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Lady Broncs have sights set on Class 'A' championship

By Vince Bagby, Sports Director, vbagby@keci.com
Published On: Sep 18 2013 06:35:16 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Last year Frenchtown proved they were one of the best Class 'A' volleyball teams in the state when they won divisionals and took 2nd place at the state tournament.  This year's team expects to have just as much success.

"Well our expectations are very high of course," said Gypsy Ray in her second full season as the varsity head coach.  "We were unexpected last year and we're pretty expected this year.  We have five seniors and out entire starting lineup back.  So we expect to do well in our conference, we expect to do well in our division, and we expect to go to state."

Despite finishing the year so strong last fall, the Lady Broncs had plenty of struggles.  In fact Frenchtown did not even have a winning record heading into the divisional tournament.  But once the postseason arrived, everything came together.

"Once tournament play started something clicked," explained junior captain Morgan Ray. "We were more positive, we had way more energy and figured out how to play together."

“We always had that skill to win but I think we figured out how to play as a team and pull that all together," agreed senior captain Jadan Ross.  "Everyone played for each other and wanted it really bad and I think that's what really got us at divisionals."

Now not only does this team return every player from last season's roster, but some of these girls have been teammates on the court for over five years.

"There's a group of six of us that have played together since the 5th grade and Gypsy was our coach 5th grade so all the girls are just super close," said senior Vanessa Stavish. "We all love each other and have grown up with each other since we were little.  So yeah it's really nice to be able to play a sport with your best friends and have them there for you no matter what."

"We're like sisters so we all get along," added Morgan Ray.  "We play so well together and we've played together for years so we just click and there's just something about us that we just get along and come together as a team."

"This year we're definitely more close together as a team and and it's kind of like a family sort of thing," said senior setter Josie Anderson.

"I don't have to worry about grades, I don't have to worry about conduct, they're just amazing," explained Coach Ray.  "They're great girls and it's going to be a sad senior night, I'll tell you that."

After coming so close to winning it all last year, the squad says they're using that experience as motivation to get it done this fall and be the first Frenchtown team to ever win the class 'A' volleyball state championship.

"We definitely believe that in one of those last  games we might have gotten tired or overconfident so everyday at practice we're doing more conditioning and more running and strengthening," said Stavish.  "Just trying to get stronger because we have the talent on the team, it's just a matter of getting there first."

"We talk about state all the time.  Whenever we're working hard in workouts, whenever we're not doing as well as we think... we need to remember that goal that we set at the beginning of the season and we talk about it almost daily," added Morgan Ray.  "Everyone needs practice as of course we knew, but I think we're in a really good spot.  We know how we can beat teams and we know what we need to do."