Havre Daily News Sports Editor
It wasn't easy. At times it was more than difficult. But the Chinook High School volleyball team still found a way to capture the 2005 District 6C volleyball championship Saturday night in Chester.
After years of being a powerhouse in Class B volleyball, the Beeters captured the district championship in its inagural season in Class C volleyball. But as expected, the title didn't come as easy as many predicted.
Chinook had to defeat third-seeded Big Sandy twice on Saturday night in order to claim the district championship, and the Beeters did just that.
In the first championship match, the Beeters came out determined not to repeat their Friday night semifinal loss to the Pioneers. And in the first match, the Beeters made short work of the Pioneers, sweeping them in three straight games.
The win over the Pioneers meant that the two teams would turn around and play a winner-take-all match for the district championship. In that final match of the night, Chinook again took control of the situation early and never let go. This time, the Pioneers put up a much better fight, but still succumbed to the Beeters in three games. Chinook defeated Big Sandy in the final match by scores of 26-24, 25-21 and 25-16.
The Beeters got a balanced team effort throughout their run to the District 6C championship. In the championship matches with Big Sandy, senior Georgia Barber racked up 22 kills and 11 blocks. Crystal Roseberry was equally solid, leading the team in assists and playing excellent defense.
Big Sandy's Jessica Amsbaugh also had a huge tournament. In the final two matches against Chinook, she combined for 16 kills, while Shersteen Cline and Shalayna Pearson paced the Pioneers' blocking efforts.
Both Big Sandy and Chinook will move on to the Northern C divisional tournament in Chinook this weekend.
Also moving on will be district tournament host Chester/J-I. The Hawks appeared poised for a run at the district championship this weekend, but stumbled against the Beeters in the semifinals before rebounding to down Valier in a five-game thriller in the consolation match.
The Hawks downed the Panthers by scores of 24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22 and 15-12. Chester/J-I rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit despite the outstanding play of Valier's Alisha Snyder. Snyder torched the Hawks for 23 kills and 21 digs in the loss.
Chester/J-I got 13 kills and nine blocks from Hannah Pimley in the win. The Hawks also served 12 aces, four apiece coming from Brianne Wolfe and Keyla Briese.
The win over Valier pushed Chester/J-I back into the winner's bracket, where they were dismissed by Chinook in four games. The Beeters ended Chester/J-I's tournament by scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-19. Wolfe paced the Hawks in the loss with nine kills, three aces and five blocks.
Chinook, Big Sandy, Chester/J-I and Valier will all advance to the Northern C divisional tournament later this week in Chinook.
District 6C volleyball tournament
Chester/J-I def. Valier
24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-12 (Valier finishes fourth)
Valier - Kills 45 (Alisha Snyder 23), Assists 41 (Maranda Laverdure 30); Aces 5 (Laverdure 3); Digs 65 (Snyder 21); Blocks 14 (Holden 10).
C/J-I - Kills 40 (Hannah Pimley 13); Assists 41 ((Keyla Briese 22); Aces 12 (Brianne Wolfe 4, Briese 4); Digs 38 (Martin 12); Blocks 15 (Pimley 9).
Chinook def. Chester/J-I
25-20, 15-25, 25-20, 25-19
Chinook - Kills 43 (Georgia Barber 14); Assists 36 (Crystal Roseberry 34); Aces 17 (Dawn Kellam 9); Digs 46 (Roseberry 13); Blocks 9 (Barber 3).
C/J-I - Kills 31 (Wolfe 9); Assists 29 (Briese 15); Aces 6 (Wolfe 3, Briese 3); Digs 31 (Brown 10); Blocks 14 (Wolfe 5). (C/J-I finishes third).
Chinook def. Big Sandy
25-11, 25-13, 25-15 (First Championship)
Chinook - Kills 30 (Georgia Barber 9, Erinn Eslick 9); Assists 25 (Crystal Roseberry 21); Aces 6 (Morgan Obie 3); Digs 28 (Barber 7); Blocks 12 (Barber 5).
Big Sandy - Kills 20 (Jessica Amsbaugh 6); Assists 20 (Kacy Herron 20); Aces 3 (Shersteen Cline 3); Digs 32 (Sarah Yirsa 9); Blocks 2 (Shalayna Pearson 2).
Chinook def. Big Sandy
26-24, 25-21, 25-16 (second championship)
Chinook - Kills 35 (Barber 13); Assists 28 (Roseberry 26); Aces 10 (Obie 5); Digs 39 (Burkhartsmeyer 8); Blocks 17 (Barber 6).
Big sandy - Kills 36 (amsbaugh 10); Aces 12 (Naomi Williams 3); Digs 47 (Williams 9); Blocks 4 (Shersteen Cline 2).