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Western AA volleyball: Helena emerges as division champion, stays undefeated

Posted at 9:25 AM, Nov 06, 2022

MISSOULA — Saturday, Helena High faced Missoula Hellgate in the Western AA divisional championship.

The beginning of the first set was a back-and-forth battle between the Bengals and the Knights. Midway through the set something clicked for the Bengals and they went on to dominate the first 25-15.

The Bengals carried that winning energy straight into the second set beating the Knights 25-8, to put them up 2-0.

The third was a much different story than the first two sets. The Hellgate Knights refused to go away quietly, seeing set scores of 9-9, 11-11, and so forth throughout the set, eventually forcing Helena High to call two timeouts throughout the set- something they hadn’t needed to do in the first two sets. The Bengals then found themselves down 21-23. They were able to rally four straight points to sweep the knights 3-0.

“We definitely condition a lot in practice to make it through these three days and to be able to make it through a five set match where all the sets are close, but I think mostly it's the mentality. Our mentality is always we're gonna win and we're also competitive to where we can always fight our way through anything. Even if teams are coming back at us. We're always gonna find a way,” senior setter Kim Feller said of the third set.

Helena High had a total of 35 kills, leading in kills was sophomore Birdie Heuiser with 11. The team had 43 total digs, leading was libero Morin Blaise with 14.

Great effort by the Bengals, Lauren Heuiser kill

“I think we all just showed up. And even in the rough moments, we came together and we just worked as a team, which helped us to our success,” the setter said.

The Helena High Bengals advanced to a conference record of 14-0, and a tournament record of 3-0, for a perfect 17-0 record against teams in the Western AA.

“I just think the success of going to state is probably the best thing. It's our goal every year. And finally getting there as a senior is just amazing. And adding a divisional championship is also great,” Feller said.

Her hope for the Bengals during their upcoming state run is simple.

“Just to go out and play consistently and confidently and compete at state.”