HELENA -- Two Capital High volleyball players and one from Helena High were recently selected to the Class AA All-State volleyball teams.
Capital senior Katie Culver and sophomore Sarah Ashley, and HHS junior Jamie Pickens were all first team selections.
Culver and Ashley led the Bruins to a conference runner-up placing and a third-place finish at the recent all-class tournament in Bozeman, for the program’s first state trophy in 15 years.
Ashley, a versatile 5-foot-10 sophomore outside hitter, led Capital in four categories, including 323 kills, a .297 hitting percentage, 355 digs and 48 service aces. Her season kills ranks No. 2 on the school's all-time list. Culver, also a 5-10 outside hitter, ranked No. 2 with 270 kills and 324 digs, and was third with 43 blocks.
A 6-2 middle blocker, Pickens led the Bengals – who posted their third consecutive fourth-place finish at State – with 354 kills, a .320 hitting percentage and 101 season blocks. At the State tournament in a win over Bozeman, she broke her own school record of 11 blocks in a match.
Capital freshman setter Audrey Hofer is the only local spiker on the All-Western Conference second team.
Those making honorable mention are Helena’s Vanessa Walsh, Emily Pizzini, Emily Feller and Taelyr Lieberg; and Capital’s Celina Sanchez and Dani Bartsch.
Jefferson High’s Emily McGinnis was the Elkhorn area’s representative on the Class B all-state team.
An outside hitter, McGinnis set the school’s season and career kills records, while leading the Panthers’ to their first-ever fourth-place finish at a State Tournament. The 6-1 senior amassed 512 overall season kills this year, for a lifetime total of 1,276, breaking Angie Lewis’ 1999 career mark of 772.
JHS teammates making 5B all-conference were setter Aubrey McMaster and middle blocker Ellie Evertz.
Elkhorn area rival Townsend placed two spikers on the district’s second team, including senior Mariah Norstrom and sophomore Taylor Noyes.