Scottie girls go distance, take second
BY J. LEVI BURNFIN COURIER SPORTS
Published: Thursday, November 1st, 2012
In the midst of the final winner-take-all match of the Scottie girls’ four-match day, 50-plus football players walked in to the Malta gymnasium to cheer on their volleyball team.
“It was so cool to be in the final match and have our football team, who had just had that killer win, stroll in and sit down and just take over the whole front of the bleachers,” said Lori Dailey, head volleyball coach.
The Scottie football team had just taken down a goliath in the football world in Fairfield and on their way home, stopped in Malta to see if the girls could get their own big win as they took on Plentywood for the third time in the district tournament.
Plentywood beat the Scottie girls in their first match up in the tourney in four sets, forcing Glasgow into a single losers’ bracket match against Malta, whom they swept in three sets.
That set up the Scottie girls for the first championship match against Plentywood. The Scotties would have to beat Plentywood twice in a row to claim the district tourney championship.
“They truly believed in themselves,” said Dailey, referencing her team’s determination.
The Scotties were the lone District 2B team to beat Plentywood this season and were confident they could do it again.
The first set was a fight of wills as the teams swapped points throughout the entire set. The Scottie girls were able to finally put it away 28-26. They had a bit of a let down in the second set and fell 25-20 but answered with two dominating sets, 25-14 and 25-18, to take the match.
That forced the second championship winner-take-all match. Glasgow came out with another dominating set-win, 25-15. Plenywood squeaked by in the second set 25-22 before Glasgow had a big let down in the third game, falling 25-13.
The girls stayed determined and were fighting back in the fourth set when the football team came in to cheer them on. It seemed to give the girls a bit of life as they went on to win 25-20.
The newfound energy was short-lived though, as they lost the tournament championship, 15-11, in a hard-fought fifth set.
“Both teams were kind of tired and we were going to do battle again 20 minutes after” the first championship match, said Dailey. “I think Plentywood just outlasted us in the last game.”
The Scotties took second in the tournament with Malta in third and Wolf Point placing fourth to round out the four bids into the divisional tournament in Choteau.
The Scotties swept Harlem in their first match and beat Wolf Point in four sets in their second match on their way to tournament championship. The win over Wolf Point was a bit of a hurdle for the Scottie girls as they lost to them both times they faced earlier in the year.
Placing second in the tournament puts the Scottie girls in a match against District 1B’s third-seeded team, Cut Bank. Cut Bank was 5-5 in district play and went 3-2 in the District 1B Tournament.
If the Scottie girls survive Cut Bank, they’ll be faced with heavy tournament-favorite Choteau. Choteau went undefeated in district play and has home-court advantage with the divisional tournament in Choteau.
It presents a very large challenge for the Scottie girls.
“Choteau’s ball-handling is impeccable and they have the best libero in the division,” said Dailey. “The game plan is to chip away at the ball-handling skills they have. We know we’re not going to have the height advantage so we’re going to have to be extra spot-on.”
Being able to beat Choteau would provide a huge boost for the Scottie girls as they vie for one of the three spots in the state tournament that are up for grabs at divisionals. With Choteau and Plentywood expected to win a spot each, it will most likely come down to Glasgow and Fairfield to battle for the third and final spot.
Fairfield has quite a bit of height according to Dailey. But the Scottie girls have had to overcome their lack of height all season, so that's nothing new.
"We need to have a diverse attack that can confuse opposing defenses," said Dailey.
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