BOZEMAN — Huntley Project has been in this position before, but that doesn't make the taste of victory any less sweet.
"We all start really young and we all stay through it through all the years. We're all really close and never take it for granted," senior Kelsey Krieger said.
The Red Devils sealed their third consecutive State B volleyball title on Saturday inside Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman with a four-set win over Southern B foe Townsend.
"We never talked about state until the end, so it's never really — we want to be here, but it's never so much pressure that we have to make it here," Project senior Harlie Murphy said. "We never talk about it until it comes, so I think that helps so much. Just knowing that we're doing it for us and it doesn't really matter because we're here for us."
Project jumped on Townsend, winning the first two sets, 25-18, 25-23. The Bulldogs then handed Project its first set loss of the entire tournament in the third set, 19-25, but Project finished it off emphatically in the fourth set, 25-12.
"We all just didn't find our groove that set, but I knew that if we lost that one we could come back. We just played a little flat, so I was never really worried at all," Murphy said.
Murphy led the way for Project with a ridiculous tally of 27 kills, nearly half of the Red Devils' 57 as a team. She also had two blocks to lead Project. Brynn Wandle had 48 of Project's 51 assists.
Kaitlyn Noyes had 11 kills and five blocks for Townsend, while Cheyenne Cavin added 12 kills.
That marks state championship No. 15 for Project head coach Iona Stookey, extending her Montana all-class record.
"She's an amazing coach. She has a lot of knowledge and she knows what she's doing. She has so much experience through all her years, so she's amazing," Krieger said.