Lady Dogs prepare for C-Falls rematch

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The Lady Dogs notched a pair of wins last week, but as head coach Addy Connelly noted, it wasn’t pretty.

Whitefish took down Polson in three sets last Tuesday before traveling to Ronan to face the Maidens on Thursday.

In their matchup with Ronan last month, the Lady Dogs were dominant, allowing the Maidens to hit double digits in just one of the three sets.

On Thursday, however, Ronan came to play, winning the first set 25-10 before falling in the next three sets 27-25, 26-25, 25-19.

Luci Ridgeway led Whitefish with nine blocks, while Marlee Bender and Kaiah Moore each accounted for eight of the team’s 30 blocks.

“We came away with wins, but we have some work to do. We’ve got to clean up our game a bit — we’ve been talking about that and how our season’s almost finished, and what we need to put into it,” Connelly said. “They got the job done but it wasn’t pretty.”

Moving forward, Connelly said she and her players know where they need to be better.

“I think our biggest thing is communication, and when the ball is on our side, taking care of it,” she said. “Passing the ball with precision, getting our feet set as setters and taking care of the ball as hitters. We’re hitting softly and we’ve just been working on that.”

This week Whitefish will get another shot at the rival Columbia Falls Wildkats in Thursday’s away game.

Last time the two teams met, Whitefish fell in sets of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-7.

Connelly said the keys for her team will be to control the Wildkats’ hitters while being smart on offense.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball with our serving and slow down their middles,” she said. “If we can take care of that servicing then we can get an offense going, and if we can slow their middles down defensively, then we’ll be able to transition that ball.”

Whitefish 3, Ronan 1

Kills — Whitefish 30 (Kaiah Moore 8, Marlee Bender 8), Ronan 36 (Madeline McCrea 14); Blocks — Whitefish 12 (Luci Ridgeway 9), Ronan 4.5 (Madeline McCrea 3.5); Assists — Whitefish 28 (Lauren Shultz 14), Ronan 32 (Tiana Ulutoa 18); Digs — Whitefish 46 (Jazmine Matern 12), Ronan 63 (Rylie Lindquist 13); Aces — Whitefish 8 (Ridgeway NA), Ronan 10 (Ulutoa 3).

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