At Bozeman for the All-classification State volleyball tournament on the Montana State University campus, the Western second-seeded Charlo Lady Vikings were making only their third tournament appearance since 2006 and 1998.
The Lady Vikings made school history with their first State C tournament win.
Hooked by Horns
Charlo’s opening round opponent would be Northern C top-seed Fort Benton. It soon became evident that the Longhorns and the Lady Vikings matched up well against each other as the first set extended well into extras before Fort Benton closed it out with the final two points 30-28. The score would be the longest marathon set of the State C tournament and second longest among all classifications, only eclipsed by State B Joliet defeating Townsend 31-29.
The Lady Vikings would knot the match at a set apiece by taking the second.
The Longhorns would take the third for a 2-1 edge.
The fourth set would play out much like the first, seesawing back and forth until it extended into extras. Charlo battled with ferocity to even the match at two sets apiece as it extended into extras. But Fort Benton would notch the final two points to eek out the contest, the Longhorns advancing while the Lady Vikings rerouted into the consolation rounds.
Carlee Fryberger unleashed 15 kills, while Bella Hawk contributed a half dozen spikes along with a quartet of service aces. The Lady Vikings were defensive diggin dynamos as they crested the century threshold as a team, while a quintet notched double digits with Kass Cox and Destiny Manuel delving into the 20s, while Liev Smith and both Fryberger sisters tallied among the teens.
Charlo’s initial consolation opponent likewise rerouted from the lower half of the bracket would be Eastern C second-seed Westby-Grenora, otherwise know as the MonDak Thunder on account of Grenora residing on the other side of the North Dakota border.
The Lady Vikings would sweep the Thunder in straight sets, the first set being the closest at 25-20.
The win would be the first for Charlo on the State C stage.
Carlee Fryberger and Liev Smith combined for two dozen kills, while Bella Hawk and Kira McPhail collaborated on more than another dozen. Smith and Hawk both dealt a pair of aces, while Destiny Manuel and Liev Smith collaborated on more than thirty defensive digs.
Clipped by Cats
Charlo’s subsequent consolation crossover opponent would be the Eastern top-seeded Wildcats of Plentywood, who had only incurred one loss all season long before getting bumped into the consolation rounds in their previous round match by Western top-seed Manhattan Christian.
One would be inclined to surmise that Plentywood probably isn’t much different from Charlo based on their records in the sense that neither relish the prospect of a loss. Beside the bad taste losing leaves on the tongue, it tends to aggrivate a figurative bee to buzz in their bonnets.
The Wildcats would take the first set, but both tallies gravitated into the 20s before the dust would settle in Plentywood’s favor
But the Wildcats would soon discover the tenacious Lady Vikings to be a formidable foe as Charlo captured the next two sets for a 2-1 advantage.
Plentywood evened the match at two apiece by taking the fourth set, setting up a fifth set finale with the winner advancing to the fourth place match. The Wildcats would narrowly prevail in the extra set to end the stellar run of the season by the Lady Vikings.
Carlee Fryberger had the hot hand at the net with 20 kills, while Kira McPhail and Liev Smith collaborated on another dozen spikes. McPhail led the kabosh at the net with a quintet of block rejections. The Lady Viking defense was stellar as the team dug out more than 150 defensive digs. Destiny Manuel almost excavated out three dozen digs, while Liev Smith, Kass Cox and both Frybergers all tallied among the 20s along with Bella Hawk contributing high teen digs.
Head coach Rhondell Volinkaty summarized, “Both matches we dropped .. could have gone either way..... We went to compete, played incredible teams and the girls battled their hearts out.”
Volinkaty continued, “We came up short of a championship, but I cant say we fell too short. We truly met every team goal we set for the year as a team.... We won our first State volleyball tournament game in Charlo school history and being sixth out of 101 Class C volleyball teams in the state of Montana is nothing to slouch about. I am so proud of each one of the girls... They all owned their role on the team and that is why we got as far as we did.”
Volinkaty attributed some of their success to an underlying team dynamic: “I preach a family mentality ... and I would attribute our successes to our team unity followed by ability. We overcame some adversity through our season and I believe that only bonded us more as a unit.”
Charlo graduates a trio of starters in Bella Hawk, Destiny Manuel and Kira McPhail.
