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Hawks fall to Bigfork, prepare to host tourney

The Thompson Falls Blue Hawks have had a successful volleyball season, but there’s one opponent who has managed to elude them all season, the Bigfork Valkyries. After falling to Bigfork in four sets at Thompson Falls earlier this season, the Hawks were looking for redemption as they traveled to the Flathead on Saturday for a rematch.

Bigfork is undefeated this season and the Hawks were anxious to hand the Valkyries their first loss. Their valiant effort wasn’t enough, however, as the Hawks fell in three sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-9.

In the first set, the Valkyries scored four points before the Hawks got a side out. With senior Ellie Baxter serving, Thompson tied the set at four before the Vals went on a scoring run. Bigfork would maintain their lead for the rest of the set, but not without a fight from the Hawks. With Bigfork up 23-18, Thompson stayed alive in some intense volleys and came within one point of the Vals, 24-23. They were unable to deliver on the next serve, however, and Bifork won 25-23.

Down 0-1 going into the second set, Bigfork again had the lead as they started off 2-0. The Hawks gave a great effort and stayed within two points of the Vals through much of the set. Then Thompson Falls got within one point at the end of the match with the Vals up 22-21 then 23-22. Finally the Hawks tied the set at 23, but Bigfork got a sideout and served up one more point to win 25-23.

Thompson Falls came into the third set with renewed energy as they took the lead for the first time of the evening, serving up two straight points. Bigfork showed why they are undefeated this season, however, and came back to take and hold the lead. The Vals got up by three points and then widened the lead through the set to beat the Hawks in three straight.

Senior Avery Burgess led the Hawks in Bigfork with 10 kills and one ace, Gabby Hannum added three blocks, Cheyla Irvine had 10 digs and Ellie Baxter 10 set assist.

Though Thompson Falls didn’t get a win against Bigfork in the regular season, they are looking to face the Valkyries one more time next weekend as the Hawks host the District 7B volleyball tournament. Bigfork comes into the tournament as the top seed and Thompson Falls the second seed. The tournament runs Friday and Saturday at Thompson Falls High School.


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