Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Whitefish battles among the best at Blocktober

by BRANDON HANSEN For the Pilot
| October 18, 2023 12:00 AM

Whitefish got plenty of work in at the Blocktober Classic, coming in among the top of the attending 26 teams in the two-day tournament in Butte on Friday and Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs played the majority of the tournament without two starters, and Brooke Zetooney had just returned to the lineup after an injury.

"I enjoyed the Blockbuster tournament as we got to see all but one Class A school from the state," Whitefish Head Coach Addy Connelly said. "It's a lot of volleyball and helps set us up for tournament play. The format really pushes the girls mentally to play a good game when they are tired. I'm really excited for the postseason."

Whitefish went 6-2 in pool play on Friday to place third in its bracket due to a head-to-head loss to the second-place team. This advanced them to the championship bracket.

Whitefish lost to Polson 25-19, 25-21 in the first bracket game, but bounced back and defeated Havre 25-15, 29-31, 15-10. The Lady Bulldogs then defeated Anaconda 34-32, 28-26 to advance to the 5th/6th game, where they fell to Jefferson 25-12, 27-25.

"Looking at stats Brooke Zetooney and Izzy Hartwig played well over the weekend however, every game had a different player that stood out," Connelly said. "The leadership role made its way around the team. Each player had key plays that helped us come out on top quite a few different times. Ainsley Scott led well and ran a great offense."

Zetooney had 57 kills over the tournament, posted 18 blocks, and had six aces. Izzy Hartwig led the team with 64 kills to go along with 14 blocks. Myli Ridgeway posted the most digs for the Lady Bulldogs with 99 while also having 21 kills.

Ainsley Scott dished out 88 assists, while Kaydence Blackwell had 65. Ainsley Scott had 47 digs and Kaydence Blackwell had 46.

"I loved seeing the growth and team dynamic this weekend," Connelly said. "The girls played with a lot of heart and character. There were times we were down seven, eight, nine points, and we came back to win by a few points. That's hard to do in volleyball. Our focus moving forwards is to come out ready to play and stay focused the entire match."

Whitefish will host rival Columbia Falls Thursday, October 24, beginning at 4:15 p.m., and after play-in games, the Western A Divisional Tournament will occur at the beginning of November.

Lady Bulldogs Fall To Frenchtown

Whitefish fell to Frenchtown in five sets on Tuesday, October 10 by scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 12-25, 7 -15.

Isabella Hartwig had 15 kills for the Lady Bulldogs, while Bailey Smith added 10, and Mylia Ridgeway had nine.

Ridgeway and Nayvee Miller each had two aces, while Ridgeway and Hartwig each had three blocks, and Miller and Smith had two.

Maggie Mercer led the team with 26 digs, and Ridgeway and Smith each had 17 digs. Kaydence Blackwell had 10 digs. Ainsley Scott had 20 assists for the Whitefish offense, and Blackwell had 14.

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