BOZEMAN — If the first two matches of the Class AA state tournament are any indication, it’s going to be another good weekend for the Eastern AA.
Bozeman High and Gallatin High were both victorious over Western AA foes Kalispell Glacier and Missoula Sentinel, setting up a Bozeman crosstown matchup Thursday night with the winner guaranteed to finish no worse than third.
Bozeman 3, Kalispell Glacier 0
In the opening match Thursday at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, The Bozeman Hawks, the No. 4 seed from the Eastern AA, took out top-seeded Glacier from the Western AA in three sets thanks to a 3-0 win by the scores of 25-16, 28-26 and 25-20.
“We kept our composure and just stayed steady,” Bozeman head coach Devin Dynan said. “We got ourselves into a couple of jams but we were able to get out of them pretty quickly.”
The Hawks established control in the first set with a nine-point win. Glacier led most of the way in the second, leading 18-16 at one point. But the Hawks pulled even at 23-23, before taking the set 25-23.
Glacier wasn’t able to extend the match in the third, so the Wolfpack will drop off to the loser’s side of the bracket, although they are still alive for the state title. However, the path ahead will be much easier for the Hawks.
“You don’t have to play as many matches,” Dynan said of the importance of winning the first match. “If you lose that first match, you have to play a whole bunch so being able to stay on the winner’s side keeps the kids a little fresher and gives you a lot of confidence going into the second match.”
Bria Isley led the way for Bozeman with 14 kills, 14 digs, two aces and two blocks. Morgan Jones also had a solid effort with 11 kills and two blocks, while Nula Anderson, a talented sophomore, tacked on eight kills and a pair of aces. Lauren Fox also managed 34 assists.
Sarah Downs and Ella Farrell both notched 10 kills in the loss for the Wolfpack. Haven Speer was credited with 25 assists and two aces. Maddie Davis added nine digs and two aces.
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