The Huntley Project volleyball team is headed back to the state tournament for the 19th consecutive year, according to head coach Iona Stookey. The Red Devils have gotten used to reloading rather than rebuilding over the years, and this season has been no different.
As a freshman, Macee Murphy cracked Huntley Project's rotation, but she still stood in the wings behind talented upperclassmen. Now a sophomore, Murphy has been an emerging star for the Red Devils.
"Last year I didn't get to play as much because I wasn't as experienced," Murphy said. "This year there's not another right-side (hitter) or opposite that can fill the position really."
Murphy was an all-state track athlete as a freshman and is one of the most versatile players on the Huntley Project team. A natural setter, Murphy's hops have been on display both hitting and blocking.
"Macee is just athletic. She's a great kid, she works hard all the time and she's very coachable," Stookey said. "It's nice. It's nice to have that player, and I have a few that I can move around. I'm pretty blessed with the kids I have."
"(Stookey) has helped me a lot so that I can do about anything she really wants me to," Murphy said. "When we were little she asked us what we wanted to be and I said setter, but Addy (Hultgren) is older than me and we always have to wait our turn. She had me start hitting this year and a little bit last year."
Murphy has had an instant impact for Huntley Project this season and is a name to watch in the future.
Huntley Project, the reigning state champion and the South's No. 1 seed for this year's tournament, will face Glasgow, the North's No. 2 seed, at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the opening round of the State B volleyball tournament in Bozeman at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Brackets can be found here.