When you play in the same town as the defending state champions, it can be easy to get overlooked.
But in Class AA volleyball, no one should be overlooking the Helena High Bengals, especially not after a 5-0 start, which includes a three-set sweep of last year’s state runner-up Bozeman Tuesday night in Helena.
The Hawks were swept last week at Helena Capital and Tuesday night, Helena High treated them to the same fate, as the Bengals cruised to victory thanks to consecutive wins of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-15.
“Bozeman is a tough team and I was proud of the girls for finding a way to win in three sets,” Helena head coach Lindsey Day said. “We are focusing on eliminating unforced errors and continuing to serve teams tough.”
After establishing control early, the Bengals and Hawks went back and forth in the second set before Helena was able to win 25-23, then close things out with a 10-point romp in the third.
“We lost our momentum a bit in the second set but I like how the girls responded,” Day said. “I’m excited to watch this group continue to grow.”
The Bengals registered 38 kills in the win and allowed only 24. Elizabeth Heuiser continued her strong start to the season and she finished with a match-high 16 kills. Abby Marcille also contributed with nine. Emily Feller pitched in with 31 assists and five digs. Aubrie Christman added nine digs and four aces.
It was the second straight win at home for the Bengals and the fifth overall to start the season. Helena is also 2-0 in Class AA’s Western Division and will get a chance to continue its hot start in Great Falls at the annual Electric City Classic starting Friday.
While there are plenty of reasons for the perfect start, Day offered a simple explanation for her team's success.
“I have a team full of competitors,” She said. “They will do whatever it takes to win. Everyone is doing their job pretty consistently. There’s good trust and leadership.”
The Electric City tournament features eight teams and a round of pool play Friday and early Saturday before a single-elimination tournament to determine the champion. Helena High opens at 10 a.m. Friday against the Great Falls High Bison.