The Choteau High School volleyball teams will play Broadwater County High School in a non-conference Homecoming tilt Thursday, Sept. 23.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, Choteau will host the mid-season tournament with Anaconda, Belt, Great Falls Central Catholic, Malta and Jefferson County High School.
Following the matches on Thursday, CHS sports teams, students, faculty and staff will attend the Homecoming bonfire. In a departure from past tradition, the bonfire will be for students and school staff only and is not open to the general public.
Coach Ann Funk on Monday said Choteau’s girls will work this short week in practice on preparing for the Broadwater High School Lady Bulldogs, who defeated the Choteau girls in an abbreviated pre-season tournament match.
Funk said she expects to drill the girls on blocking schemes, floor coverage and serve-receive on defense and to work with them on serving, setting/attacking schemes and passing on offense.
She said the girls will need to earn points off of their tough serving, put up solid blocks and play smart offense against the Townsend girls. Townsend has a height advantage over the Choteau girls and are athletic and well balanced.
In the mid-season tournament, varsity teams will play in the Choteau Elementary School and junior varsity and C squads will play in the high school gym. Play will start at 9 a.m. All teams in each group will play each other in abbreviated two-set matches with each set played to 25. Ties will be decided by a three-point rally set.
After all teams have played each other, they will be ranked and the first- and second-place teams in each division (varsity, JV and C) will play each other at 4:30 p.m.
Full-day admission will be $9 for adults and $6 for students. An evening pass (good after 2 p.m.) will be offered at $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Coach Funk said this tournament will give all the girls a lot of different volleyball play, particularly against Malta, Anaconda and Jefferson, who don’t play at Choteau regularly. “You’re going to see some different schools, and the younger kids get opportunities to see full days of play.”
In last week’s matches, Choteau defeated Cut Bank on the road. Choteau’s varsity beat Cut Bank, 25-14, 25-13, 25-9; the JV girls won, 25-13, 25-16, 15-3; and the C squad won, 25-21, 25-13, 5-8.
At home against Shelby, the varsity girls won, 25-14, 25-20, 25-10; the JV squad won, 25-13, 25-8, 15-6; and the C squad won, 25-20, 18-25, 15-7.
The varsity girls are now 6-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference.
Funk said the girls are continuing to improve as the season progresses. They are doing a better job of limiting communication errors and are learning to trust each other for floor coverage. While Choteau lacks height, the team has a number of players who are wicked hard servers. In the Shelby match, for example, Choteau scored on 10 aces and many more unreturned serves.
In the Cut Bank match, Funk said, she emphasized to the girls that she wanted them to win on their own offense and defense, not just on capitalizing on Cut Bank mistakes.
Against Shelby, Funk said the varsity girls played well overall, particularly on defense as they did a good job of handling Shelby’s attacks. The girls had a few serve-receive errors and on defense a service errors, but none of the errors were critical as the Choteau girls never really let Shelby threaten.
Funk said of Choteau’s tough serving, “I thought we did a good job of putting them in a position not to bring a good ball back at us.”
Choteau got good hitting from Ada Bieler, Taylor Asselstine, Sadie Grove and Emma Gunderson with good support from Bellamy Beadle, Josie Johnson, Maili Miller and Ella Peach.
Ella Stott continued to set for most of the rotations but Peach also rotated in to serve regularly.
When Choteau was leading, 17-2, in the third set, Funk put several of her younger players in and Ainsley DeBruycker came up with a big kill and Lily Heiberg with a textbook block as the two sophomores scored for their team.
Funk said the varsity squad has a good core group of players and the biggest area they need to improve is developing relationships on the court. “The more they play, the better that will become,” she said.
We have a good core group of kids, and the biggest thing for them is developing the relation ships on the court. They are still working on that. We have to work through that. The more they play together, the better that will come.
Choteau def. Cut Bank,
25-14, 25-13, 25-9
Choteau leaders — Aces 6 (Emma Gunderson 3); blocks 7 (Taylor Asselstine 3); assists 7 (Ella Stott 7); digs 31 (Katie Major 7, Ada Bieler 7); kills 22 (Gunderson 6, Bieler 6).
Cut Bank leaders — Unavailable.
Choteau def. Shelby,
25-14, 25-20, 25-10
Choteau leaders — Aces 10 (Ella Stott 4); blocks 7 (Ada Bieler 2, Josie Johnson 2, Lily Heiberg 2); assists 31 (Stott 23); digs 43 (Sadie Grove 12); kills 43 (Taylor Asselstine 14).
Shelby leaders — Aces 0; blocks 2 (ViVi McDermott, Cami Blevins); assists 13 (McDermott 12); digs 53 (Emma Taylor 13, Blevins 12); kills 15 (Blevins 5, Blair Luly 5).