Clark Fork beats Mullan in straight sets to open conference play

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After playing bigger schools over the past several weeks, the Clark Fork volleyball team opened up 1A Division II play against Mullan, sweeping the Tigers 25-18, 25-8, 25-17.

“It’s nice to play those harder teams, but it’s nice to go out and win in your league and not get distracted or feel bad because you’re losing to bigger teams,” Clark Fork head coach Michelle Valliere said. “I’m just excited to see that the girls were able to play at their level even though they were playing an easier team. A lot of times, you can play down to somebody else’s level and the girls did a pretty good job of not doing that tonight.”

In the past, playing up against 3A and JV teams from 4A and 5A schools has worked in Clark Fork’s favor. The Wampus Cats haven’t lost a set against league competition; they extended that undefeated streak by three matches on Tuesday night.

After starting slower than Valliere expected in the first set, the Wampus Cats broke open in the second set thanks to Ellie Kiebert’s team-high 10 kills and the widespread adjustment to playing against Mullan. Valliere then decided to sub in sophomores Caiya Yanik and Katelyn Matteson into the front row and the back row, respectively in the third set, which made the score closer than it would indicate.

“I just want to continue to grow our team and work hard so we have a good team next year,” Valliere said of the roster movement late in the game. “I see Caiya stepping into the middle position that Sophie McMahon plays now. She actually did a really good job tonight by leading the team with three blocks.”

Aleehia Valliere led the team with 14 digs, her younger sister Paige added 20 assists and Abbie Anderson served up four aces to round out the scoring.

Clark Fork will play at Lakeside this Saturday. The JV team will play at 3 p.m. with varsity to follow.

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