The Maroon Activities Center in uptown Butte was “bumping” with action as the teams from 12C converged on the facility for the district tournament on Oct. 27 and 28.
Seven teams, including all four of Madison County’s, saw court time, but only two teams – the Ennis Mustangs and Drummond Trojans – were lucky enough to advance to the divisional tournament on Nov. 3 and 4.
The Lady Panthers were first on the floor in the opening match as they took on the Lady Prospectors from Granite. The Panthers, led by seniors Tionna Schwend and Janie Smart, put up a tough fight, especially in the second set, but were unable to match the Prospectors’ tough front row. Schwend led the team in aces and kills with three and five, respectively, while Smart was able to grab three blocks and four kills for the team. The Panthers lost in three sets: 11-25, 20-25, 15-25.
After an opening tournament loss, the girls in purple were sent to the consolation bracket for another early morning game on Oct. 28, where they met their Ruby Valley rivals – the Twin Bridges Lady Falcons. The winner of the consolation game would advance in the tournament, knocking out the loser from seeing any further tournament play.
The Lady Falcons defeated the Lady Panthers in three sets: 25-11, 25-12, 25-13.
Senior Mara Johnson had an impressive seven kills to lead the Falcons to victory, as well as six aces. Kailee Oliverson put down six kills for the Falcons and was able to shut down three Panther attempts from the top of the net.
For the Panthers, Smart once again led the team in kills, digs and blocks, while freshman setter Micara Devereaux led the team in assists with nine.
The Lady Wildcats opened their post-season play with a tough match against the number three seed, Drummond. The ‘Cats started strong, leading the Lady Trojans by five points in the first few minutes of play, but were unable to keep momentum and fell to the Trojans in three sets: 21-25, 12-25, 10-25.
Eighth grader Aleena Bacon had five digs against the Trojans while Stephanie Strong put down four kills.
The loss against the Trojans sent the Wildcats to a consolation game where they met the ladies from Lima, defeating the Bears in three sets: 25-15, 25-8, 25-17.
Junior Josie Hokanson led the team in digs with five and Bacon grabbed five kills while her older sister Alexys had seven aces against the Bears.
Thanks to their comeback, the hopeful Wildcats continued their tournament pursuit. In what would be their final game of the season, the Wildcats met Granite in a loser-out game and fell to the Lady Prospectors in three sets: 14-25, 4-25, 13-25.
The Lady Falcons had the most games during the district tournament and made their way into the semifinal match.
First up for the Falcons was a face-off with Lima. The Falcons won in three sets: 25-12, 25-9, 25-20.
Mara Johnson led the team to victory with seven kills, three blocks and seven aces, while fellow senior Brooke Schandelmeier snagged two digs.
After sending the Bears to the consolation bracket, the Falcons met the Trojans – a team they have been even with throughout regular season play. The tension was on in the gym, not just between the teams but their followers and team mascots. Both student sections took turns chanting for their teams while their mascots, a menacing falcon and a strong warrior, met at half court, hoping to lead their team to victory.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Lady Trojans came out on top. Twin Bridges lost the battle to Drummond in three sets: 23-25, 17-25, 19-25, and made a trip to the loser-out bracket.
Riah Edsall and Kailee Oliverson each had four kills for The Falcons. Edsall was also able to grab four blocks while teammate Savanna Stewart had seven aces against the Trojans.
The Lady Falcons were able to make their way back in to the game when they defeated the Lady Panthers in their third game of the tournament, knocking the Panthers out.
Back with a vengeance, the ladies in red made their way to the semifinal game after they defeated Granite in three sets: 25-21, 25-19, 25-13, and would play for redemption against Drummond.
Edsall and Oliverson once again led the team in kills and blocks, each grabbing six and two, respectively. Schandelmeier helped in the team kills, also grabbing six points for the Falcons.
With a trip to the championship on the line, the Falcons played hard but were unable to redeem themselves against the Trojans, losing in three sets and taking home the third place plaque: 16-25, 11-25, 26-28.
Defensive specialist Clancy Phillips put up seven digs against the Trojans. Oliverson and Schandelmeier each grabbed four kills.
The Lady Mustangs were able to continue their undefeated streak as they prevailed in their opening match of the tournament and easily secured their spot in the championship. The Mustangs played three games during the 12C district tournament, defeating each of their opponents in three sets.
In their opening match against Granite, sophomores Jourdain Klein and Whitney McKitrick led the team in kills, digs, blocks and aces. Klein grabbed 17 smashing kills and three blocks while McKitrick put up nine digs and four aces against the Lady Prospectors.
Ennis defeated Granite in three sets: 25-12, 25-12, 25-6.
In their semifinal match, the girls in green were pitted against Drummond, and the strong Mustang team was once again, unbeatable. Senior Brigit Croy put up eight digs against the Trojans and Josie Jenkins grabbed one block.
Ennis defeated Drummond in three sets: 25-7, 25-12, 25-8.
The championship match was a repeat of the semifinal as the Mustangs once again saw the Trojans for a quick game. Klein was a key player in the Mustangs’ success as she led in kills with 17, digs and blocks. Junior setter Payton Fortner put up 24 assists for Ennis and grabbed nine digs.
Ennis defeated Drummond in three sets, 25-12, 25-12, 25-12, taking the district championship and is the only Madison County team to advance to the Divisional tournament. The Mustangs will play Valley Christian at 11:30 a.m. at MAC in Butte on Nov. 3.