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Hi-Line trio ready to spike at Northern C divisonal tournament


October 31, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

North Star's Paij Peterson sets a pass during a District 6C East tournament match last week in Gildford. North Star joins 6C East champion Chinook, as well as Box Elder at this weekend's Northern C divisional volleyball tournament in Belt. The tournament starts Thursday morning, with the top two teams advancing to next week's Class C state tourney in Bozeman.

Postseason volleyball came to the Hi-Line last weekend in the form of the District 6C East Tournament. Now, three teams from the 6C East are ready to go again.

Chinook, the champion of the 6C East, as well as North Star and Box Elder will begin play at the Northern C Divisional Thursday morning in Belt. The tournament runs through Saturday with the top two teams advancing to next week's Class C state tournament.

Chinook will certainly be a favorite to get to the state tourney after the Sugarbeeters went undefeated in the 6C East during the regular season, then won three grueling matches at the district tournament, including two nail biters against North Star.

The Sugarbeeters, who open up against a familiar rival in Fort Benton, are led by star Kourtney Hanson, who averaged an incredible 19 kills in four matches at the district tournament. Megan Molyneaux and Ginger Hauer are also strong players for the Beeters, who split with Fort Benton during two regular season meetings.

The winner of the Chinook/Fort Benton matchup will play either Simms or Box Elder in the semifinals. Simms captured the 6C West title last weekend, while Box Elder is having its best season in volleyball in ages. The Bears are led by senior Lilly Gopher, and junior Joelnell Momberg, and, they could be one of the more dangerous teams in the field in Belt.

Dangerous could also best describe North Star. The Knights have had an incredible season, and if not for close losses to Chinook, they might be the favorite in Belt this week. North Star is a balanced team with Paij Peterson, Olivia King, Saige Scheresky-O'Neil, Janae West and Kenidee Wolery among key contributors.

The Knights will take on 6C West runner-up Power in the first round, and the winner of that match will play either 7C champion Belt or 6C West third-place Dutton-Brady. Belt is the defending Northern C champion and is loaded again this season.

The Northern C starts with the Belt/Dutton-Brady match Thursday at 9 a.m. Power and North Star will follow. Chinook and Fort Benton begin at noon, followed by Simms and Box Elder. The quarterfinals are set for Thursday at 6 p.m., while loser-out matches start Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The winners' bracket semifinal is slated for Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday's action starts with the fourth-place match at 10 a.m., with the third-place match to follow. The championship match is slated for 4 p.m., and an if-necessary match would be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first championship.

The Northern C will be held at the Belt Gymnasium, and the top two teams will advance to the Class C state tournament next Thursday through Saturday in Bozeman.


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