BOZEMAN — Danyel Martin and Jourdain Klein get the bulk of the recognition for their dominating play at the net.

They give all the credit to their teammates.

“Without all these girls,” said Martin, motioning to her happy teammates. “Jourdain and I couldn’t do half the things we do.”

Everybody for Ennis did plenty as the Mustangs swept Belt 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 to win the Class C state volleyball title at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs were unbeaten against Class C teams this season. Their only loss was to Class B tournament team Three Forks, which Ennis also defeated.

“We knew from the start of the season we wanted to get back to this point,” Ennis coach Betty Klein said. “It didn’t matter if we played Belt again or not, we wanted to get back to the championship match.”

It is the Mustangs' second state title and first since 2009. Last year, they lost to the Huskies in the championship match after coming through the consolation bracket.

“We learned a lot from last year,” said the 6-foot-3 Martin, who scored the final point with a putback at the net. “Last year, we were nervous. This year, that experience helped. We knew what was going on.”

Martin and Klein each had 12 kills. Martin also finished with eight blocks and Klein six.

Martin, a senior, plans to play for Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, this fall. The 6-1 Klein, the reigning state champion in the high jump, is a junior.

“That’s OK,” Betty Klein said of teams focusing on her two leading hitters. “That opens things up for other players.”

Payton Fortner had 22 assists and 10 digs for the new state champions, and Whitney McKitrick had eight and nine digs. Fortner also had three aces and McKitrick two.

“They are a team,” Klein said as the players posed with the first-place trophy. “They work hard every single day.”

Adrian Malek led Belt with 12 kills and 12 digs. Kolby Pimperton had 22 assists.

It is the third straight top-two finish for Belt, which has placed second, first and second the past three seasons.

The Huskies reached the title game by rallying past Gardiner 22-25, 24-26, 25-17 25-16, 15-9 in the third-place match earlier in the morning.

But the afternoon belonged to Ennis.

“We didn’t care who we played,” Martin said. “We knew we had to play our game … attack.

“It’s such a feeling of accomplishment.”

Belt 3, Gardiner 2

The Bruins were in control when the Huskies grabbed the wheel.

Malek had a match-high 20 kills, and Dani Urick added 32 digs and 15 kills for Belt. Morgan Cooper had 30 digs for the Huskies, and Kyelie Marquis had 27 digs and four aces.

The teams combined for 244 digs.

“They got the momentum,” Gardiner coach Carmen Harbach said. “We lost it a little bit and couldn’t get it back. That happens in volleyball. There were a couple of unlucky breaks in the fifth set that might have turned the match, but it didn’t.”

Brook Russell led the Bruins with 17 kills and 21 digs. Sage Cowley had 36 assists and 26 digs. Chloe Chase had 27 digs for Gardiner.

It is Gardiner’s first state trophy since the Bruins won the last of three straight state championships in 2014.

Email Joe Kusek at joe.kusek@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJoe

0
0
0
0
1

Load comments