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Hawks, Knights go for it all at Northern C

 


It's another buys weekend of volleyball on the Hi-Line. And for a pair of Class C teams, the chance to get to the state tournament goes right through their own back yard.

Thursday-Saturday, the North Star Gym in Rudyard will be the site of the 2011 Northern C Divisional volleyball tournament, with two spots up for grabs in next weekend's Class C state tourney in Bozeman.

The host North Star Knights got through a rigorous District 6C East tourney last weekend on Chester, and will be the second 6C East tea

North Star's Lisa Carlon (right) blocks a shot in last week's District 6C East volleyball tournament in Chester. The Knights will host the Northern C Thursday-Saturday in Rudyard.

m to play a postseason tournament on their home floor. The Knights lost two heartbreaking championship matches to the Chester/J-I Hawks last Friday on the Hawks' home floor. But with a second-place finish at the district tournament, the Knights will have a chance to go to state on their home floor this weekend.

North Star, led by Shelby Lipp, Lisa Carlon, Bettie Carlon, Melissa Pester and a host of talented and athletic players, will play the final first-round match on Thursday afternoon against the Fort Benton Longhorns. Fort Benton is the No. 2 team from District 7C, and the matchup should be close.

Meanwhile, the 6C East champion Hawks open Northern C play Thursday morning against Augusta. The Hawks got a huge performance from hitters Jenni Gheikiere and Brittnee Theel last weekend, and the entire C/J-I team showed tremendous heart by coming through the loser's bracket to win the district title. Augusta is the No. 4 team from the 7C.

The first round of the district tourney begins Thursday at 9:30 a.m. with 7C champion Belt taking on Sunburst, the No. 2 team from the 6C West. The C/J-I/Augusta match will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of match No. 1. The third first-round match will feature 6C West champion Simms squaring off against the Geraldine Tigers, the No. 3 team from the 7C. The four winners of the first-round matches will meet in winner's bracket matches starting at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

The first two loser-out matches will begin at 12 p.m. on Friday, followed by another pair of loser-out matches. The final match on Friday night will pit the two remaining unbeaten teams against each other with the winner moving on to the championship match. The tourney will resume at 12 p.m. on Saturday with the fourth-place match, and the third-place match will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of that match. The championship tilt and an "if necessary match are scheduled for Saturday evening. The initial championship match is set for 7 p.m.

There is plenty on the line in Rudyard too. The top two teams will move on to the state tournament. And while Belt, Simms and Chester/J-I are the early favorites, the eight-team field is loaded with good volleyball teams and no one can be overlooked, including the host Knights, ore the Sunburst Refiners, two more perennial Northern C powers.

All of the Northern C volleyball action begins at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday and will conclude with the championship matches, set for 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Rudyard.

 

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