Lady Cats cap off season with eighth place finish at state

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE) Senior outside hitter Abbie Anderson attempts to hit a shot over the net during the district championship match against Mullan on Oct. 26.

LEWISTON — Heading into the 1A Division II state tournament, Clark Fork volleyball’s goal was to make it to the second day of state.

Unfortunately, the Lady Cats (12-5) were unable to accomplish that and lost both of their matches Friday at Lewiston High School to finish eighth at state.

Clark Fork was swept in both matches and failed to win a set at state.

In their opening match against Rockland, the Lady Cats fell 9-25, 19-25, 14-25.

Head coach Michelle Valliere said her team was affected by nerves early on against Rockland.

“I think a lot of the girls were in shell shock,” she said. “Only four of them had been down and played at state before.”

Michelle said her team picked up their play in the second set of the match but gave up a little bit in the third when the game looked over.

North Star League MVP and senior outside hitter Ellie Kiebert led the team with seven kills and 16 digs in the match. Freshman setter Paige Valliere notched 17 assists and sophomore Caiya Yanik had three blocks.

In the second match, the Lady Cats battled but couldn’t quite overcome Tri-Valley and lost 17-25, 7-25, 22-25.

Kiebert tallied six kills and four blocks, Paige had 17 assists and senior libero Aleehia Valliere grabbed 14 digs.

Michelle said her team had a hard time at state partially because they don’t get the chance to play teams similar to the ones they see at state during the regular season.

“Its super hard because we don’t have a lot of competition in our league and we go down there and these teams ... are playing at a lot higher level,” she said.

Michelle said she has already started thinking about scheduling tougher opponents next season and mentioned Timberlake, Kellogg, Coeur d’Alene Charter and Post Falls JV as possible options.

The Lady Cats team this year was made up of five experienced seniors and a handful of younger players looking to make their mark. Michelle said the girls did a great job of coming together this season and working hard.

“I feel like we were finally just getting comfortable with each other out on the court and starting to make some more stuff happen out there and then the season ended,” she said. “They should be proud of what they were able to accomplish and hold their heads high.”

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