Maroons second at Blocktober Classic

You’ll have to excuse Butte Central’s volleyball players if they’re a little tired on Sunday.

And Monday.

And probably Tuesday.

The Maroons played as much volleyball as they possibly could Saturday, taking second place in the second Blocktober Classic at the Maroon Activities Center.

The Maroons went the distance with Livingston and Dillon in bracket play before falling 15-11 in the tie breaker to Belgrade in the championship match.

“In nine years, that’s the first year that we ever played for a championship,” Butte Central coach Kaila Minehan said, adding that the Maroons were swept by the Panthers the first time they played this season.

“We’ve made much improvement since the last time we saw them,” Minehan said. “We took a game off them, and they’re a team that’s probably going to be a state contender. I think we will too.”

The 10-hour, 10-team tournament came after the Maroons avenged a pair of conference losses during the week.

On Tuesday, the Maroon beat Anaconda in four games in Butte. Thursday, BC won a five-game thriller in Corvallis.

The Maroons fell to Corvallis in the opener of pool play. They stormed back to beat Deer Lodge, Browning and Livingston to take second in the north court pool. The first-place team received a bye.

Bracket play saw teams play best two out of three. The Maroons beat Livingston and Dillon in three games to get the title match.

“We’ve got to learn to finish extra because they’re wasting energy,” Minehan said.

Livingston won the second game, while the Maroons had to battle back after Dillon one the first game.

“We had to spend so much energy against Dillon. I asked the kids ‘Do you want Dillon in the championship, or do you want to be there?'” Minehan said. “They turned it on and started playing a little better. We had to use a lot of energy, so it wasn’t surprising that we came out a little flat against Belgrade.”

Belgrade won the first game 25-13. BC bounced back to win 25-22 to force a tiebreaker.

Jorden Porter tallied 11 kills, nine assists, two aces and a block and a half to lead the Panthers.

BC got big play from Mariah Cooney and Danee Leary. Cooney tallied 10 kills and three blocks, while Leary killed eight and collected 13 digs.

Danika Neumann collected 17 digs, while Shannon McLaughlin and Taylor Marthaller each dished up 10 assists. Teresa Piazzola added two blocks.

Minehan said the tournament gave the Maroons a great barometer of where they stand. The stand as competitors.

“This tournament is great. The competition from all angles was really good,” Minehan said. “It was very competitive today. That was some good volleyball.”

The Maroons don’t have much time to rest.

BC plays at Livingston on Tuesday.

Central’s next home match is Oct. 23 when the Maroons celebrate Senior Night against Stevensville.

Blocktober Classic
Pool A

Corvallis 25-21 over Butte Central, Powell County 25-12 over Browning, Corvallis 27-25 over Fergus, Butte Central 25-15 over Powell County, Corvallis 25-22 over Browning, Fergus 25-12 over Powell County, Butte Central 25-11 over Browning, Corvallis 27-25 over Powell County, Fergus 25-18 over Browning, Butte Central 25-19 over Fergus.
1. Corvallis, 2. Butte Central, 3. Fergus, 4. Powell County, 5. Browning
Pool B
Dillon 25-23 over Park, Belgrade 25-20 over Stevensville, Park 25-17 over Loyola, Belgrade 25-19 over Dillon, Park 25-20 over Stevensville, Belgrade 25-9 over Loyola, Dillon 25-18 over Stevensville, Belgrade 25-21 over Park, Stevensville 25-20 over Loyola, Dillon 25-14 over Loyola.
1. Dillon, 2. Belgrade, 3. Park, 4. Stevensville, 5. Loyola
Consolation bracket
Powell County 2-1 (25-18, 21-25, 15-5) over Loyola, Stevensville 2-1 (20-25, 27-25, 15-13) over Browning.
Championship bracket
First round
Belgrade 2-1 (25-18, 21-25, 15-12) over Fergus, Butte Central 2-1 (25-13, 23-25, 15-7) over Park.
Belgrade 2-0 ( 25-16, 25-22) over Corvallis , Butte Central 2-1 (22-25, 25-22, 16-14) over Dillon.
Championship Match
Belgrade def. Butte Central 25-13, 22-25, 15-11
KILLS — Belgrade 33 (Jordan Porter 11, Taylor Woolman 9), BC 23 (Mariah Cooney 10, Danee Leary 8). ASSISTS — Belgrade 25 (Ali Weisz 16, Porter 9), BC 22 (Shannon McLaughlin 10, Taylor Marthaller 10). BLOCKS — Belgrade 6 (Porter 1.5, Woolman 1.5, Nikki Wass 1.5, Nanna Hilliday 1.5), BC 7 (Cooney 3, Teresa Piazzola 2). ACES — Belgrade 2 (Porter 2), BC 2 (Cassidy McGree 1, Marthaller 1). Digs — Belgrade 48 (Dilyan Fowler 25), bC 48 (Danika Neumann 17, Danee Leary 13).