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State AA volleyball: Undefeated Billings West works way into championship

Kourtney Grossman
Posted at 9:12 PM, Nov 10, 2023

BOZEMAN — Billings West has had a workmanlike mentality all season.

The Golden Bears kept the same approach at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse Friday, manufacturing a 25-16, 25-20, 25-21 win over Bozeman Gallatin in the undefeated semifinal of the Class AA state volleyball tournament.

"Every day just kind of coming to work a little harder," Kourtney Grossman said of the Bears' motivation this season after placing second each of the past two seasons. "Just remembering kind of the sting of the last few seasons and just focusing on doing everything we can to not let that happen again."

West's work during this state tournament has been well rewarded. The Golden Bears have won their three matches without dropping a set, rarely feeling pressure from seemingly overmatched opponents. Friday's undefeated semifinal was no different, as Gallatin had no answer for West's powerful lineup.

Sydney Pierce hammered down 10 kills, Grossman had seven and Halle Haber contributed six. Haber also had three blocks. Brooklyn Pierce and Sydney Pierce each had two blocks. West has now beaten Gallatin four times this season.

"We definitely know their strengths and weaknesses, and they probably know ours," Grossman said. "So, it’s just coming in, doing what we always do and not try to change anything because we’ve been here before, and just trying to do what we do best and trying to see if that can cover it."

Gallatin got 12 kills from Emma Hardman, 10 from Karsen Breeding and eight from Cadence Lundgren. The Raptors will play crosstown rival Bozeman in the third-place match at 10 a.m. Saturday.

West, meanwhile, will take its undefeated record into the state championship match, which tips off at noon Saturday.

"We’re feeling pretty good. We’ve had a lot of fun this tournament so far. We’re just enjoying our last tournament as a team together and just trying to have as much fun as we can," Grossman said. "We’re gonna go eat some Mexican food, because I feel like a good burrito gets the job done."

For updated scores and pairings, click here.

Loser-out matches

Kalispell Glacier def. Missoula Sentinel 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20

Helena def. Helena Capital 25-17, 25-23, 25-18

Billings Skyview def. Kalispell Glacier 25-23, 25-21, 25-21

Bozeman def. Helena 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-18

Bozeman def. Billings Skyview 25-16, 25-23, 25-21 (fourth-place match)