Columbia Falls Advances to Volleyball Championship

Glacier still alive at AA tournament, playing Billings Senior in third-place match

By Dillon Tabish
Columbia Falls defeated Stevensville 26-24, 25-17, 25-18 in the opening round of the Western A divisional tournament on Nov. 3, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Columbia Falls is defending its championship today at the Class A state volleyball tournament in Bozeman while Glacier is still alive fighting for a top-three Class AA trophy.

The Wildkats defeated Belgrade 25-16, 25-18, 28-26 on Friday night to advance to today’s title match at 3 p.m.

Columbia Falls plays the winner of Belgrade and Billings Central, two teams that have already fallen to the Kats and are now in loser-out action squaring off today at 11 a.m.

In the Class AA tourney, Glacier rallied back to defeat Helena 18-25, 15-25, 25-12, 25-22, 15-9 on Friday night. The win vaulted the Wolfpack to today’s third-place match against Billings Senior (24-7), a team that narrowly defeated Glacier on Thursday, 21-25, 25-22, 25-10, 25-14. Today’s match starts at 11 a.m. and the winner advances to the state championship to play Missoula Sentinel (24-0) at 1 p.m.

The Wolfpack (20-9) stayed alive after falling to Billings Senior on Thursday and defeated Billings Skyview on Friday, 25-21, 18-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-13. Kali Gulick led with 14 kills and five blocks, Ashley Montini had 46 assists and Nikki Krueger had three aces and 19 digs.

In the Class A tournament, the Kats have only dropped one set in two matches at the state tournament and are 19-0 on the season. Against Belgrade, Morgan Stenger had nine kills and two blocks and Kaitlyn Casazza had seven kills. Cydney Finberg had all 28 of the team’s assists and added seven aces while KJ Schweikert had six. Finberg led with 16 digs, Casazza had 11 and Kiara Burlage had 11.

Billings Central eliminated Whitefish Friday night, 25-20, 29-27, 23-25, 17-25, 15-12. Whitefish started the state tournament defeating Lewistown, 25-10, 25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 15-13. Belgrade dealt the Lady Bulldogs their first defeat, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19. Whitefish rallied back to beat Dillon, 25-19, 25-23, 25-13, before falling to Central.

Whitefish’s Kate Doorn had 10 kills in the loss to Billlings and Libby Nagler had 26 assists. Kylie Larsen had two aces, Serena Hemmingson had nine digs and Cailyn Ross had five blocks.

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