Lady Dogs pick up two big conference wins

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After a shaky start to the season, the Lady Dogs are back on track.

Whitefish (2-1) picked up three-set wins last week over Polson and Browning under the leadership of new head coach Addy Connelly.

Connelly said it was relieving to get on the court and win some games.

“It was great,” she said. “The girls played hard and got after it and took care of business. It’s a good base to start on and I’m excited to move forward.”

Connelly came on as head coach last week following the resignation of long-time head coach Jackie Fuller due to internal conflicts on the team.

Against Polson, Cailyn Ross tallied 10 kills to lead both teams and Becca Catina led the team with 17 assists and three aces. Marlee Bender accounted for six of Whitefish’s nine blocks.

The Lady Pirates went down in three sets, 25-10, 29-27 and 25-13.

It was more of the same on Saturday against Browning.

Ross led the team with nine kills and Catina led in assists with 19. Serena Hemmingson tallied seven digs and Lauren Schulz recorded four aces.

“We won in three, pretty singlehandedly and we were able to get the entire bench in, so it was good to get everybody some practice and see where they’re at,” Connelly said. “It was a good time for us to kind of get together and really grow and move forward.”

“A good start for a new team,” she added.

Whitefish hosts the Wildkats of Columbia Falls Thursday for Homecoming. The Wildkats sit right behind the Lady Dogs in Northwest A conference standings with a 2-2 record.

Connelly said the keys for practice ahead of that game are just to fix the small details and get her players to give it their all without fear of making mistakes.

“It’s just more of the same, taking care of the little things,” she said. “Working together, not being afraid to make mistakes. If there are mistakes, making a good error. Taking care of those serves and our passing to get everything started on the right foot.”

That game will be at 7:15 p.m. in the high school gym.

Whitefish def. Polson: 25-10, 29-27, 25-13

Whitefish — Kills 28 (Cailyn Ross 10); Blocks 9 (Marlee Bender 6); Digs 64 (Serena Hemmingson 23); Assists 23 (Becca Catina 17); Aces 6 (Becca Catina 3).

Polson — Kills 16 (Kaelyn Smith 6); Blocks 2 (Individual leader N/A); Digs 50 (Kyler Lundeen 23); Assists 14 (Jaycee Frydenlund 6); Aces 5 (Paige Noyes 2).

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