BOZEMAN — Plentywood have appeared in the Class C State Tournament in each of the past four seasons. But on Friday night at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, the Wildcats did something they had never done before – earn a berth in the state championship game.
Heading into Friday, the Wildcats knew they would be bringing home gear for the second straight year at the state. But after a 3-1 win over Manhattan Christian (25-22, 25-16,16-25 25-20), they made program history.
“It’s the first time in our school’s history, so it means a lot,” said Liv Wangerin from Plentywood. “We’ve worked a lot over the past four years, so it feels really good.”
It’s been a progression for the Wildcats and every year in the state they’ve gotten better. Last year it was Manhattan Christian who ended their season and Wangerin, well, she hasn’t forgotten that.
And she was a force to be reckoned with. The senior finished with 13 kills, nine digs, two blocks and six aces, including a three-game streak in the fourth to help hold off a Manhattan Christian side looking to force a fifth set.
Plentywood started with wins in the first two sets, but the Eagles won the third 25-16 and took the lead in the fourth.
It was then that Wangerin turned the tide with an expert serve, although two quick attacks from Kate Simonson pushed her to tie the point, before Wangerin finished with her 13th and final kill.
“She’s up to the challenge,” said Plentywood head coach Becky Hoffman. “She is absolutely up to a challenge and this girl has such courage and determination that she’s not going to settle for less than she knows we can do. And if that means she has to step up and do something big thing, she’ll do the part.
Ashtyn Curtiss had another consistent performance with 26 assists and Simonson added two blocks on top of his kills in the fourth set.
The Wildcats will play again Saturday at noon in the State Championship game against Manhattan Christian, Roy-Winifred or White Sulfur Springs.
Manhattan Christian knows a thing or two about coming back and winning a state title after losing in the semifinals undefeated, achieving the same feat in 2019. Boise State signee Kiersten Van Kirk, who had 18 wins decisive in defeat, was on this team and the Eagles should not be ignored.
“I feel like any time Manhattan Christian is successful, we always take the hard road,” Eagles head coach Hanna Van Dyk said. “We didn’t play our best today, but I think we’ll bounce back. They are competitors and they will be ready to go.
Wangerin said if there was a rematch she looked forward to it, as did the town of Plentywood, which appeared to transport most of its citizens to the stands surrounding the Class C court.
“We have the best crowd ever,” Wangerin said. “We live literally eight hours away and our section was full tonight. I hope we can play Manhattan Christian again. It was really fun.
Wangerin and the Wildcats just might get their wish.
The Eagles play at 10 a.m. against White Sulfur Springs in Game 3 for the loser.
The winner will face Plentywood for the state championship, but will have to beat the Wildcats twice to claim the title.
White Sulfur Springs clinches at least third place
White Sulfur Springs entered the state tournament looking for its first event victory in 13 years. But after picking up three wins in two days at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, the Hornets secured at least a third-place finish.
However, qualifying for the final day of the tournament was not easy and Roy-Winifred was not going to go down without a fight. White Sulfur won the first two sets, then dropped the third and trailed in the fourth, before rallying for victory and taking the match by the scores of 25-22, 25-23, 20-25 and 25 -23.
“We knew we could be in the top three and so far so good,” Hornets head coach Marteen Taylor said. “Third place is great. But first place is better and we will keep fighting for it.
Cabry Taylor had another dominating performance for the Hornets in the win and was credited with 21 kills, four blocks and 19 digs. Kendra Manger also stepped up with 11 kills and three aces.
White Sulfur will be back on the court at 10 a.m. against Manhattan Christian.
White Sulfur Springs 3, Bridger 1
For White Sulfur Springs, just reaching the Class C State Volleyball Tournament was a huge achievement, as it had been 13 years.
The Hornets won their opener against Fort Benton on Thursday and after a loss last night to Plentywood they bounced back in spectacular fashion Friday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, knocking out defending Class C State Champions Bridger in four sets by the scores 25-22, 21-25, 25-19 and 27-25.
“Oh my god, they’re so excited right now,” White Sulfur Springs head coach Marteen Taylor said. “To get this far – to place in the top four in the state – is a dream come true. At the start of the year they didn’t expect to get this far and they’ve just done a great job.
Roy-Winifred 3, Froid-Lac 1
Froid-Lake became a bit of a Cinderella story after beating defending champion Bridger on the opening day of the Class C state volleyball tournament. But on Friday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, the Roy-Winifred Outlaws ensured that the clock struck midnight during the Redhawks tournament.
Froid-Lake was making his first-ever appearance in the All-Class State Tournament and got off to a strong start against Roy-Winifred winning the first set 25-20. However, the Outlaws, who have already won once in the morning, bounced back to win the second 25-19 and then didn’t look back as they won 25-21 and 25-16 to close out the 3-1 win. in losing-out action.
Jayda Southworth was huge in the Outlaws victory and among her 15 eliminations were the winning runs in the third and fourth sets. Isabelle Heggem contributed with five blocks and Hannah Ewen also added five aces.
Dasani Nesbit led the Redhawks with 12 kills and four blocks. Meg Ator was also active with 16 assists in a losing effort.
“I’m really proud that our team has come this far,” said Froid-Lake head coach Kiah Smith. “It’s new for us and very fresh. We were coming off a big loss last night and it was hard to pull ourselves together, but now we have something to aim for in the future.
Bridger 3, Simms 2
The saying goes, never underestimate the heart of a champion and the Bridger Scouts showed it again on Friday, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to knock out Simms in a losing action at the Class C State Volleyball Tournament.
Bridger, the defending C-class state champion, dropped the first two sets after losing on Thursday and it looked like their title run was about to end.
However, the Scouts roared with a 25-10 victory in the third, as well as a 25-21 victory in the fourth, before taking the fifth set 15-10 to advance to a 16-hour match against White Sulfur Springs. .
“It was like, ‘How do you want to get out,'” Bridger head coach Lena Kallevig said when asked what she said to her 2-0 trailing side. “We always say we want to swing and we just gave up too many balls early. It’s not as much fun when they hit us as it is when we hit them.
Dylann Pospilsil scored two key points in the fifth set to help Bridger take a 7-4 advantage, then Mya Goltz added straight wins to push the lead to 10-5 before defending state champions do not close it.
Goltz was a beast in Bridger’s victory, finishing with 27 kills and 16 digs. Pospisil was also clutch and recorded 17 kills, two blocks and 15 digs, as well as an ace.
Kenzie Allen led the way for Simms with 11 kills; Taylor Sawyer followed with 10. They each added 19 and 17 assists respectively.
Roy Winifred 3, Fort Benton 1
The Class C state volleyball tournament resumed at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse and the Roy-Winifred Outlaws kept their trophy hopes alive with a four-set victory over Fort Benton.
The Outlaws used the stellar performance of Madeline Heggem who had 14 kills. Megan Bergum also added 33 assists as Roy-Winifred rallied after losing the first set to eliminate Fort Benton 18-25, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-16.
“Thursday we suffered a very tough loss,” Roy-Winifred head coach Shelby Smith said. “But they came and fought back. We can play a lot of volleyball. I know that’s our goal.”
Roy-Winifred entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the South, while the Longhorns were the No. 2 seed in the North. Fort Benton got another solid outing from Emerson Giese who had 10 kills and a block. Ashlee Wang added 11 assists and an ace for the Longhorns, who were eliminated on their third straight trip to the state tournament.
“We played well,” Fort Benton head coach Shana Diekhans said. “Some girls missed some games and we really only had our full team right before districts and we just struggled a bit and didn’t play our best volleyball. But obviously, our program is in good place. It’s our third year in a row and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.”