Choteau High School Secondary Principal Wendi Hammond on Friday at noon announced that Choteau's volleyball matches with Florence-Carlton, set for Oct. 17 at 2 p.m., have been canceled.
The girls had been slated to travel to Rocky Boy on Oct. 15, but those matches were previously canceled because the Rocky Boy Reservation imposed a mandatory two-week lockdown on the reservation because of COVID-19 issues, starting Oct. 11.
Choteau’s matches with Great Falls Central Catholic are still on for Oct. 16 in Great Falls. GFCC is not allowing visiting fans to attend home matches.
The Choteau girls are now 12-1 overall and 8-0 in conference with only two weeks left in the regular season. The District 1B tournament is set for Oct. 30-31 in Fairfield.
Funk said she expects the Choteau girls to play hard against GFCC even though they beat the GFCC girls in straight sets earlier in the season. Funk said it is important for the girls to give 100 percent at each match and find ways during each match to continue to develop and improve their skills.
Florence-Carlton should give Choteau a very competitive match, Funk said. The team has a great coach, a well established program and even though they lost a couple of talented seniors to graduation, the younger girls moving into those starting positions will be solid players.
“We are just looking forward to another week. Every time we get another match, we are just thankful,” Funk said.
The Choteau girls handled the Cut Bank Lady Wolves with a straight set win on the road. Choteau’s girls never let the Lady Wolves get in any of the three sets. As teams have all season, the Cut Bank girls struggled on serve receive and weren’t able to run their offense well against Choteau.
This was an ugly match, Funk said. The girls won the first two sets but were not playing well, she said. Finally, in the third set, the girls really started playing well, cleaning up little mistakes and doing a better job of executing both on offense and defense.
At home on Saturday, Choteau’s varsity girls started a little tight against the Broadwater County High School Bulldogs from Townsend, falling behind early in the set, and having to work their way back, tying the score at 13-13 and then fighting, point for point, for the 25-22 win. Townsend had a big height advantage on the Lady Bulldogs, but the Townsend girls were not able to capitalize on their stature.
“The girls played well,” Funk said. “I was really proud of them for fighting back and not giving in to that, and keeping going to pull that first one out.”
In that first set, Funk said, Townsend was blocking the Choteau girls, and they just couldn’t get their offense to flow. The girls continued to work hard to stay in the set and then did a better job slowing down attacks at the net. With Choteau’s lack of height, these girls won’t get a lot of stuff-blocks but they can slow down balls, defensively, and then play them up and score points off of them. In the second and third sets, Choteau did a great job of doing this and covering the floor.
The Townsend girls struggled to receive Choteau’s serve as the Choteau girls racked up five aces and many more points on unreturned serves that shanked off the hands of the hapless back row players. Choteau’s come-from-behind win in the first set seemed to shift the momentum from Townsend to Choteau, as the CHS girls put up 34 kills in the match to Townsend’s 17.
Choteau setter Christine Funk repeatedly set outside hitter Emma Gunderson, who pounded down 11 kills and middle hitter Ellie Lee who put down eight kills. Also scoring were outside hitters Abby McCollom and Sadie Grove and middle hitters Ada Bieler and Taylor Asselstine.
Choteau got great serving from Funk, Bieler, Soren Cummings, Gunderson, Anna Stutz and McCollom in the win.
The Choteau girls were up for the Townsend match, hoping to get a straight-set win, showing how much they have improved this season from their first match-up with Townsend, which they won in a 3-2 set nail biter.
The Choteau C squad and junior varsity teams were also successful against Cut Bank. The C squad girls won their match, 25-7, 25-8, 15-3, and the junior varsity girls prevailed, 25-5, 25-9, 15-9. The two squads also defeated their Townsend foes. The C girls won, 25-15, 25-16, 15-4, while the JV girls won, 25-15, 25-9, 15-6.
Choteau def. Cut Bank,
25-10, 25-18, 25-6
Choteau leaders — Aces 6 (Christine Funk 3, Soren Cummings 1, Abby McCollom 1, Asia Bouma 1); blocks 2 (Ellie Lee 2); assists 14 (Funk 13, Emma Gunderson 1); digs 28 (Cummings 6, Gunderson 4); kills 20 (Lee 4, Gunderson 3, Ada Bieler 3, Funk 3).
Cut Bank leaders — Not available.
Choteau def. Townsend,
25-22, 25-9, 25-20
Choteau leaders — Aces 5 (Ada Bieler 2, Soren Cummings 1, Christine Funk 1); blocks 5 (Ellie Lee 2, Abby McCollom 1, Funk 1); assists 23 (Funk 23); digs 61 (Anna Stutz 12, Bieler 11, Funk 11); kills 34 (Emma Gunderson 11, Ellie Lee 8).
Townsend leaders — Aces 0; blocks 5 (Trinity Wilson 2, Kennedy Vogl 2); assists 17 (Emily Bire 15); digs 53 (Alleigh Burdick 12, Wilson 10, Havyn Vandenacre 10); kills 17 (Vogl 6, Becca Payne 4, Wilson 4).