SIDNEY — Cindy Gray pounded 12 kills and added two blocks, Maria Stewart had an all-round night with 10 kills, 41 assists, 23 digs and two aces, and Billings Central moved into the championship match of the Class A state volleyball tournament with a 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, 27-25 victory over arch-rival Hardin on Friday night.
Mollie McGrail also came up big with nine kills and eight blocks for the Rams, who will play in their fifth consecutive state title match Saturday. Grace Zeier added 33 digs, Ally Foster had 17 and Leikam Morton provided 18 digs and three aces for Central.
Alyssa Pretty Weasel and LeFaye Russell paced Hardin with 11 kills apiece. Pretty Weasel also had three blocks.
Jonna Lind added eight kills and 25 digs, Tori Marty chipped in with 18 digs, and Libby Nedens had two blocks for the Bulldogs.
Billings Central won the state title in 2017 and 2018 and finished second in 2016 and 2019.
Hardin's last state trophy was in 2005 and last state title in 2002. The Bulldogs will have a rematch against Columbia Falls in the third-place match Saturday morning; Hardin won in five sets on Thursday.
Columbia Falls def. Corvallis, 3-1
Mady Hoerner had a double-double of 26 kills and 22 digs, Dillen Hoerner also fashioned a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs, and Columbia Falls kept its title hopes alive by downing defending state champion Corvallis 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-14 in the third-place match.
It was the Blue Devils' third match of the day.
Hannah Schweikert also had a big night for the Wildkats with 44 assists, eight aces, 12 digs and a block. Dillen Hoerner had five aces and Lauren Falkner provided seven kills.
Madeline Gilder topped Corvallis with 22 kills and 12 digs. Brooklyn Powell was the assists leader with 32 and Paige Colaprete had 13 digs, one ahead of teammate Katelyn Behner.
Corvallis def. Glendive, 3-0
Madeline Gilder had an all-round day with 14 kills, 16 digs, four aces and two assists as Corvallis made it two straight wins with a 25-20, 25-14, 25-19 sweep of Glendive in a loser-out match.
Tyler Sorenson provided seven kills, Jenna Jordan added five kills, Brooklyn Powell had 26 assists and Katelyn Behner chipped in with 13 digs for the Blue Devils, who topped Havre in the morning to stay alive.
Paige Colaprete had 11 digs and four aces for Corvallis, which also received three blocks from Madison Lewis.
Madison Wahl led Glendive with 13 kills, 18 digs and three blocks. Brittany Kaufman backed her with 10 kills and 20 digs, Saddie Egan had 20 assists and 16 digs, and Mataya Tipton had three blocks.
Corvallis advanced to play in the fourth-place game against Columbia Falls on Friday night.
Columbia Falls def. Ronan, 3-1
Mady Hoerner pounded 21 kills and added 14 digs, Dillen Hoerner backed her with 11 kills and 13 digs, and Hannah Schweikert set them up with 37 assists as the Wildkats kept their hopes alive with a 25-11, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21 romp over Ronan.
Olivia Clairmont led Ronan with 17 kills and two blocks. Madeline McCrea added 12 kills and three blocks, LaReina Cordova provided 33 assists and Rylie Lindquist chipped in with 12 digs and three aces for the Maidens.
Columbia Falls, which entered the tournament having lost only four sets, earned a meeting with Corvallis in the fourth-place match.
Corvallis def Havre, 3-1
Madeline Gilder pounded 29 kills and added 28 digs, and Brooklyn Powell teed her up with 39 assists and 14 digs as Corvallis kept its season alive by outlasting Havre 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20.
Madison Lewis and Tyler Sorenson each had five blocks for the Blue Devils. Jenna Jordan provided four blocks, Paige Colaprete added 14 digs and Hailey Anderson chipped in with four aces for Corvallis.
Maddie Columbus led Havre with 10 kills, Talia Ralph added nine kills and Yelena Miller provided eight kills and four blocks. Ellie Collins was all over the floor with 30 assists, 24 digs and two blocks for the Blue Ponies, who also received 22 digs from Alyssa Oliver.
Ronan def. Polson, 3-1
Olivia Clairmont had 16 kills and two aces, and Madeline McCrea provided eight kills and 4.5 blocks as the Maidens stayed alive with a 25-20, 27-25, 21-25, 25-16 victory over the Pirates.
Rylie Lindquist chipped in with six kills and 21 digs for Ronan. Leina Ulutoa added four blocks and LaReina Cordova notched 16 digs.
Maggie Todd had a big match with 24 kills, 30 digs and a block, and Kobbey Smith provided 18 kills and two aces for Polson. Berkley Ellis helped with 26 assists and three aces for the Pirates, also received 40 digs from Ava Mercer.
Ronan advanced to face Columbia Falls later in the afternoon.
This story will be updated.