By Ryan Divish
Scrappy was how teams from the Western A were described coming into the State Class A volleyball tournament. It couldn't be more true as the Libby Loggers fought, scrapped and shocked top-ranked Lewistown in quarterfinal action at the Havre High gymnasium.
After taking the first two games from Lewistown 26-24 and 25-18, the Loggers dropped the next two games bringing a fifth and deciding game.
Libby prevailed 17-15 in a tense, emotion filled fifth game for the upset.
Anika Spencer had a stellar 17 kills and 17 digs in the victory for Libby. Spencer's teammate Kelli Brumbaugh added 17 digs and seven aces for the Loggers.
Lewistown got 11 kills from standout Alicia Mannin while Lesly Richter added nine kills in the loss.
Libby will face the Whitefish Bulldogs, who also pulled off a bit of an upset over the Dillon Beavers, in tonight's semifinal at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs also needed to five games to put away a talented Dillon squad.
Allison Fey had a solid all-around match for Whitefish with 10 kills, 17 digs and six aces in the win. Fey's teammate Dana Lauridsen chipped in with nine kills and 16 digs for the Bulldogs.
Lewistown def. Columbia Falls 25-11, 25-18, 25-16
In the opening game of the first round the top-ranked Lewistown Eagles had little trouble with Columbia Falls as the Eagles defeated the Wildcats in three straight games.
Dani Buehler led the way for the Eagles with 14 kills and one block. Alicia Mannin chipped in with eight kills and Lauren Tognetti had 35 assists. Andria Harris led Columbia Falls with four kills and two aces. Cealie Brumwell had 10 assists and two aces.
Libby def. Billings Central 25-18, 25-18, 25-18
In the second match of the morning session Libby had no trouble with Eastern A champ Billings Central, dropping the Rams in three straight games.
Nicole Rowan led the Loggers with 10 kills, one block, and eight digs. Danni Armstrong added 31 assists and four aces in the win.
Billings Central was paced by Kate Waage with eight kills, 13 digs and one block.
Whitefish def. Livingston 25-16, 25-19, 25-16
In the afternoon session, the Whitefish Bulldogs needed just three games to defeat the Livingston Runnin' Rangers.
Aericka Dunn had six kills, and two blocks for Whitefish while Brandi Buckless had 11 assists, two aces. Maryl Baldridge added nine kills in the win.
Livingston got 12 kills from Lindsay Lyman in the loss.
Dillon def. Colstrip 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 20-25, 15-11
After cruising to a 2-0 lead, Dillon had to fight off a furious Colstrip rally and win in the fifth and deciding game.
Dillon 11 kills from Elizabeth Baker while Valory Monaco added 23assists and 13 digs for the Beavers.
Colstrip was led by all-stater Geneva Blunt with 19 kills and four blocks.