Lady spikers close season at state tourney

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  • Mikenna Ells bumps the ball in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman. (Jeff Doorn photo)

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    Marlee Bender spikes the ball against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

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    Payton Reisinger and Lucy Ridgeway rise up for the block against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

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    Kaiah Moore rises for the kill against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman. (Jeff Doorn photos)

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    Marlee Bender and Kaiah Moore look to block a Belgrade spike in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

  • Mikenna Ells bumps the ball in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman. (Jeff Doorn photo)

  • 1

    Marlee Bender spikes the ball against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

  • 2

    Payton Reisinger and Lucy Ridgeway rise up for the block against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

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    Kaiah Moore rises for the kill against Hardin in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman. (Jeff Doorn photos)

  • 4

    Marlee Bender and Kaiah Moore look to block a Belgrade spike in the Class A State Tournament last week in Bozeman.

The Lady Dogs’ solid season came to a close last week at the Class A State Tournament.

Whitefish dropped its two games in the tournament in Bozeman.

On Thursday the Lady Dogs opened against Belgrade, who they hadn’t played but had watched during a Butte tournament earlier in the year.

The Lady Panthers took care of business in three sets, winning 25-15, 25-15, 25-5.

Lauren Schulz led the team with five assists, while Marlee Bender notched three kills in the tough match.

Belgrade finished second overall in the tournament, beaten by Billings Central in the championship.

The following day the team faced off against Hardin in an elimination game.

Whitefish held on for one set, but fell 3-1 in sets of 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-13.

Schulz recorded 24 of the team’s 28 assists while Bender had 14 of the team’s 33 kills. Bender also had six blocks.

Kennedy Grove notched two of the team’s four aces.

Whitefish finishes the season 11-10 overall and 6-4 in conference, taking third in Northwest A play behind Libby and Columbia Falls. Libby took fourth overall at the state tournament.

Bender received All State and first team All Conference honors for her play this season. Schulz and Kaiah Moore both earned second team All Conference.

Bender, Schulz and Grove are the team’s three seniors.

All-Class State Volleyball

At Bozeman

Belgrade def. Whitefish 25-15, 25-15, 25-5

Belgrade — Assists 23 (Jaiden Blakely 13, Olivia Cook 7), Kills 26 (Bailey Christensen 8, Cook 5, Cassidy Catron 5), Digs 31 (Taylor Christensen 9, Cook 6, Blakely 5), Blocks 9 (McKenna Carlson 5 1/2, B. Christensen 3, Reini Gordon 1/2), Aces 16 (B. Christensen 7, Catron 4, Delanee Hicks 4)

Whitefish — Assists 9 (Lauren Schulz 5), Kills 10 (Marlee Bender 3, Payton Reisinger 3), Digs 40 (Kaiah Moore 15), Blocks 2 (Bender 2), Aces 2 (Jasmine Matern 2)

Hardin def. Whitefish

22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-13

Hardin – Assists 40 (Natalie Edgar 39, Jonna Lind 1), Kills 45 (Mariah Simmons 14, Lind 10, Demi Uffleman 8), Digs 93 (Katie Murdock 32, Nicole Green 17, Uffleman 16), Blocks 12 (Lind 3.5, Simmons 3.5) Aces 8 (Simmons 5, Nicole Green 3)

Whitefish – Assists 28 (Lauren Schulz 24), Kills 33 (Marlee Bender 14), Digs 105 (Jasmine Matern 34, Schulz 23), Blocks 8 (Bender 6), Aces 4 (Kennedy Grove 2)

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