BOZEMAN -- Manhattan Christian came the long way around, but the Eagles are again the Class C state volleyball champions.
Manhattan Christian defeated Bridger in two championship matches -- 25-18, 25-8, 22-25, 25-23 in the first and 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 20-25, 15-12 in the second -- Saturday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse to claim its first title since 2011.
In the first championship match, Kiersten VanKirk recorded 20 kills for the Eagles. Taylor DeVries and Hailey VanDyken each had four blocks, and DeVries added 43 assists. Emily Adkins led Bridger with 18 kills and five aces in the first championship.
VanKirk was even better in the second championship match, posting 33 kills, four blocks and 23 digs. DeVries had 56 assists. Adkins had 27 kills in the loss for Bridger.
It's the second consecutive runner-up finish for the Scouts.
The Eagles lost to Bridger in five sets in Friday's undefeated semifinal, forcing them to battle back through the consolation bracket. They survived a five-set thriller earlier Saturday to secure their place in the championship match, taking down reigning champion Belt 25-21, 22-25, 24-26, 25-10, 15-12 behind 28 kills from VanKirk.
Abby Gliko record 19 kills for Belt, and Kolby Pimperton contributed 55 assists and two aces. The Huskies finished the tournament winning the third-place trophy.