JH Lady Badgers Take Second at District Tournament


Photo courtesy of Debbie Lynn

Member of the junior high volleyball team congratulate each other on a point.

Preslee Carroll, Staff Writer

The Cascade Lady Badgers A team clawed their way through the competition during their district tournament. They played hard with very consistent serves and many other amazing things. The Badgers ended up playing Belt on Thursday, and then Fort Benton, Great Falls Central, and Fort Benton again during the championship on Friday, October 12.

Belt was the first antagonist that the Lady Badgers faced. The Huskies came out strong, but they were no match for the Lady Badgers. Four unexpected tips where gained by the Lady Badgers. Karissa Riphenburg, Jolee Davis, Preslee Carroll, and Kodiann Lynn all performed a tip that gained the Badgers a point. The first game was a tense victory for the Lady Badgers with a final score of 27-26.  The final point was won in a sudden-death volley.

The second game wasn’t as close.  Kodiann Lynn scored a point after her aggressive hit along with another kill and a kill by Karissa Riphenburg and Jolee Davis. The Lady Badgers finished their first tournament game as the adrenaline stopped running through their veins and they got a chance to relax. The second game ended with a better score for the Badgers than the first. It was 25-21 when the game finished.

After the Lady Badgers faced the Belt Huskies they had to play the Fort Benton Longhorns. The Longhorns and the Badgers both put up a strong fight. The Longhorns and the Badgers both had incredible serves that led to easy points in some cases. Fort Benton came out with a strong lead of 7-2. They held that lead throughout the game. But the Badgers almost caught up halfway through the game when Sydney Gutierrez started to serve. Sydney got the team three points that put the Badgers a point away from the Longhorns. Even though the Cascade Badgers got close they didn’t quite finish it and the Fort Benton Longhorns won the first match with a final score of 18-25. During the second match, the Lady Badgers started the game out with a lead when Madison Cope served. Cope moved the score from 0-1 to 3-1. The Badgers continued to play hard and they almost forced the match to a third game but finished with a losing score of 23-25.

When the Badgers lost against the Longhorns they went to the losers’ bracket and had to work their way back through the bracket to place in the tournament. Great Falls Central was the next team the Badgers faced. If the Badgers had lost the game, they would have been eliminated from the tournament. The ladies had to play hard, and they did. During the first game, the Badgers were excited to play, and this led to a game with a 12-point lead. This lead was caused by tips and blocks. Carroll tipped the ball over the net and gained an easy point. Lynn also played at the net really well and gained a point from a block. These two performances and many more led the Badgers to a victory of 25-13. The next match was not as easy for the Lady Badgers.  The Mustangs seemed to be playing harder and better; however, the Badgers still had consistent serves but these serves didn’t win the game. The final score of the second match was a losing score of 22-25. This score led the Badgers to a third game that was played better than the one before. This time the Badgers not only had consistent serves but hits too. Lynn had an aggressive kill that gained a point along with Riphenburg and Davis. These hits caused the opponent to have to work a little harder to get the ball up. And they did but weren’t as good as the Badgers during the third match. The final score was a close score of 17-15. This score placed the Badgers in the championship game and Central was knocked out of the tournament into third place.

Because the Badgers won against Great Falls Central they had to play the Fort Benton Longhorns in the championship game. The Badgers didn’t do as well when they faced the Longhorns for the second time. However, the team played hard and tried their hardest. They had consistent passes and great sets to the hitters that led to a few kills and some tips. For example, Kayla Satterwhite was always on her toes when she played as libero and got the ball to the setter almost every time she passed. Despite this hard work, the Badgers lost the first match with a final score of 14-25. The second match was played better than the first for the Badgers. During this match, they were ready for hits as they always came to the middle of the court. This resulted in fewer kills for the Longhorns and more points for the Badgers. The Badgers finished the game off with a pass, set, hit and a final score of 25-16. The third match seemed difficult for the Lady Badgers because they couldn’t get themselves another point once they got to eight. This resulted in a loss for the Lady Badgers.

The Lady Badgers finished off their season placing second in district tournaments and playing harder than they ever have. Fort Benton placed first and Great Falls Central Catholic placed third. The Badgers went in with a seeding in second place and kept that throughout tournament proving they really deserved it.

“I’m super proud of the improvements the girls made in their skills and their increased knowledge of the game over the course of the season,” said junior high head coach Siobhan Hathhorn.  “They finished the season strongly, knocked off the district champion, Fort Benton, during the regular season, and finished second in league play and the tournament.  The girls were supportive of one another, played as a team, and enjoyed the game of volleyball during practice and games.   It will be fun to watch this group of girls progress over the next few years…..they have a lot of athletic ability and potential.”