Butte Central sweeps East Helena volleyball to host play-off final on Saturday | High School Class A Volleyball


MOUND – Montana A’s volleyball playoffs kicked off Thursday as the Southwest A’s No. 4 seeded Butte Central Maroons hosted the No. 7 seeded East Helena Vigilantes at the Maroon Activities Center.

Butte Central libero Maycee Anderson digs early in the match against East Helena.

Thursday night was the fourth time in 35 days the team had faced each other, with Butte Central winning the first three times. The Maroons won in three games sandwiched around a 30-22 triumph over the Vigilantes in the Blocktober Classic tournament at the MAC.

Central swept the Vigilantes by scores of 25-15, 30-28 and 25-17.

East Helena Dymon Root

East Helena’s Dymon Root gets up on a serve early in the first game against Butte Central.

“That’s what the playoffs are about,” Butte Central head coach Becky Hancock said. “Right now it’s do or die. East Helena is ready to play tonight.”

The Maroons quickly took a 4-0 lead, behind two aces from Mia Keeley. Brooke Badovinac added two kills in a 6-4 stretch to extend Central’s advantage to 10-4.

A block and kill from Dymon Root helped the Vigilantes stay at arm’s length from the Maroons.

Maya Westerhold from East Helena

Vigilantes setter Maya Westerhold watches the Butte Central side ahead of a serve.

Central worked in a 6-1 run, with Keeley saving another East Helena strike force to call a timeout with Central leading 18-8.

Back-to-back kills from Ella Moodry extended the Maroons lead to 12 points.

A few unforced errors from the Maroons helped the Vigilantes narrow the margin to eight points, which forced Hancock to call a timeout to break the momentum.

Brooke Badovinac of Butte Central

Butte Central’s Brooke Badovinac waits for the referee’s signal before serving.

A kill from Moodry and a free kick into the net for the Vigilantes won the Maroons opener by ten.

The teams played evenly on the first ten points of the second match, each having made two service errors.

There was no shortage of electrifying moments, with East Helena’s Racine, Janelle Taylor and Talea Wigen recording wins, and Moodry, Badovinac and Mollie Drew scoring wins for Central.

The Maroons took a four-point lead, 13-9, when the Vigilantes went on a 7-3 run to tie the game at 16-16.

Errors from both sides led to a 19-19 scoreline down the game.

Keeley witnessed Jaeden Berger’s kill and an ace from Moodry gave the Maroons two points and forced a timeout for East Helena head coach Karla Layson.

Serving errors from both sides tied the teams down at 23-23, and a Vigilante strike into the net put Central on match point.

After a timeout, East Helena tied the game at 24-24. A double-hit violation on the Vigilantes again put the Maroons on point and a wicked diving dig from Maycee Anderson resulted in a point from East Helena.

Ella Moodry of Butte Central

Butte Central student body members watch intently as Ella Moodry stops a bullet from coming out the back of the Maroons side.

With the match tied at 26-26, Moodry’s block was answered with a Root block to tie the match at 27-27.

A typing error gave the Maroons a 28-27 lead. A service error from Central restarted the game.

A thunderous kill attempt from Badovinac was dug in by Dru Lindsey from the East Helena side and earned the Vigilantes the point. Keeley’s kill and a Vigilantes misfire gave Central the second game and a 2-0 lead in the game.

“I think it was a great defensive game,” Hancock said. “It’s one of the best defensive games we’ve had. I thought we were picking up a lot of things that we haven’t done in the season.”

A few unforced errors, a kill from Drew and an ace from Keeley to start Game 3 put the Vigilantes behind 6-0.

Root broke the service with a kill. However, a pair of typing errors from East Helena forced a timeout for the Vigilantes, down 8-2.

A 4-2 run by East Helena forced Hancock to call a timeout to calm the Maroons down.

“It’s the unforced errors that we have to eliminate on Saturday,” Hancock said.

The Vigilantes scored twice more before a pair of unforced errors reduced the margin to four.

Anderson’s ace made it 15-9, in which the Vigilantes called their final timeout.

Keeley’s kill down the line and another in midfield for the Vigilantes stopped a four-point run for Central.

The Vigilantes continued to fight back, but the Maroons answered each call with a point.

Central closed out the game with three straight points to win the game.

The Maroons will host the winner of Frenchtown and Corvallis on Saturday at the Maroon Activities Center.

Dymon Root and Lucy Kelly

East Helena’s Dymon Root (14) punches into the block of Butte Central’s Lucy Kelly.


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