Billings Senior blows by Glacier at state AA volleyball
By EVAN MCCULLERS
The Daily Inter Lake
BOZEMAN — Glacier showed some fight against the top-ranked Class AA team in the state.
It came too late to do much good.
Billings Senior dispensed of the Wolfpack in three sets — 25-15, 25-9, 25-22 — on Thursday in the first round of the all-class state volleyball tournament, sending the Northwest’s only qualifier for state at the AA level into the losers’ bracket early.
“We didn’t play well,” Glacier coach Christy Harkins said. “We did not serve, and we did not pass. We can’t run any offense against them if we can’t pass the ball.”
Senior, the top seed from the East and one of the favorites to take home the state title, gave the Wolfpack all it could handle from the get-go, breezing through the first set before routing Glacier in the second.
But despite the Broncs’ strength, Harkins pointed to Glacier’s mistakes as the primary cause of Senior’s early dominance.
“I don’t know what we ended up with misses, but it’s way too many points to just give a team like that,” she said. “With a good team, you can’t give them points. We gave up a lot of points, gave up a lot of aces. Can’t win when you’re doing that.”
Senior tallied seven aces to Glacier’s two, and the Broncs record 30 assists to Glacier’s 22.
Senior was also strong defensively, notching 37 digs to just 15 for the Wolfpack.
The Glacier head coach struggled to pinpoint the root of the team’s struggles in a game it had more than a week to prepare for.
“I don’t know how we wouldn’t have been focused, because we knew what we were getting into,” Harkins said. “And I don’t know how we wouldn’t know there was going to be pressure. We talked about it, and we dealt with that. Maybe we didn’t deal with the pressure very well.”
The Wolfpack bounced back from the second-set clobbering to make a game of the third set.
The two teams were deadlocked at 22 before Senior scored three consecutive points to close out the match.
“Nice little effort in Game 3,” Harkins said. “That was good.
“I think we started passing better and serving better in Game 3. I don’t think we missed as many. I’m not sure about that, but it felt better.”
Glacier now must win to keep its season alive. The Wolfpack faces Billings West at noon today. The two teams split at the Great Falls Invitational earlier this season.
Billings Senior def. Glacier 25-15, 25-9, 25-22
Kills — Glacier 23 (Aubrie Rademacher 8), Billings Senior 31 (Kola Bad Bear 11). Blocks — Glacier 5 (Alivia Atlee 2, Ashley Montini 2, Rademacher 2), Billings Senior 11 (Bad Bear 4, Lici Zimmermann 4). Digs — Glacier 15 (McKenna Johnson 6), Billings Senior 37 (Jordan Gilchrist 9, Kelsey Sargent 9, Raegan Steiner 9). Assists — Glacier 22 (Ashley Montini 21), Billings Senior 30 (Courtney Bad Bear 13). Aces — Glacier 2 (individual leader N/A), Billings Senior 7 (Sargent 2, Sam Bonenberger 2).