HELENA -- The Helena Capital Bruins have the opportunity to do something special this year. With 58 consecutive wins across the past three seasons, the Bruins have a chance to break the record for most consecutive wins by a Class AA volleyball program (Billings Senior won 65 straight between 2006-09, per the Montana High School Association record books) and move into a tie for fourth for total state championships (Lewistown's five titles rank fourth, per the MHSA).
Though they have these opportunities, the COVID-19 pandemic has put things into perspective for the team, and they're just focused on getting the most out of each day.
"We're all really excited to be out on the court. We're taking advantage of every opportunity that we have and just adapting to what's thrown at us," said Katie LaFave.
"We decided that it's not going to be an end-of-season goal but more of a day-to-day and opponent-by-opponent, just the task at hand, more than looking too far ahead," said head coach Rebecca Cleveland. "I think that's a great way to approach these regardless of being pandemic or not, is not looking too far out in front and not relishing in the moment that you're in."
Though the Bruins are taking it day by day, or opponent by opponent, the overarching goal for them is still to win a state championship, noted Cleveland, but their focus is built around a championship mindset, instead of a championship-oriented goal.
"I would say that champion-driven mindset as far as how we practice and how we want to play," said Cleveland. "If that ends up being in the championship match, awesome. If we don't get to the state tournament because of the pandemic, then those are the cards that were dealt."
Still, the thought of being able to do something special is not lost on her players.
"That would mean the world to me. I think it's just an awesome opportunity to be on this team. It's been really fun over the years being able to be at state and I'd just love to win another championship," said Kennedy Pocha.
The Bruins will take their next step toward their day-to-day and overarching goals when they host the Missoula Big Sky Eagles on Saturday at 3 p.m.