KALISPELL — Butte High will not play in the championship match of the Western AA Divisional volleyball tournament.
The Bulldogs, however, are still just one win away from qualifying for the Class AA State tournament.
Top-seeded Missoula Sentinel beat Butte High in four sets Friday afternoon, sending the Bulldogs to a 9 a.m. loser-out match against Helena Capital on Saturday.
The winner of that match moves on to the noon third-place match. It also books a trip to Bozeman for State. The Bulldogs and Bruins split the regular-season series. Capital beat Butte in four sets Sept. 20 in Butte, and the Bulldogs bounced back to top the Bruins in four Oct. 26 in Helena.
For two sets Friday, the Bulldogs hung with the one-loss Spartans. Sentinel won the opener 26-24 before Butte High battled back to take the second set 25-23. The Spartans, though, finished off the victory with wins of 25-13 and 25-14 to advance to the championship match.
Kennadie McMahon tallied nine kills to lead Butte High’s balanced attack at the net. Ashley Olson added eight kills, and Brooke McGrath and Teagan Kennis each spiked six. Mollee Conlan, who added four kills, led Butte High with six blocks.
As a team, the Bulldogs notched 22 total blocks. Olson blocked four, McGrath and Laura Rosenleaf each added four, and McMahon blocked three.
Katie Keller set 19 assists and Olivia Quinn added 12 to run Butte High’s attack. Conlan’s 23 digs paced the Bulldog back court. Other Butte High players in double figures in digs were McGrath with 20, Quinn and Jordyn Bolton with 15, and Kennis with 10.
Keller added three aces and eight digs for Butte High. Joscelyn Cleveland was also a contributor for the Bulldogs.
Missoula Sentinel def. Butte High 26-24, 23-25, 25-13, 25-14
Butte High stats — Kills 37 (Kennadie McMahon 9, Ashley Olson 8, Brooke McGrath 6, Teagan Kennis 6, Mollee Conlan 4, Laura Rosenleaf 3, Katie Keller 1). Assists 31 (Keller 19, Olivia Quinn 12). Blocks 22 (Conlan 6, Olson 5, McGrath 4, Rosenleaf 4, McMahon 3). Aces 6 (Keller 3, Joscelyn Cleveland 2, Jordyn Bolton 1). Digs 98 (Conlan 23, McGrath 20, Quinn 15, Bolton 15, Kennis 10, Keller 8, Rosenleaf 3, Olson 2, Cleveland 2).