Scarlette Schwindt was a gem of an athlete for the Thompson Falls volleyball team and is now honored as the Missoulian/Republic Services Volleyball Player of the Year.
The team MVP and senior captain finished her high school career with the unique distinction of being an all-state first-team selection for all four years at the Class B level. To pull off the rare feat, she had to put together an even more remarkable senior season.
“She was coming off of back surgery and wasn’t even sure if she was going to be able to play her senior year,” Thompson Falls coach Sandra Kazmierczak said. “She was doing physiotherapy and missed our opening tournament. Every time she got on the floor she forgot about it and she survived the whole season. She is very passionate about volleyball and has a strong desire.
Schwindt hasn’t just come through the season. She and the Blue Hawks prospered.
They won 18 straight games en route to the District 7B title for the third consecutive year. They then won the Western B Division crown for the second time in school history – their other division title came in 2006 – while hosting the tournament for the first time.
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Thompson Falls qualified for the eight-team State B tournament for the second consecutive season after last getting there in 2016. The Blue Hawks went 0-2 in the state while missing a starter senior due to injury after being 1-2 in their 2020 appearance.
A versatile player, Schwindt was an outside hitter when playing in the front row and switched to setter when in the back row as a senior. She had focused on being an outside hitter her first three years.
“She’s just a versatile player,” Kazmierczak said. “She came to high school already qualified and had the basics. Everyone who watched her play said the same thing: how did she do it? How did she get to this ball? How did she play that ball?
Even though Schwindt is only 5-foot-6, she has a high vertical leap and hits the ball with punishing power. His skills on the volleyball court gave him the chance to play at the next level for Dawson Community College.
Schwindt also played club volleyball for Missoula-based Zootown 18-1 Select. She was a member of the National Honor Society.
“One of his best qualities is his love of the game,” Kazmierczak said. “She has the desire to excel with the team. She is very motivated with the young players and teammates to continue the success. She wanted everyone to enjoy it and be passionate about it, and I think it shows.