Sports

Flathead, Libby Both Fourth at State Volleyball

Whitefish, Columbia Falls also fall short at all-class state volleyball tournament

Northwest Montana’s top two high school volleyball teams came up just short of a trophy at the double-elimination All-Class State Tournament at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, Nov. 8-10.

Flathead, seeded third out of the Western AA conference, was felled twice by state runner-up Bozeman High School, first in the opening round and then again in a loser-out match late Friday night. In between those two matches, the Bravettes (21-13) beat Great Falls C.M. Russell and came from behind to win a thrilling loser-out battle with conference rival Helena just hours before their second Bozeman match began. Against the Bengals, Flathead dropped the first two sets before rallying and then claimed a marathon fifth set 21-19.

In the Class A tournament, Libby (20-5) won its first-round match against Hardin in four sets before Eastern A champion Belgrade swept the Loggers in the semifinals. That loss set up a loser-out conference clash between Libby and Columbia Falls, and the two teams battled for five sets before the Loggers prevailed 24-26, 26-24, 15-25, 25-18, 15-9. Hours later, however, Western A champion Corvallis ended Libby’s season in three sets.

Billings Central won the Class A tournament in dramatic fashion, beating Belgrade twice on Saturday to take home the title for the second year in a row. Helena Capital won the Class AA championship.

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