2019 State C VB Tournament
Brick Breeden Field House
Montana State University
Plentywood def. Charlo 3-2 (lo)
(2W) 14C Charlo (23-6), (1E) 1C Plentywood (24-2)
Plentywood def. Charlo 25-20, 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-8
KILLS – C40 (Carlee Fryberger 20, K.McPhail 6, L.Smith 6, B.Hawk 4, Con.Fryberger 3), P54 (Donn Longan 23, Liv Wangerin 19). ACES – C5 (Connor Fryberger 3), P11 (Shayla Fawcett 3). ASSISTS – C36 (Kassidi Cox 16, Connor Fryberger 16), P40 (Ashtyn Curtiss 24). BLOCKS – C11 (Kira McPhail 5, Car.Fryberger 3 L.Smith 3), P3 (Alyssa Hurst 2). DIGS – C153 (Destiny Manuel 35, Liev Smith 27, Car.Fryberger 24, Kass Cox 23, Con.Fryberger 22, Bella Hawk 18), P89 (Donn Longnan 19, S.Fawcett 19). (Fr15Nov19gm10st)
Charlo def. Westby-Grenora 3-0 (lo)
(2W) 14C Charlo (23-5), (2E) 1C Westby-Grenora (16-10)
Charlo def. Westby-Grenora 25-20, 25-15, 25-18
KILLS – WG19 (Jenna Rust 11), C38 (Carlee Fryberger 15, Liev Smith 9, Bella Hawk 8, Kira McPhail 6). ACES – WG4 (J.Rust 2), C5 (Liev Smith 2, Bella Hawk 2, Con.Fryberger). ASSISTS – WG19 (Elizabeth Field 17), C36 (Kassidi Cox 20, Connor Fryberger 13). BLOCKS – WG (na), C7 (Car.Fryberger 3, McPhail 2, Kass Cox, L.Smith). DIGS – WG48 (J.Rust 17), C71 (Destiny Manuel 21, L.Smith 11). (Fr15Nov19gm8st) MonDak Thunder = Westby-Grenora coop
Fort Benton def. Charlo 3-1
(2W) 14C Charlo (22-5), (1N) 7C Fort Benton (19-6)
Fort Benton def. Charlo 30-28, 22-25, 25-17, 27-25
KILLS – C30 (Carlee Fryberger 15, Bella Hawk 6, L.Smith 4, K.McPhail, Con.Fryberger), FB62 (Nicole Axtman 21, McKenzie Clark 18, Abby Clark 9). ACES – C5 (B.Hawk 4, D.Manuel), FB4 (Cassie Nack, Mollinario, M.Clark). ASSISTS – C28 (Kass Cox 15, Connor Fryberger 13), FB56 (McKenna Hanford 29, Maci Mollinario 27). BLOCKS – C10 (Kira McPhail 4, Car.Fryberger 3, Kass Cox, L.Smith, B.Hawk), FB6 (M.Clark 3, A.Clark 2). DIGS – C104 (Kassidi Cox 27, Destiny Manuel 24, Liev Smith 17, Con.Fryberger 15, Car.Fryberger 14), FB72 (Axtman 19, Jasmine Wilson 18, Mollinario 11). (Th14Nov19gm4st)
(gm15) Manh.Christian def. Bridger 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 20-25, 15-12 (2nd champ)
(gm14) Manh.Christian def. Bridger 25-18, 25-8, 22-25, 25-23 (1st champ)
(gm13) Manh.Christian def. Belt 25-21, 22-25, 24-26, 25-10, 15-12 (3rd place)
(gm12) Belt def. Plentywood 25-17, 25-18, 19-25, 25-12 (4th place)
(gm11) Bridger def. Manhattan Christian 25-20, 12-25, 23-25, 25-13, 15-10 (semi)
(gm9) Belt def. Fort Benton 16-25, 25-15, 21-25, 21-25, 16-14 (lo)
(gm7) Belt def. Roy-Winifred 19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-18 (lo)
(gm6) Bridger def. Fort Benton 25-17, 28-26, 25-20
(gm5) Manhattan Christian def. Plentywood 23-25, 25-14, 27-25, 27-25
(gm3) Bridger def. Westby-Grenora 25-23, 25-11, 25-16
(gm2) Manhattan Christian def. Roy-Winifred 25-10, 25-12, 19-25, 25-15
(gm1) Plentywood def. Belt 14-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-14
(1E) 1C Plentywood (22-1) Wildcats vs (2N) 7C Belt (20-5) Lady Huskies
(1W) 11C Manhattan Christian (21-1) Eagles vs (2S) 5C Roy-Winifred (21-2) Outlaws
(1S) 4C Bridger (23-1) Lady Scouts vs (2E) 1C Westby-Grenora (16-8) MonDak Thunder
(1N) 7C Fort Benton (18-5) Longhorns vs (2W) 14C Charlo (22-4) Lady Vikings