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Shelby senior Alexis McCracken tips the ball over as teammate Avery Hoover approaches the net Thursday night during the Lady Coyotes win over Great Falls Central.

The Shelby Coyotes welcomed the Great Falls Central volleyball team into the 1B, defeating them in three straight games, 25-16, 25-19, and 25-18.  The match was played on Thursday, Sept. 5. Shelby’s C squad and JV teams also defeated the Mustangs in three sets. 

Leading the way was Brook Luly, Brielle Aklestad and Maddison Underdal with two aces each. Under-dal also lead with six kills. Brook Luly lead the team in both digs, with 11 of the 33 total and six of the 15 assists, Bailey Johnson added five. Underdal had five blocks. 

Coach Jessica Brusven said, “We started off slow and worked the first home match jitters out.”

Friday, Sept. 6, the Coyotes went to Chinook for the annual Chinook Invitational. In pool play, the Coyotes started with Malta, whom they defeated 25-19, 13-16. Johnson had seven kills, followed by Brogan McAllister with three. Assisting those were Brook Luly with seven and Johnson with four. Reese Whitted led in digs with seven. Aklestad led the team with three service aces. 

Next up was a two set match against Valier, which the Coyotes split 18-25, 25-4. The Coyotes were working in a new rotation, and needed the first set to work out some kinks. 

Johnson had five kills in the match, assisted by Luly, with a team high of eight. Aklestad led the team with two service aces.  Luly made a team high 14 for 14 serves. Whitted and Underdal were the passing leaders. 

Next up was a strong Chinook team, which Shelby defeated 25-24, 12-12. The two competitive teams ran out of time in the match but the Coyotes were victorious with more total points in the second set match, with a 30 minute time limit.  

Serving two aces was Aklestad in her six-of-six effort. Leading the Coyotes with five kills each were:  Luly, Johnson, and Underdal.  Johnson had 12 assists in the match. Underdal led the squad with five digs and one block. 

Shelby rounded out the pool play versus Geraldine/Highwood, 25-14, 20-18. The Coyotes had six aces in the match. Aklestad had three, Luly and McAllister with one each.

The Coyotes finished pool play in first place going into Saturday’s tournament bracket.

Shelby started Saturday with Simms, falling to them 23-25, 25-11 and then played Chester Joplin Inverness and defeated them 25-6, 25-16. The Coyotes were then victorious over Tri Cities, winning 25-24, 25-20

Next up was Cut Bank and the Lady Coyotes defeated them as well, 25-22 and 25-14.

In a rematch with Chinook for third and fourth place, Shelby claimed third place, 25-20, 22-25, and 15-4.

Brusven said she was “very pleased with the girls play this weekend. We put in a new rotation and the girls responded very well.  They have really been working hard and making steady improvements.”

Shelby volleyball team stats for the season opening Choteau tournament were not available last week. They appear below.

Service aces - Brook Luly with 14, followed by Madison Underdal with 11. Serving consistency at 94% was Bailey Johnson serving 80 out of 85 serves in the tournament. Leading the team in passing was Reese Whitted. Kills leader was Underdal with 52, followed by Johnson with 38.  Assists leader was Johnson with 68, followed by Luly with 65.  Digs was also Luly with 64, followed by Aklestad with 51. Leading the team in blocks was Underdal with 16, and Johnson with five. 

The Lady Coyotes will travel to Fairfield Thursday, Sept. 12, and will host Rocky Boy on Friday, Sept. 13. Both matches have 7 p.m. starts.

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