FRENCHTOWN — Butte Central’s volleyball season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion Friday night.
The Maroons jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see Frenchtown battle back for a 3-2 victory in a loser-out match of the Western A Divisional tournament. After BC wins of 25-17 and 25-20, Frenchtown forced a tiebreaker with wins of 25-20 and 25-20.
BC rallied and nearly overcame at 14-9 lead in the tiebreaker before falling 16-14.
“Tonight’s game was a tough one to swallow,” Butte Central coach Bcky Hancock said. “Seven seniors saw their volleyball careers come to an end, and not the way any of us imagined.”
Centrals seniors are Sophia Burton, Delaney Hasquet, Avery Kelly, Mati McGree, Amira Bolton, Maci Reopelle and Marissa Anderson. Their senior year was cut down by a pair of long breaks because of coronavirus quarantines.
“2020 was supposed to be their year, a year they got to see what they could do and instead got robbed of half their season,” Hancock said. “On the other hand, though we are thankful we even got a season and that we were able to compete in the post season.”
Freshman Ella Moodry had another huge match for the Maroons, spiking 18 kills. She was one of three BC players in double figures in that category. Kelly spiked 14 kills to go along with four blocks, and Bolton tallied 12 kills
Reopelle, who spiked seven kills, dished up 50 assists and registered three blocks.
Bolton also collected a team-leading 21 digs. Burton and Reopelle each dug up 16, and Sofee Thatcher dug 14. Burton served three aces.
“We had a chance and, given the circumstances, I feel we played with everything we had these past three days,” Hancock said. “I honestly cannot say enough about these seniors. They each deserve recognition in their own ways. They are such a special group to me, and a team I am definitely going to miss them.”
As hard as the loss was, Hancock said she was happy the team finished the season on the court and not in quarantine.
“Tonight stung,” the coach said, “but we got to finish together, and that right there is all we could ask for.”
Frenchtown def. Butte Central 17-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 16-14
BUTTE CENTRAL STATS — 54 (Ella Moodry 18, Avery Kelly 14, Amira Bolton 12, Maci Reopelle 7, Sofee Thatcher 2, Mati McGree 1). Assists 54 (Reopelle 50, Delaney Hasquet 1, Kelly 1, McGree 1, Thatcher 1). Blocks 7 (Kelly 4, Reopelle 3) Aces 6 (Sophia Burton 3, Hasquet 1, Kelly 1, Reopelle 1). Digs 85 (Bolton 21, Burton 16, Reopelle 16, Thatcher 14, Hasquet 7, Kelly 6, Moodry 5).