By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Chester Coyotes volleyball team opened the State Class C tournament on the right foot.
The Coyotes, the No. 2 seed from the Northern Division, defeated the Granite County Prospectors 15-9, 15-12, 15-3.
Philipsburg was the No. 1 seed from the West.
Michele Van Dyke led the Coyotes with nine kills and one block.
Katy Engstrom also had nine kills, while Megan Mattson and Jamie Graham divided the setting responsibilities. Mattson finished with 13, while Graham tallied 12 in the contest.
Carlane Jensen led the Coyotes at the net, collecting four blocks. She was also tough defensively, leading the team with 10 digs.
Devan Lalum notched four aces, while Trisha Hilton managed three in the win.
Chester was the only No. 2-seeded team to win during the first round of action.
The first-round victory put the Coyotes in head-to-head action with the No. 1-seeded East team, Richey Royals.
The Royals entered the tournament with the best record, a sparkling 36-0. They defeated Manhattan Christian to advance to the evening game.
Chester, in one of its few five-game series', fell to the Royals, 6-15, 15-8, 15-11, 14-16, 5-15.
Jensen led the Coyotes with 15 kills, five blocks, and 10 digs.
Engstrom had seven kills, while Van Dyke chipped in two blocks and five digs.
Chester will face the winner of the Victor/Circle matchup, which will be played Friday at 11:15 a.m.
The Coyotes are slated to begin playing at 3:45 p.m. at Fergus County High School in Lewistown.
The Coyotes were handed their first losses of the season last weekend, when Harlowton came through the loser-out bracket and defeated the Coyotes twice in the championship matches.
Chester, who was state champion in 1992, finished second at state last year.