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Cut Bank’s Aryana Black handles a serve return Thursday night against Browning.

The Cut Bank Lady Wolves dropped their home opener last week as they fell to Browning in a tough five set match. The local spikers also traveled to the Chinook Invitational over the weekend and finished the tournament with a 3-4 record. 

Thursday the Lady Wolves welcomed Class A rival Browning to town and took the first set 25-19. Browning rallied and claimed game two 25-22. Cut Bank won the third set 25-19 before Browning took control of the match and won the next two games 25-16, 15-8 for the win. 

Aryana Black led the team with 12 kills followed by Jada Doore with eight kills and three blocks. Sienna Spotted Bear and Camille Bradley anchored the defense with 12 digs apiece while Spotted Bear had the hot hand from the service line with six aces. Sam Burke dished out 22 assists in the loss. 

“After a month of practice and a preseason tournament, it was nice to be able to play in our own gym,” said head coach Kelsey Brown. “The girls came out with excitement and it really showed in game one. We lost some focus and energy in the second game and made quite a few fundamental mistakes. I was very pleased with our effort in game three, we were able to work on some plays but unfortunately we did not regroup well in games four and five. We really quit moving our feet and talking and our energy dropped. Overall it was a great match for us, we were able to get a lot of court time and really iron out the little things. We will go back to practice and continue to fine-tune our fundamental skills.”

Friday the Lady Wolves traveled to Chinook and played four pool play matches where they went 2-2. Cut Bank defeated Tri Cities 25-20, 21-15 and CJI 25-16, 28-25 and fell to Simms 25-13, 20-15 and Glasgow 20-25, 19-11. The Lady Wolves finished third in their pool as they moved to bracketed tournament play on Saturday. 

The Lady Wolves opened with Chinook and took the match 25-21, 19-25, 12-10. The local spikers were then swept by Glasgow 25-19, 25-12 and eliminated by Shelby 25-22, 25-13 to close out the weekend. 

“We were able to get a lot of court time in Chinook and we did a lot of great things over the weekend,” said Brown. “Every athlete was really able to develop her game more but we were really up and down during the two days and need to do our best to avoid the rollercoaster playing. We played very well and strategic during a few games and I was pleased with our court smarts and ball placement. However, we were very hot and cold with our serve receive.”

The Lady Wolves are back in action this weekend as they travel to Choteau for a conference tilt on Saturday with action slated to begin at 2 p.m.

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