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Postseason volleyball arrives

District 6C East tourney starts Thursday in Chester


October 25, 2017

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Kate Hansen and the North Star Knights are the top seed at this weekend's District 6C East volleyball tournament in Chester. The tournament runs Thursday and Friday, with the top three teams moving on to next week's Northern C Divisional in Chinook.

Every volleyball team on the Hi-Line has been practicing since Aug. 13. And all of the hard work and sacrifice comes down to this weekend.

District tournament play begins this week for Class B and C schools, including the annual District 6C East Tournament, which runs Thursday and Friday in Chester. The top three teams from the tourney will see their season continue, as they advance on to the Northern C Divisional.

And while moving on in the postseason is the big goal, another one will be everybody in the 6C East trying to dethrone the Chinook Sugarbeeters, who have won the last four 6C East championships.

For the first time in that four-year stretch, the North Star Knights unseated Chinook as the regular season district champions. The Knights earned the No. 1 seed in the district with a 9-1 record, including a season sweep of the rival Beeters. And North Star is poised to see its success continue, thanks to the likes of Paij Peterson, Kate Hansen, Peytan King and a talented and deep roster.

Being the top seed, the Knights have a bye in the first round of the district tournament and will await the winner of the match between fourth-seeded Box Elder and fifth-seeded Big Sandy, which kicks off the tournament Thursday at 10 a.m. Box Elder has had an outstanding season, led by Lilly Gopher, as the Bears finished 5-5 in district play, with some thrilling wins along the way. And, while the Pioneers, led by Jaylyn Cline, Georgia Wortman and a veteran lineup that includes Jessica Roth, are also a dangerous club, Box Elder comes into the 6C tourney, not only hungry, but more than capable of grabbing one of the top three spots.

Chinook meanwhile, is no underdog, even without the No. 1 seed. Kourtney Hanson, Sierra Swank, Carrie Hofer and a host of talented players still compose a team more than capable of dominating on a given night. And the Beeters are still in great shape to advance to the Northern C, which will be played on their home floor next weekend.

Chinook has a bye in the first round and will play either third-seeded Chester-Joplin-Inverness, which has one of the top hitters in the district in Kim Ghekiere, or sixth-seeded Hays-Lodge Pole, which suffered a second straight winless season. The match between the Hawks and Thunderbirds will start 30 minutes after the first match of the day, while North Star and Chinook's match come Thursday afternoon. The first two loser-out matches of the tournament will be held Thursday night.

The tournament resumes Friday morning at 10 a.m. with the winner's bracket semifinal, followed by the fourth-place match. The third-place match is slated for 4 p.m. with the championship match to be held 30 minutes after the conclusion of the third-place match.

All of the 6C East action takes place in Chester, and the top three teams will advance to the Northern C, next Thursday through Saturday in Chinook.

Class B district tournaments also run this Friday and Saturday. Rocky Boy plays at the 1B in Choteau and Harlem is in action at the 2B in Wolf Point. The top four teams from those two districts will meet in the Northern B Divisional in Malta. In both Class B and C, each divisional tourney will send two teams to the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament Nov. 9-11 in Bozeman.


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