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Whitefish hosts outdoor volleyball tourney this weekend

by JULIE ENGLER
Whitefish Pilot | June 12, 2024 1:00 AM

The second annual Flathead Valley Volley-Brawl will bring outdoor grass volleyball action to the field at Whitefish High School, Saturday, June 15. The Volley-Brawl is an adult, co-ed tournament featuring 40 teams from the valley, Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Spokane, and western Washington.  

Event organizer and Whitefish High School assistant volleyball coach Keaton Grove started the event last year.

“I go out and play in a lot of competitive tournaments here and there but most of those are in Missoula or Spokane or Billings,” Grove said. “There hasn’t been any here, so last year I started it, in a way, to get the community playing volleyball a little bit more.”

He said the Flathead Valley is well-represented in the tournament. This year, with 40 teams competing, the Volley-Brawl is one of the top-five largest outdoor grass tournaments in Montana.  

Each four-person team is made up of two men and two women, all of whom are experienced, competitive volleyball players. Pool play begins at 8 a.m. with bracket play beginning around noon. The tournament will wrap up around 6 p.m.

It is free to attend the event and donations will be accepted. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit The Abbie Shelter, The Nate Chute Foundation and The Randy Dowdy Fund at Whitefish High School. 

“The Randy Dowdy Fund is like an athletic financial aid fund,” said Grove. “It is for kids who need help buying a pair of cleats or paying for their athletic fees. It helps kids participate in sports.”

Grove called last year’s tourney “really fun” and said the high school has been generous by allowing use of the field.

“It's been a great way to build a community around here of not just volleyball players, but friends,” Grove said. “We’re just hoping to get the ball rolling with a tournament here.”


    Some of the action at last year's Flathead Valley Volley-Brawl tournament at Whitefish High School. (photo by Greg Nelson of Artwestimage.com)

    Volley-Brawl action from last year. (Photo by Greg Nelson of Artwestimage.com)
 
 
    Volley-Brawl action from last year. (Photo by Greg Nelson of Artwestimage.com)