by George Ferguson
After a third-place finish at the 2003 Class B state volleyball tournament, the Chinook Sugarbeeters will not get a chance to improve on that accomplishment this season. Following a fourth-place finish at the District 1B tournament two weeks ago, the Beeters could not survive the rigorous Northern B divisional tournament on their home floor in Chinook this past weekend.
On Thursday, the Beeters got their divisional tournament off to a solid start with an impressive four-game win over archrival and heavily favored Glasgow. The Beeters captured the first two games of the match by scores of 25-22 and 25-15 before dropping the third game 13-25. However, Chinook rebounded to win a thrilling fourth game 26-24 and advance to the quarterfinal round.
Whitney Lybeck had a strong performance against the Scotties with 15 kills and five blocks, and Morgan Obie added two aces in the win.
The win over the Scotties set up a quarterfinal match with Cut Bank Thursday night. In that match, the Beeters struggled at times as the Wolves won in four games. Despite dropping the third game 25-12, the Wolves easily controlled the match, winning the first two games by scores 25-13 and 25-17, as well as the decisive fourth game 25-13.
Lybeck again paved the way for the Beeters in the loss with 13 kills, three aces and two blocks.
The loss to Cut Bank on Thursday night put Chinook in the loser-out bracket, where they again met up with Glasgow on Friday. This time it would be the Scotties who would come out ahead as they downed the Beeters by scores of 25-16, 25-21, 19-25 and 25-16. Chinook got 11 kills from Lybeck and Obie added four aces in the Beeters final match of the season.
On Saturday night, Cut Bank knocked off district rival Fairfield for the Northern divisional championship. Those two teams will represent the division at the all-class state tournament in Bozeman this weekend.