CHURCHILL – It was sweet revenge for Manhattan Christian on Friday.
After losing twice to Gardiner in the district volleyball tournament last week, Manhattan Christian defeated the Bruins when it mattered most with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 sweep in the Western C divisional semifinals on their home court.
The Eagles had only beaten Gardiner once before early in the regular season, and the win on Friday night guarantees Manhattan Christian a spot in the state tournament next week at Montana State University.
Kellie Van Kirk, who is committed to play volleyball at the University of Montana, led the Eagles in kills with 15. Senior Kelsey Hiedema provided a defensive spark with a game-high five blocks.
Abby Dean finished with a team-high 10 kills for the Bruins.
In the second match of the night, the Ennis Mustangs, the defending Class C state champions, staved off elimination by defeating Charlo 25-17, 25-15, 25-20. Jourdain Klein dominated with a game-high 21 kills, while her sister Shelby handled the defense, pacing the Mustangs with eight blocks.
Charlo took down Twin Bridges earlier in the day in four sets (25-16, 23-25, 27-25, 15-14) to advance and play Ennis. But with the loss to the Mustangs, Charlo’s shot at a state tournament bid falls short.
Kaitlin Cox, a senior for the Lady Vikings, had a shining performance, leading her team in four statistical categories: kills (15), digs (22), blocks (2) and aces (2).
Ennis will now face Gardiner on Saturday, and the winner will advance to the championship game against Manhattan Christian as well as secure a spot in the state tournament.