Clark Fork hangs on against Wallace

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE) Freshman setter Paige Valliere tips the ball over the net during the second set against Wallace on Thursday.

CLARK FORK — Early on it looked like Clark Fork volleyball was going to runaway from Wallace on Thursday night.

But the Miners persevered and fought to force a fourth set.

The Lady Cats didn’t waver though and in the face of adversity they secured a 25-18, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18 victory to remain undefeated in league play.

“We did really good in the first and second game,” Clark Fork head coach Michelle Valliere said. “The third game we let them serve a little too much on us and let them pick up their momentum so then we had to work harder in the third and fourth game.”

The only lead the Miners had in the first set was 1-0. After that it was all Clark Fork.

Clark Fork’s dominance continued in the second set as they jumped out to a 13-3 lead, forcing Wallace to call a timeout.

But just as the set looked over, the Miners battled back and pulled within striking distance at 19-14.

However, a timeout by Michelle Valliere a few points earlier helped the Lady Cats refocus and claim the second set.

The Miners run in the second set helped them build some momentum heading into the third and they used it to jump out to a 7-0 advantage. Clark Fork called a timeout to try and get back on track and eventually they did thanks to a couple of kills from senior outside hitter Ellie Kiebert.

But the early deficit was too much to overcome and Wallace won the third to avoid being swept at the hands of the Lady Cats.

Once again, the Miners jumped ahead early taking a 5-0 advantage in the fourth set. Clark Fork would make a run but about halfway through the set they found themselves down 14-8. Then the Lady Cats turned it on and went on a 17-4 run to grab the four set victory.

Freshman setter Paige Valliere had 24 assists, Kiebert finished with 11 kills and 11 digs and senior libero Aleehia Valliere grabbed 18 digs.

Senior Sophie McMahon added eight kills and five blocks and junior Grace Browne tallied five aces and six kills.

Michelle Valliere was pleased with how her team closed out the match.

“I was super happy they picked up their momentum and a lot of it is just owning the court ... and going for every ball,” she said, “and in the third game they kind of stopped doing that. In the fourth game, we stopped at the beginning and then picked it up at the end.”

The Lady Cats (8-1, 7-0) will compete in the Genesse Tournament this Saturday.

“There should be some good competition there,” Michelle Valliere said. “Higher district than us so we’re going to be playing bigger schools which will be good.”

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