HAMILTON — Butte Central got a month’s worth of volleyball in one afternoon Saturday.
The Maroons battled for 14 sets before claiming second place at the Western A Divisional volleyball tournament on the Dale Berry Court.
BC fell to Corvallis in five sets in Saturday’s undefeated match. BC bounced back to beat Columbia Falls in four sets for another crack at the Blue Devils, only to fall again in five.
“Man I cannot tell you how proud I am of these girls,” BC coach Becky Hancock said. “We may have taken second, but we were right there with Corvallis until the end in each game. Things just didn’t work in our favor towards the end.”
BC’s three matches were back to back to back. Corvallis won the first match 16-25, 19-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-10 The Maroons then knocked off Columbia Falls 25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 25-15.
Since the divisional is a true double-elimination tournament, BC needed to beat Corvallis twice to win the championship. Instead, the Maroons fell 15-25, 25-15, 25-12, 22-25, 15-13.
The Maroons will be the No. 2 seed from the West and open the Class A State tournament at noon Thursday in Bozeman. The trip to State, which was secured Friday, will be just the second in school history for BC.
“They played with so much heart and determination,” Hancock said of her Maroons. “I honestly have never seen a team play like they did for six straight hours. Fourteen sets of back-to-back volleyball is a lot for any team. This team showed a lot of fight today, and they never gave up.”
Teresa Piazzola tallied 32 kills on the day to lead the Maroons. She reached double digits in kills in all three matches. BC also got double-digit kill matches out of Corbyn Holm and Sierra Pica. Whitney McGree and Ryan Trudnowski led the BC block, while Emily St. John registered 98 assists on the day.
Mollie Peoples paced BC’s back-court defense, which also got big-time contributions from Holm, Piazzola, Taylor Wahl, St. John, Shawnee Hjelt and McKenzie Gallagher throughout the long day.
Hancock pointed out that after the Maroons win over Columbia Falls, they had 20 minutes to get ready for the Blue Devils.
“Girls were trying to get food in themselves and hydrate back up,” the coach said. “I mean, to continue to play like they did today really shows how strong of a team they are. Today they played as one, and everyone stepped up in a big way.”
Hancock had good things to say about each player on the BC roster.
“This is an amazing group of girls, and they left it all out there on the court today,” she said. “The important thing is we are one of the four teams out of a nine team tourney headed to the State tourney next weekend in Bozeman. That right there is something to be proud of. I told the girls there is nothing to hang their heads about. Next week is the final dance, that’s the one that matters.”
Corvallis def. Butte Central 16-25, 19-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-10
Butte Central stats — Kills 51 (Corbyn Holm 12, Teresa Piazzola 10, Sierra Pica 10, Lacey McGree 8, Ryan Trudnowski 6, Emily St. John 4, Mollie Peoples 1). Assists 44 (St. John 42, Pica 1, Peoples 1). Blocks 10 (McGree 5.5, Pica 2, Piazzola 1, Trudnowski 1, Holm .5). Aces 8 (Taylor Wahl 3, Holm 2, Peoples 2, Piazzola 1). Digs 103 (Peoples 23, Holm 19, Piazzola 18, Wahl 12, St. John 11, Hjelt 11, McKenzie Gallagher 7, Pica 1, McGree 1).
Butte Central def. Columbia Falls 25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 25-15
Butte Central stats — Kills 45 (Piazzola 10, Pica 9, Holm 8, Trudnowski 8, St. John 5, McGree 5). Assists 36 (St. John 34, McGree 1, Peoples 1). Blocks 13 (McGree 7.5, Pica 2, Trudnowski 1, St. John .5, Holm .5). Aces 10 (Gallagher 3, St. John 2, Wahl 2, Piazzola 1, Holm 1, Peoples 1). Digs 78 (Peoples 22, Piazzola 16, St. John 11, Hjelt 10, Wahl 10, Holm 6, Gallagher 2, Trudnowski 1).
Corvallis def. Butte Central 15-25, 25-15, 25-12, 22-25, 15-13
Butte Central stats — Kills 43 (Piazzola 12, Pica 9, McGree 9, Holm 8, Trudnowski 3, St. John 2). Assists 42 (St. John 42). Blocks 9 (Trudnowski 4, McGree 2, Pica 2, Piazzola 1). Aces 7 (St. John 3, Peoples 2, Gallagher 1, Holm 1). Digs 88 (Piazzola 25, Peoples 19, St. John 12, Wahl 10, Hjelt 9, Holm 5, Pica 4, Gallagher 2, McGree 2). 1 comment