Glacier hosts Flathead today in the second and last round of crosstown volleyball this fall.
The Bravettes took the first match on Sept. 14, defeating the Wolfpack in five sets. This time, third-ranked Flathead will try to continue their climb up the Western AA standings, while Glacier looks to string a few wins together.
You wouldn’t think that the Bravettes (11-8 overall, 5-2 conference) who sit behind Helena High and Helena Capital in Western AA standings, would have much to improve upon, but coach Nicole Fairclough is constantly focused on making her team better.
“We’re still working on improving things on our side of the net, one being consistency and mental toughness but we also had a great start to the season so trying to continue that while also improving is a little bit of a challenge,” Fairclough said. “But there’s definitely things we have to continue to improve throughout the rest of this conference play.”
Flathead only has two home games during the month of October, so Fairclough is considering this one like a home game.
“We travel 10 minutes to a different gym but we still can have all of our fans there supporting us, which is nice,” she said.
Adding to the intensity of crosstown games is the factor that many girls on both sides of the net grew up playing sports with each other at lower levels.
“They’re not only friends but they’re also competitors and at one point were teammates as well, so it just brings out a super competitive atmosphere on both sides,” Fairclough said.
The Glacier Wolfpack needs to string together some conference wins and it hopes tonight is the start of a positive trend.
“We’re a team that’s struggling for wins right now so every match matters to us,” coach Christy Harkins said.
“Of course crosstown matters but it’s also just another opportunity for us to have a chance to try to get a conference win, which we’re desperately in need of right now.”
Glacier (5-10 overall, 1-3 conference) won’t take home court advantage for granted, either. Harkins thinks the time spent together on the road has been beneficial and doesn’t consider being the host of crosstown to be a huge advantage. It’s another game, though an important one.
“We only get six home matches and so we play so much more on the road that I don’t feel like home court is always an advantage for us,” Harkins said. “It’s nice to be in our locker room and meeting in your team room and things like that, a little bit of a comfort level but as far as a home court advantage I don’t know if I really feel that.”
Thanks to some schedule shuffling, Glacier had most of the week to prepare for tonight.
“There are definitely things that we will do to prepare to play Flathead, with the strengths that they have and the things that they do well,” Harkins said.
“We’ll be trying to counter with the things that we do well.”
Play starts at 7 p.m.