The Lady Mustangs were in Butte last weekend for the western divisional tournament, where they swept all four divisional matches in three sets, taking home the championship title and plaque.
“I thought the girls played very well – they passed really well and played great defense, which allowed our setters lots of options,” said head coach Betty Klein. “The hitters played smart and found holes or put the ball down … I am very excited about state and can’t wait to see what this team can do.”
The Mustangs went into the tournament as the number one seed from the 12C district and were pitted against the Valley Christian Eagles, the number two seed out of the 13C district.
Defending the front row, Jourdain Klein and Danyel Martin stood tall and each grabbed 12 kills for the Mustangs. Martin also led the team in blocks with nine.
Senior libero, Ana Garcia, dominated from the serving line with two of the team’s four aces and contributed to their win with eight of 37 total digs.
Up next, the Mustangs faced off against district 11C number one seed, Gardiner. While some were expecting a tough match against the Bruins, the Mustangs came out strong and played the game the way they know how.
Klein and Martin were once again big at the net, each putting down 14 kills for the Mustangs. Martin rounded out her game with eight digs and Klein grabbed four blocks.
Setters Payton Fortner and Whitney McKitrick each put three aces on the ground against the Bruins and helped catapult the Mustangs to another three set victory.
Friday, Nov. 4, the Mustangs played a semifinal match against their neighbors from in Lone Peak – the Lady Big Horns. The Lady Mustangs continued their three set sweep, besting the Big Horns quickly.
Senior Brigit Croy led the team with eight digs from the back row and one ace against the Big Horns, while Klein put down 15 kills from the middle of the net. Martin had seven blocks for the night.
In the championship game, the Mustangs were back up against The Lady Bruins. With a shot at redemption, the Bruins were able to close the point gap, but not by much. With a guaranteed spot in the state tournament, the ladies in green were not about to give away the title of champion.
The Mustangs came out strong and played team volleyball, much to the cheers and excitement of the crowd. Martin and Klein traded positions as Martin grabbed an impressive 17 kills while Klein made big at the top of the net, blocking seven attempted Bruin points.
Croy dug up seven kills for the Mustangs and put down one ace. Fortner was a good playmaker for the front row and grabbed 17 assists to help the Mustangs clinch the divisional title.
The Lady Mustangs will play their first game of the state tournament on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. against the number two seed from the southern division, Custer/Hysham.
Ennis vs. Valley Christian: 25-12, 25-14, 25-13
Ennis vs. Gardiner: 25-19, 25-16, 25-11
Ennis vs. Lone Peak: 25-11, 25-13, 25-18
Ennis vs. Gardiner: 25-19, 25-14, 25-13