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Florence heads to Western B Divisional

Senior Cassie McCann makes a kill during the championship against Loyola at the District 6B seeding tournament. She said her team is ready for tournament action and wants to return to Bozeman to the State Class B tournament. Jean Schurman photo

The Florence Lady Falcons will be the No. 1 seed at the Western B Divisional volleyball tournament this week in Eureka. With only one loss this season, the young in years team looks to repeat as the divisional champion and make a return trip to Bozeman to the Class B state tournament.
Coach Jeff Mahler said his team is ready for the post season and looking forward to tournament play. The mindset for tournaments is a little different and players need to be able to bounce back quickly after each match.
Florence was the host on Saturday for the District 6B seeding tournament with teams from Deer Lodge, St. Ignatius, Loyola and Florence competing. The tournament was to determine seeding at the divisional tournament since all four teams will advance.
Florence played Deer Lodge in their first match. The Lady Falcons easily defeated the Wardens in three games. Freshman Megan Byrne stepped in for her older sister, Courtney, and led the team with seven kills.
Florence def. Deer Lodge, 25-12, 25-15, 25-12.
Kills – Florence 20 (Megan Byrne 7), Deer Lodge 9 (Delaney Knuchel 3). Blocks – Florence 12 (Melody Maki 5), Deer Lodge 7 (Natalie Glisson 3). Digs – Florence 52 (Taylor Maricelli 21), Deer Lodge 22 (Lacie Thomas 7). Assists – Florence 18 (Makenzie Bauck 13), Deer Lodge 9 (Ivy Duncan 3, Savannah Schalk 3). Aces – Florence 4 (Bauck 2), Deer Lodge 4 (Thomas 2).
Florence then took on Loyola in the championship match. As with any Florence/Loyola competition, excitement and emotions always run a little high. But the Lady Falcons were all business and defeated the Breakers in three games. Byrne was again the kill leader with seven kills.
Mahler said his team has been working on the little things that Loyola capitalized on in the last game. “The mistakes were costing us a lot of points. We just did our jobs.”
Florence def. Loyola, 25-20, 25-14, 25-21.
Kills – Florence 26 (Megan Byrne 7), Loyola 12 (Kiernan Haggarty 6). Blocks – Florence 6 (Samantha Mitchell 2, Melody Maki 2), Loyola 5 (Sam Manley 4). Digs – Florence 81 (Taylor Maricelli 27), Loyola 18 (Manley 6). Assists – Florence 26 (Makenzie Bauck 22), Loyola 11 (Brittany Finch 9). Aces – Florence 10 (Casey Mann 4), Loyola 5 (Emily McCue 2).
Cassie McCann, one of two seniors on the Florence team, said her team had practiced really hard the last week. Now that tournaments are here, she said they have a new mindset. “We have a new goal now. We’re all helping each other.”
She went on to say that although the team is young, it is the same team that made it to Bozeman last year and so they know what to expect.
Florence will take on Troy in their opening match on Thursday.

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