Havre Daily News Sports Editor
After an opening weekend that saw a handful matches, local volleyball teams had plenty of games as a pair of area tournaments dominated the volleyball action this week.
On Thursday, the Sunburst Refiners scored a hard-fought District 6C win over the Rocky Boy Morning Stars 25-16, 26-24, 21-25, 25-16 in Rocky Boy. Angela Tomscheck and Darcy Johannsen had 11 kills each and Kendra Hovland had 12 assists and two aces to lead Sunburst.
Rocky Boy got a solid match from Tori Belcourt, who finished with seven kills, eight digs and four blocks. Frances Eagleman added five kills and three aces, while Rainbow Stump chipped in with 10 assists.
The weekend featured the 23rd annual Chinook Invitational volleyball tournament and the North Star volleyball showcase with every District 6C squad and several Class B squads competing.
At the North Star Showcase, the host Knights finished with a 4-0 record, defeating Rocky Boy, Sunburst, the Chester/J-I JV and Box Elder.
Big Sandy also dominated opponents with a 4-0 showing. The Pioneers had little trouble in wins over Hays-Lodge Pole, the Sunburst JV, the North Star JV and Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap. Rocky Boy finished with a 1-3 record, while Box Elder and Hays-Lodge Pole failed to get wins.
In Chinook, the Cut Bank Wolves navigated their way through a tough field of Class B and Class C teams to win the Chinook Invitational. The Wolves defeated the Chester/J-I Hi-Line Hawks in the championship.
With Chester/J-I missing some players, head coach Joni Gordon was more than pleased with her team's second-place finish.
"We were down a couple of setters," Gordon said. "We had to have Amanda Violett do the setting and she did a great job. She may only be 5-2, but she played like she was 6-2."
Violett had plenty of help from hitters Brianne Wolfe, Mackenzie Fraser, Keyla Briese and Hannah Pimley. The Hawks overcame a few rough moments in Friday's pool play to advance to Saturday's single elimination play as one of the top seeds. In elimination play, Chester/J-I defeated Class B Wolf Point in the first round and then knocked off Class B power Malta in the second round. In the semifinals, the Hawks avenged an earlier loss to Conrad in pool play to advance to the championship match.
"It's good to see a Class C school advance to the championship against those Class B schools," Gordon said. "This tournament is really going to help us down the road. It's great to start the season off with a high level of competition it makes you play at a higher level."
Chester/J-I wasn't the only Class C school playing well in the tourney. The host Sugarbeeters also had a good weekend. After an up-and-down showing in pool play, the Beeters played well in Saturday's elimination play.
Chinook defeated Stanford in the first round and Shelby in the second round to move to the semifinals. The Beeters lost a tough match to Cut Bank, but rallied to finish third by defeating Conrad in the consolation championship.
"Chinook is a very well-rounded team," Gordon said. "We actually picked up a conference win over them in pool play. But the next time we play them its going to be a knock-down drag-out game. They have good hitters, good passers and match up very well with us."
The weekend was costly as Wolfe and Fraser were banged up and won't play this week in matches against Rocky Boy and Box Elder. Jackie Alisch sat out the weekend with a bad back and may not play this week either.
"I really thought some of our younger kids stepped up for us in Chinook," Gordon said. "We're going to need them to do that again this week."
Sunburst def. Rocky Boy
25-16, 26-24, 21-25, 25-16
Sunburst - Kills 37 (Angela Tomscheck 11, Darcy Johannsen 11), Assists 29 (Rachel Schultz 14, Kendra Hovland 12), Aces 3 (Kendra Hovland 2), Digs 10 (Cassie Myers 4), Blocks 4 (Four with 1).
Rocky Boy - Kills 15 (Tori Belcourt 7, Frances Eagleman 5), Assists 12 (Rainbow Stump 10), Aces 9 (Frances Eagleman 3, Daishawn Whitford 3), Digs 30 (Tori Belcourt 8, Courtney St. Pierre 6), Blocks 6 (Tori Belcourt 4).
North Star Showcase
Rocky Boy def. Box Elder 25-15, 25-19
North Star def. Sunburst 24-10, 21-25
Chester/J-I JV def. Box Elder 25-14, 25-19
North Star def. Rocky Boy 25-12, 25-10
Sunburst def. Chester/J-I JV 25-16, 25-10
North Star JV def. Sunburst JV 25-14, 19-25
Big Sandy def. Hays-Lodge Pole 25-4, 25-10
Hobson/Moore/JG def. North Star JV 25-16, 25-13
Big Sandy def. Sunburst JV 25-8, 25-11
Hobson/Moore/JG def. Hays-Lodge Pole 25-8, 25-12
North Star JV def. Box Elder 25-9, 25-5
Rocky Boy def. Chester/J-I JV 25-17, 25-10
Sunburst def. Box Elder 25-11, 25-8
North Star def. Chester/J-I JV def. 25-7, 25-21
Sunburst def. Rocky Boy 25-10, 25-13
Big Sandy def. North Star JV 25-16, 25-9
Hobson/Moore/JG def. Sunburst JV 25-10, 25-7
North Star JV def. Hays-Lodge Pole 25-16, 25-12
Big Sandy def. Hobson/Moore/JG 25-18, 25-12
Hays-Lodge Pole def. Sunburst JV 26-24, 25-20
Valier def. Glasgow; Chester/J-I def. Wolf Point; Chinook def. Stanford; Fairfield def. Harlem.
Cut Bank def. Glasgow; Chester/J-I def. Malta; Chinook def. Shelby; Conrad def. Fairfield.
Glasgow def. Stanford; Malta def. Harlem; Valier def. Shelby; Fairfield def. Wolf Point; Glasgow def. Valier; Fairfield def. Malta
Cut Bank def. Chinook; Chester def. Conrad
Chinook def. Fairfield; Conrad def. Glasgow
Chinook def. Conrad
Cut Bank def. Chester/J-I