HELENA — While many likely wished it wouldn't happen, the Helena Capital volleyball team's streak of 71 straight wins was snapped on Saturday after falling to both Billings Senior and Billings Skyview.
Though the slow start is uncharacteristic for Helena Capital volleyball, it didn't come totally out of the blue with the Bruins losing three division-one college athletes in Audrey Hofer, Paige and Dani Bartsch to graduation. Regardless, Helena Capital head coach Rebecca Cleveland was happy with the way her team performed on Saturday and thinks it's only a matter of time before the Bruins begin to find a groove.
"I mean, 71 is awesome. That's -- we're not even worried about that. We have it, our names attached to it. But now it's what can we do with our awesome 12 and what journey are we gonna go on together?" said Cleveland at practice on Thursday. "We're pushing each other, we're encouraging each other, putting the best volleyball forward that we can."
With the Bruins now featuring new faces of leadership, they still feel like they're going to be competitive it just may take a little time to get some of the younger players fully up to speed.
"I definitely thought we did really, really well. Like, I was surprised based on, we didn't have too many returners. So, that jump from like [junior varsity] to varsity is definitely a big one," said senior Parklynn Heller in regards to Saturday's matches against Senior and Skyview. "I think we played really well. We were super scrappy, we hustled really hard and I was very impressed with just how well we played together."
With just under a week before they officially begin the regular season, the Bruins are still in the stage of determining who fits best in each situation, which is why players are looking forward to Saturday's East/West Crossover tournament where they'll get the chance to square off against four different teams.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how we do with different teams and seeing where we're at. Also just getting more opportunity to get better before the season really kicks off," said senior Camryn Bauch.
The Bruins open the East/West crossover tournament on Saturday in Great Falls against Great Falls CMR at 11 a.m.