Set up for success

Taci Watkins had a team-high eight kills for St. Maries Oct. 19 in a win over Orofino.

St. Maries’ volleyball team did not get the start it wanted Oct. 19.

But with their home court at stake, the Lumberjacks overpowered Orofino Oct. 19, clinching a perfect 4-0 league record and ensuring they would play their district matches in St. Maries Thursday and Saturday.

The Jacks will watch Grangeville and Orofino battle in the first match Thursday before taking on the winner in the evening’s second contest.

“Whichever team that wins the title is going to have to work for it,” Coach Rachele Fischer said after her team’s 19-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-14 win. “All three teams have had close matches against each other. We will need to have consistent serving, be scrappy on our defense and capitalize on our attacks.”

Following Thursday’s matches, top-seeded St. Maries will face the winner of Grangeville and Orofino in a rematch Saturday. Two wins, one Thursday and one Saturday, would send the Lumberjacks to state, while a split would force a final winner-take-all match Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Taci Watkins recorded a team-high eight kills Oct. 19 in the girls’ win over Orofino and Sami Badgett had 13 digs as St. Maries came back from an opening-set loss to win the next three.

“We started the night slow and had some defense and serving errors,” Coach Fischer said. “We were able to get momentum going through game two and that carried over. We had some girls step up and that was great to see.”

Monday’s win marked the third CIL match in five days for St. Maries, which got past Grangeville Oct. 17 by a score of 25-23, 25-11, 25-16 two days after defeating Orofino 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19.

The girls started the week Oct. 13 with a five-set battle against Timberlake.

The Tigers won the first meeting between the two teams in September in five-set fashion.

In the rematch, it was St. Maries overcoming a one set-to-two deficit to take the win, 25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13.

“They are a well-coached team that made us work for the win,” Coach Fischer commented. “It was a fight back and forth and we were able to capitalize on some errors at the end.”

Sofia Holmes had seven kills and Sami tallied 26 digs in the win.

Upcoming: St. Maries (7-4, 4-0 CIL) plays the winner of Grangeville and Orofino Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The district championship match begins Saturday at noon. A loss in either Thursday or Saturday’s matches would force a winner-take-all Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 – St. Maries 3, Orofino 1

SM 19 25 25 25

OHS 25 20 11 14

Hammond – 18 as., 5 aces; Watkins – 8 kills; Badgett – 13 digs; J. Martin – 2 blk.

Oct. 17 – St. Maries 3, Grangeville 0

SM 25 25 25

GHS 23 11 16

Hammond – 21 as.; Miller – 8 kills; Badgett – 13 digs; Miller – 3 blk.; Brebner – 3 ace

Oct. 15 – St. Maries 3, Orofino 1

SM 23 25 25 25

OHS 25 20 23 19

Hammond – 27 as.; Miller – 15 kills, 2 blk.; Badgett – 27 digs; J. Martin – 2 ace

Oct. 13 – St. Maries 3, Timberlake 2

SM 25 22 22 25 15

TL 21 25 25 19 13

Hammond – 18 as., 4 ace; Badgett – 26 digs; Holmes – 7 kills; J. Martin – 3 blk.; Miller – 3 blk.

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