Kats volleyball wins Tipoff Tourney in Butte to open season

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It was a great opening weekend in Butte for the Wildkat volleyball team as Columbia Falls went 6-1 to win the NW/SW Tipoff Tournament.

The Kats won nine of the 14 sets they played at the tournament, including taking two of three from Corvallis in the championship match Saturday.

“We celebrated the ‘W’ for sure, but are not satisfied. Our goal is to keep hitting practice hard, getting better at what we already do well, implementing some new things, and being more disciplined in the small things,” head coach Jolandie Brooks said.

The Kats opened the tournament by going 3-1 Friday as they downed Frenchtown, 25-10 and 25-16, Dillon 25-15 and 25-22, Butte Central 25-11 and 25-15 before falling to Corvallis, 20-25 and 20-25.

Saturday, the Kats defeated Hamilton 25-11 and 25-14 before splitting with Stevensville, 27-28 and 25-18 (C-Falls won the match via point differential).

As winners of the Northwest A pool, the Kats faced Corvallis, winners of the Southwest A pool in the title game.

The Kats trailed in all three sets against the Lady Blue Devils, but fought their way to wins in two out of three sets in the tight match to win the tournament, 25-23, 24-26, 15-14.

“They just kept working away and they made key plays at key times,” Brooks said about her team. “They are competitors who love to win.”

It was an exciting way to start the season for a team that Brooks has high hopes for.

“All of them, except our new sophomore middle, Grace Gedlaman, have been playing together going into their third year now. They play well together and they are fairly close off the court so you can see them playing for each other out there,” she said. “Our All-Conference, senior libero, Angellica Street, can read hitters extremely well and is a key defensive player for us. Our all-conference setter, Hannah Schweikert, is setting the best I’ve seen, and we have central offensive players in our outside hitters, cousins Mady and Dillen Hoerner, and our senior middle, Kiera Brown. Lauren Falkner is also critical for us. She is vital to not only our offense but is also a great, reliable all-around player.”

The Kats took on the Lady Indians in Browning after press time Tuesday and will be back in action next week as they host Libby Sept. 10 starting with the froshmore game at 4:15 p.m.

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