How do you make a senior night sweet?
Butte Central took down Stevensville in three sets Tuesday night, winning by margins of 25-11, 25-19 and 28-26, seeing Cassidy Strizic lead the Maroons to victory with game-leading contributions of eight kills and five aces.
The win took the Maroons to 12-8 on the season, but also served as the ideal home finale for seniors Strizic, Sophie Sullivan, Emma Keely, Breann Williamson and Makala Doherty as they competed at home for a final occasion.
For head coach Becky Hancock, it was a performance that encouraged her thoughts going forward, but also served as a nice moment for her seniors.
“It was an awesome night for us,” Hancock said. “We came out in the first two sets and got on a roll. I like what we saw tonight as a whole, and coming together the way we did was awesome. All of our seniors contributed and just a great team win.”
Central junior Avery Kelly led the Maroons with six of the team’s nine total blocks, while fellow junior Maci Reopelle composed the Maroons’ attack with 11 assists.
Keeley added another eight assists and an ace on her senior night, and the senior said that delivering a complete performance on a special night was exactly how she wanted it to go.
“It went the way we wanted it to go,” Keeley said. “We got a quick start in the first set, which was big for us. We had the connections going and a lot of fun while doing it. It’s been a fun four years, and it was emotional tonight, but we played a good game and that’s all you can ask for.”
Stevensville was led by Aliyah Anderson and Ella Hendrickson, who each contributed eight kills. Maddie Weber led the game in assists with 23 for the Yellowjackets, and Cassi Kopsa, Daphne Engel and Kennedy Praast all hit two aces a piece.
However, Central’s season isn’t finished yet.
With two tough road tests in Missoula County, there is still plenty to play for before Central takes on the playoffs, and Hancock hopes that a strong performance on senior night is the sign that the Maroons are hitting their stride at the right time.
“We have Frenchtown and Hamilton this weekend,” Hancock said. “We have to take care of business on the road. With divisional play next weekend, I saw more solid, consistent play from us. It’s what you want to see.”