BOZEMAN – Want to know when Belt is playing well?
“We play better when we’re loud, always cheering each other on helps a lot,” Kyelie Marquis said.
The Huskies had plenty to scream about Friday night, defeating Simms 25-21, 25-14, 25-23 in the unbeaten semifinal match of the Class C state volleyball tournament.
Belt advances to the 1 p.m. title match for a fourth straight year. The Huskies won the state championship in 2016.
Simms will play in the 11 a.m. third-place match.
Friday was the fourth meeting between the two teams that finished 1-2 at last week’s Northern C Divisional.
The Huskies trailed in the third set 22-20 but rallied to finish the sweep.
“We stayed strong and pushed through,” Marquis said. “We kept swinging.”
Morgan Cooper led the Huskies with 10 kills and 26 digs. Abby Gliko added eight digs, and Marquis finished with seven kills and 26 digs. Setter Kolby Pimperton had 30 assists and 22 digs, and Adelle Meissner also had 26 digs.
“All season long, we’ve been the team that has to come back,” Belt coach Christine Gondeiro said. “We’re always a little slow to start.”
The Huskies kept fighting off challenges from the Tigers with timely digs and defensive plays.
“We just tell each other ‘Shake it off,’ or we’ll get the next point,’ “ Marquis said of her and her teammates conversations. “We have to be loud and cheer.”
Lissy Willekes had 10 kills for Simms. Maddie Bloom finished with 21 assists.
“We play best when we’re loud,” Gondeiro said. “When it’s quiet, you know we’re having an off night.”
Bridger 3, Manhattan Christian 0
After reaching 700 career wins, Bridger volleyball coach told the team he wouldn’t mind getting one more trophy.
The Scouts came up short last year, finishing fourth.
This year, the players are giving Moorman the proper send-off, sweeping Manhattan Christian 25-12, 25-11, 25-17 to guarantee a top-three finish.
“Hopefully, we’ll go a little further,” senior Desiree Jones Scott said.
Bridger will play Simms in the 11 a.m. third-place match. The winner will play Belt at 1 p.m. for the state championship.
The Tigers beat the Scouts in the first round Thursday.
Moorman confirmed earlier this week that this is his last state tournament.
“It’s pretty big,” Scott Jones said of earning a trophy. “We wanted to do it last year, but we came up a little short. This is a pretty big deal for us.”
Jessica Adkins and Jenna Kallevig combined for 17 Bridger kills, and Kyra Kroll had 17 digs. Emily Adkins had 15 assists and Sami Fusco 11.
Jones Scott had a team-best two blocks and a cohesive Bridger defense never allowed the taller Eagles to get untracked on offense.
“We played together as a team,” Jones Scott said. “We really focused on our blocking and if they did hit it down, digging it back up.”
Kiersten Van Kirk had eight kills for Manhattan Christian, the top seed out of the Western C Division.
Bridger 3, Plentywood 0
Led by Emily Adkins' match-high 15 assists, Bridger swept Plentywood to advance to face Manhattan Christian.
Jenna Kallevig had 10 kills and three blocks for the Scouts, and Jessica Adkins added six kills. Kyra Kroll had a team-high 18 digs, and Desiree Jones Scott had 11 digs and four blocks.
Liv Wangerin had 10 kills and 13 digs for the Wildcats. Brenna Osksa had 16 assists and three blocks.
Manhattan Christian def. Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap, 3-0
Taylor Devries’ 20 assists and 25 digs helped Manhattan Christian sweep Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap 25-19, 25-20, 25-11 to advance to face Bridger.
The Eagles will play Choteau in the late Friday fourth place match.
Kellie Van Kirk had 12 kills and two aces for Manhattan Christian and Maddie Liudahl had 17 digs.
Brianna Bergum had eight kills, 15 digs and two blocks for the Titans. Sammi Connerton added 10 assists and 10 digs.
Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap def. Scobey, 3-1
Sami Connerton and Josi Kriskovich combined for 30 assists to carry Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap past Scobey 25-16, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16 in loser-out play.
Connerton finished with 16 assists, 16 digs, six kills and three aces. Brianna Bergum had a team-high eight kills and 15 assists, and Kristen Vincent and Chloe Derks each had five aces.
Kylee Cook had 16 kills for Scobey. Katelyn Lamb had 19 assists and two aces. Gracee Lekvold had a team-best 17 digs.
Bridger def. Ennis, 3-0
The Scouts made sure a new Class C state champion will be crowned, sweeping the defending state champions 25-14, 25-19, 25-18.
Jessica Adkins led a balanced Bridger offense with nine kills. Maddie Dravetsky and Desiree Jones Scott had eight apiece. Jones Scott also had 13 digs and six blocks for the winners and Emily Adkins finished with 16 assists.
Jourdain Klein had 11 kills, seven digs and five blocks for the Mustangs. Whitney McKitrick had 13 assists and a match-high five aces.