By Halle Burdick and Caleb Ploeger
After placing second at the District Volleyball tournament held in Colstrip, Baker’s Lady Spartans earned a trip to the Divisional tournament which took place in Columbus this past weekend. Nine teams from the 3, 4 and 5 B conferences competed for a chance to take a trip to the state tournament in Bozeman which is being held this coming weekend. The Spartans represented Baker well, ending with a fourth place finish, just shy of earning that trip to state. The team needed to place in the top three to earn this honor.
In the first round of play, Baker faced a tough Huntley Project team, the number one seeded team in the 5B conference. Huntley is a top contender for the state title and the Spartans were unable to even come close to taking down them down as Huntley Project makes very few mistakes. The Spartans lost in three sets (3-25) (9-25) (13-25). Katie Wang led in serving and blocking with 1 ace and 2 blocks and had 2 kills. Shelby Moore and Sady Harbaugh led in hitting with 4 kills each. Sady also had 1 block and 5 digs. Shelby had 6 digs. Macee Hadley led in setting with 12 assists and had 1 kill, 1 block and 3 digs. Halle Burdick led defensively with 12 digs. Macy Varner had 1 dig, and Mya Hadley had 1 kill and 1 dig. Peyton Janeway had 1 kill and 5 digs.
This put the Spartans to play Friday morning in a match up against their rival the Forsyth Dogies. The Spartans lost to the Dogies twice in regular conference play, but weren’t about to give up and not only defeated them at the district tournament, but beat them once again to knock them out of the divisional tournament. The Spartans defeated them in four sets (26-24) (15-25) (25-18) (25-23). Katie Wang and Peyton Janeway led in serving with 3 kills each. Katie also led in hitting and blocking with 10 kills and 5 blocks and picked up 4 digs. Peyton had 6 kills, 2 blocks, 1 assist, and 10 digs. Macee Hadley led in setting with 25 assists and had 1 ace, 6 kills, 1 block, and 8 digs. Halle Burdick led defensively with 20 digs, had 1 ace and 1 assist. Emily Shumaker had 1 kill and 1 block and Macy Varner had 4 digs. Mya Hadley had 3 kills, 1 assist, and 1 dig. Sady Harbaugh had 2 aces and 6 kills. Shelby Moore had 1 ace, 7 kills, and 9 digs.
The next step for the Lady Spartans was to accomplish something they hadn’t done all season and that was to beat the Colstrip Fillies. In a loser-out match, the Spartans proved they were a force to be reckoned with and defeated the Fillies in three sets (25-16) (25-21) (25-23). Shelby Moore led in serving with 3 aces and had 2 kills and 14 digs. Katie Wang led in hitting with Peyton Janeway, each having 6 kills. Katie also led in blocking with 5 blocks and had 1 ace, 1 assist, and 5 digs. Peyton had 1 ace, 3 blocks and 15 digs. Macee Hadley led in setting with 14 assists and had 1 ace, 5 kills, 1 block, and 9 digs. Halle Burdick led defensively with 23 digs and had 2 aces. Macy Varner had 2 digs. Mya Hadley had 2 kills and 3 blocks. Sady Harbaugh had 1 ace, 2 kills, and 2 digs.
After sending the Fillies on their way, the Lady Spartans faced a match up against the Townsend Bulldog for a chance for the Spartans to earn their way to a state appearance. Following the loss of the first two sets (14-25) (18-25), the Spartans recovered and came back to win the third set (25-18), but unfortunately the Spartans fell short in the fourth set (23-25), and were not able to hold off the Bulldogs. Macee Hadley led in serving and setting with 3 aces and 24 assists. She also had 5 kills and 13 digs. Sady Harbaugh led in hitting with 8 kills and had 2 aces, and 9 digs. Katie Wang led in blocking with 4 blocks and had 6 kills and 9 digs. Peyton Janeway led defensively with 22 digs and had 1 ace, 5 kills, and 1 assist. Halle Burdick followed her with 21 digs and 2 aces. Macy Varner had 9 digs and Mya Hadley had 2 kills and 4 digs. Shelby Moore had 6 kills and 7 digs.
Although just one game short of heading to the state tournament, the Spartans proved to not give up and went out fighting. Head Coach Jessica Boggs stated, As we moved into the postseason, we wanted to put the winning and losing portion of the game aside. We wanted to be known for playing hard, and that’s exactly what we did.”