HELENA -- In 2018 the Helena High Bengals were the only team in the Western AA to defeat the Helena Capital Bruins.
Now sporting a roster that only slightly resembles the Bengals of 2018, they know they have their work cut out for them ahead of Saturday's crosstown matchup.
"They've got a great offense and a great defense also," said Aubrie Christman. "When they get a ball, they execute it very well."
That doesn't mean the Bengals think they can't win. Riding the momentum of a 3-1 victory over the Missoula Sentinel Spartans, the Bengals feel that they're ready to take on the Bruins.
"Crosstown is such a big game, such a big rivalry. I think momentum-wise, from Homecoming, from Sentinel, we all just have this built-up energy," said Caroline Bullock. "I think we're all just ready to play and see our friends over across town and finally show off what we can do."
In Helena any and every crosstown matchup is well-attended by both students and parents. Whether it's volleyball, basketball, or football, it gets loud and it gets rowdy. The Bengals know they'll have to keep their wits about them Saturday if they want to walk away with a win
"One thing that we do before the game is we pick out where the hitters are and where the great defense is and if the setter is front row or back row, and that helps us get channeled into the next play," said Christman.
"If they just try to focus in and key in on what we have going on on the court and try to put all those extra things aside, and they do a really good job about that," said head coach Lindsey Day.
While the atmosphere is something that can be a hindrance, whether it's impeding communication or the jeering from the student section, some players expect to feed off the energy the crowd is producing.
"Our student section has done a really good job of just getting rowdy and stuff like that," said Bullock. "I think the energy and the rowdiness will feed onto our court, so I think it will just add onto our momentum instead of distracting us."
The Bengals will host the Bruins for Round 1 of the crosstown series on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.