HELENA — Helena High, after overcoming Kalispell Flathead in a Western Conference playoff, is ready to take its game to the next level – the All-Class Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman.
The tourney starts Thursday in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, where No. 3 Helena (14-7) will open against the Eastern Conference runners-up Bozeman (12-8) at noon. Missoula Sentinel and Billings Senior are the two No. 1 seeds.
The Bengals swept the Hawks 3-0 in The Jungle during the second week of the season.
The Bengals stat leaders are paced by junior Jamie Pickens. A 6-foot-2 middle blocker, Pickens leads the team with 304 kills, a .328 hitting percentage and 73 blocks. Earlier this year she set the school record for blocks in a match with 10.
Senior libero Taelyr Lieberg is tops with 269 digs and 21 service aces and sophomore sensation Emily Feller has compiled 614 assists. Feller, a 5-9 setter who is ranked in the top three in four categories, is No. 2 with 19 aces and is third at 147 digs and 32 blocks.
Vanessa Walsh is second with 164 kills and 154 digs; Emily Pizzini is No. 2 at 45 blocks and is third with 154 kills. Both are juniors.
Seniors Kaci Lloyd and Hannah Kerker are tied for No. 3 with 18 service aces each.
“Our goal going into the state tournament is to play our best volleyball of the season,” HHS coach Lindsey Day said. “We have size at the net and disciplined defensive players. One of our strengths going into the tournament is our depth.
“It’s great to have a team where it can be anyone’s turn to have a big game. We are going in with the mindset to play consistent and composed.”