After winning all their matches in Twin Bridges at the 2019 District 12C Volleyball Tournament, the Ennis Mustangs retain their championship title Nov. 1. Photo by Hannah Kearse

Ennis Mustangs defend their title

2019 District 12C Volleyball Champions

The Ennis Mustangs clinched the District 12C championship Nov. 1. The two-day volleyball tournament in Twin Bridges led to a championship match between top-seeded Granite High School and second-seeded Ennis Mustangs.

The host of the 2019 District 12-C Volleyball Tournament, Twin Bridges, opened the tournament with a morning match against Harrison Oct. 31. 

Twin Bridges’ seventh through 12th graders were allowed, with a parent’s written permission, to watch matches in the gym. Characters like Mario, Luigi and Donkey Kong cheered in the stands with their peers. Students supported the Falcons and Halloween in Falcons jerseys, colors, costumes or as one student wore, a buttoned-up blazer with Santa-hat-wearing cats stamped on it.

It was a double-elimination tournament, which meant a team had to lose two matches to get eliminated. Lima was the first team to leave the tournament, after losing to Ennis and Sheridan Oct. 31. Sheridan and Harrison followed after dropping into the lower bracket and losing their second match.

Twin Bridges dropped into the lower bracket after losing to Granite, and Drummond dropped down after losing to Ennis in the second round of matches Oct. 31. Each defeated their competition in the lower bracket Nov. 1. The Twin Bridges Falcons beat the Sheridan Panthers in three sets (25-10, 25-6, 25-22) and the Drummond Trojans beat the Harrison Wildcats in three sets (25-13, 25-25, 25-14). 

The victors of those two games battled it out in the tournament’s 10th match. The Trojans’ win against the Falcons propelled them forward and eliminated Twin Bridges in the tournament.  It was a three-set victory for Drummond (25-17, 26-24, 25-16).

Granite was the last team to drop into the lower bracket after losing to Ennis in the semifinal match. Granite beat Drummond in the lower bracket for a second chance at Ennis. 

“We wanted to play Granite again because we always play better against them,” Ennis senior volleyball player, Kennedy Davies said. “We play better against competition.”  

Davies was an instrumental player in the tournament, leading all but one of the matches in kills for her team. Her spikes were difficult to return as they slammed over the net. Senior Mustang Riley Robinson was another crucial player, setting up plays for her teammates to score. Robinson led her team in assists for all four matches, much like she did for most of the majority of the regular season. Robinson also put some major points on the scoreboard.

Shelbey Klein, a sophomore player for Ennis, had a good tournament. Klein’s score-making plays at the net appeared graceful at times, as she tipped the ball to an empty space on the opponent’s court. An impossible return almost every time. Klein’s solid spikes and elegant tips make her a hard read and  successful player at the net. 

Junior Mustang Landri Paladichuk, another Mustang staple, scored the final point against Granite and for the second time in the tournament, Ennis defeated Granite in three sets (25-14, 25-25,25-12). After the Friday evening match, the Mustangs were awarded the district title. 

Granite and Ennis both advance to the Western C divisional tournament at Manhattan Christian Nov. 7-9.

“It feels really good,” Robinson said. “I think we can take whatever comes our way [in the divisional tournament].”

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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