VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Libby stays unbeaten with win over rival Eureka

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LIBBY — Libby cruised in the first set and eked out close wins in the second and third to sweep rival Eureka 25-11, 25-23, 28-26 to kick off the school’s homecoming week on Tuesday night.

“That’s always a big win for the kids to win their homecoming matches,” Libby coach Cindy Ostrem-Johnston said. “Eureka’s a good, solid team. They use everything they have. They play smart. They play scrappy. I expect to see them do big things at the Class B state tournament.”

Brooklyn Rainer led the Loggers with 14 kills and just two errors and was 16-for-16 in the service game.

“She was the shining star out there,” Ostrem-Johnston said.

Libby, which trailed 17-9 at one point in the third set, rallied back to complete the sweep.

Jayden Winslow added eight kills and three aces for the Loggers, who improved to 13-0 overall and 9-0 in their conference.

Erynn Their tallied 12 kills for the visiting Lions (8-3, 4-0).

Eureka hosts Thompson Falls at 4 p.m. Saturday, while Libby closes out its home schedule at the same time on Saturday with a conference game against Ronan.

“We talk about minimizing errors, because that’s been a constant battle for us, making teams earn their points against us,” Ostrem-Johnston said. “It was a good match tonight. It was good for us to be challenged.”

Libby def. Eureka 25-11, 25-23, 28-26

Kills — Eureka 36 (Erynn Thier 12), Libby 32 (Brooklyn Rainer 14, Jayden Winslow 8). Blocks — Eureka 2 (Maggie Graves 2). Libby 8 (Mehki Sykes 6). Assists — Eureka 36 (Liz Pacella 35), Libby 29 (Alli Collins 26). Digs — Eureka 43 (Rylee Morgan 15), Libby 43 (Emma Gruber 11, Lindsey Walker 10). Aces — Eureka 5 (Avory Escobar 3), Libby 8 (Winslow 3).

Polson 3, Browning 0

POLSON — Polson coach Patti Luetzen lauded her seniors, saying the group is “putting it all together” as the season nears its end.

Tuesday night’s stat sheet should convince anyone skeptical of the assertion.

The Pirates’ three seniors — Kaelyn Smith, Kyler Lundeen and Laurel Bitterman — led the team in each of the four reported statistical categories in a 25-15, 26-24, 25-16 sweep of visiting Browning.

“I thought the girls played consistent,” Luetzen said.

Smith recorded 15 kills for Polson, while Lundeen notched 11 digs. Bitterman led the squad in assists (16) and aces (4) to help improve the Pirates’ conference record to 4-5.

“It’s the second half of the season, and we beat them in five (sets) in the first half of the season,” Luetzen said of her team’s performance. “I think you can call that a pretty objective measure of improvement.”

Polson travels to Stevensville at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Polson def. Browning, 25-15, 26-24, 25-16

Browning — Kills 15 (Olivia Hall 4, Jordan Taylor 4). Blocks 5 (N/A). Digs 32 (Peyton Crossguns 13). Assists 15 (Hall 12). Aces 3 (N/A).

Polson — Kills 32 (Kaelyn Smith 15). Digs 36 (Kyler Lundeen 11). Assists 24 (Laurel Bitterman 16). Aces 12 (Bitterman 4).

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