25-19, 25-11, 25-20, loser-out

Match 9: Missoula Loyola def. Anaconda 25-23, 25-17, 25-22, loser-out

Match 10: Deer Lodge def. Bigfork 19-25, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16, 15-13, loser-out

Match 11: Florence def. Thompson Falls 25-10, 25-17, 25-19, undefeated semifinal

Match 12: Deer Lodge def. Missoula Loyola 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, loser-out (Missoula Loyola gets fourth place)

Saturday

Match 13: Deer Lodge def. Thompson Falls 5-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11, loser-out (Thompson Falls gets third place)

Match 14: Florence def. Deer Lodge 25-11, 25-16, 25-10, championship

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