The first step in the Lady Falcon’s post season trip is complete and they didn’t even have to leave their own gym. Florence was host to the 6B seeding tournament on Saturday. With only four teams in the district, the tournament sets the spots for the divisional tournament that will begin this Thursday in Eureka. The Lady Falcons have not lost in conference play and have only lost two matches this season.
Florence opened against Deer Lodge and quickly built up a lead in the first game. The Lady Falcons have a variety of hitters and offenses to run and they took full advantage of them during the first game against Deer Lodge. However, during the second game, the Wardens made some adjustments and were able to utilize their outside hitters a little better. Jaidyn Larsen and Emma Stensrud were a force at the net and stopped the run from the outside. Florence went on take the third game and win the match.
Florence met up with Anaconda in the undefeated championship match. Florence again took an early lead and rolled to a 25-14 win behind the serving of Sarah Hopcroft. It was looking like another win was in the books as Florence went on a 12-1 run before losing the serve. But then Anaconda went to work and climbed back into the match, trailing by only a couple of points a time or two.
“We need to work through our second game lulls,” said coach Christy Duchein. “Anaconda is a good team, they’re swinging, they’re trying to be smart. But we gave them a lot more points than what we should have. Once we found a way to clean ourselves up, we did ok.”
Hopcroft agreed and said, “they came in hot in the second game. They wanted to beat us. I just told them to focus, don’t get too frantic. We just have to play our game.”
Although the Florence team is a heavy hitting team. But they have adapted to those teams who can block and instead of hitting directly into the block, the Lady Falcons are looking for the open spot, or utilizing the soft tip over the block. As Hopcroft said, a kill is a kill.
Florence went on to dissect Anaconda in the third game, 25-7 and win the match. Duchein said they have a variety of hitters to run their offenses. “It gives us a different look and different options. You never know where it’s going to come from.”
Florence will be the top seed at the Western B Divisional in Eureka this week. The top two teams from that tournament will advance to the Class B State championship in Bozeman next week. Florence is the two time state runner up.
Eureka and Thompson Falls are two of the tougher teams from District 7B. Duchein said they have played each of the teams once this season but that they are both tough teams.
Florence def. Deer Lodge 25-7, 25-16, 25-19
Florence – Kills: 37 (Sarah Hopcroft 13) Assists 28 (Halle Christopherson 16), Aces 9 (Halle Christopherson 3, Jacklyn Balfourd 3), Digs 48 (Kolbi Wood 13), Blocks 4 (Emma Stensrud 3).
Deer Lodge – Kills 15 (Amy Fjell 3, Marion Jones, Nia McClanahan 3), Assists 11 (Fjell 10, Aces 3 (Skyla Pierson 3), Digs 0, Blocks 2 (Fjell 2).
Florence def. Anaconda 25-14, 25-21, 25-7
Florence: Kills: 22 (Sarah Hopcroft 9). Assists: 19 (Halle Christopherson 12). Aces: 14 (Emily Kinnaman 3, Sarah Hopcroft 3, Emma Stensrud 3). Digs: 49 (Kolbi Wood 14). Blocks: 3 (Jaidyn Larson 2).
Anaconda: Kills: 16 (Aubrey Tuss 6). Aces: 3 (Megan Reich 2). Digs: 57 (Malia Harris 20). Blocks: 5 (Briana Puyear 3).