BOZEMAN – For three years, Josie Hokanson was on the other side, watching Ennis put down kill after kill.
Now the senior has a different view point, standing in the same front row as the Mustangs.
And she’s still watching her teammates put down kill after kill.
Danyel Martin and Jourdain Klein combined for 33 kills to help Ennis power past Roy-Winifred 25-12, 25-22, 25-18 in the first quarterfinal match at the Class C state tournament Thursday night.
Ennis, the No. 1 seed out of the West, advances to Friday’s unbeaten semifinal where it will play defending state champion Belt.
The Huskies swept Gardiner 25-20, 25-16, 25-20 to reach the unbeaten semifinal a second straight year and third time in program history.
“I like it a lot,” Hokanson said of being part of instead of defending Ennis’ attack. Hokanson transferred to the Mustangs from Harrison.
“It’s different,” Hokanson said of being in a new program. “There’s more players so you have to compete to try out for the team. But the girls have been great welcoming me to the team.”
Payton Fortner had a double-double of 22 assists and 15 digs for Ennis. She also had two aces.
A year ago, Ennis lost to eventual state champion Belt in the semifinals before climbing back through the consolation round.
“We can’t let up,” Hokanson said. “We just have to play hard … keep attacking. We always want to be on the offensive.”
Cassie Smith had 13 assists and two aces for the Outlaws, while Dyauni Boyce had five kills, nine digs and two blocks.
Belt 3, Gardiner 0
Adrian Malek and her teammates know it’s coming. It’s just a matter how the Huskies handle it.
“We get everybody’s best shot,” said the senior. “It seems like everybody plays super good against us. We just have to show up and play better.”
That they do.
“Belt has a lot of good sports teams. They’re used to having a target on its back,” coach Christine Gondeiro said.
The Huskies put down 46 kills against Gardiner, led by Dani Urick’s 18 kills. Morgan Cooper added a double-double of 13 kills and 14 digs, while Malek had a double-double of 10 kills and 14 digs.
“Our defense is doing well,” said Malek. “And we’re staying aggressive. It helps a lot playing here before. There are whistles all over and so many things you have to adjust for. When you hear a whistle, you’ve just got to keep playing. Coach says keep playing until you hear several whistles.”
Sage Cowley led Gardiner with 25 assists and 15 digs. Brook Russell had eight kills.
Belt 3, Scobey 0
The Spartans were a tad nervous walking into the Brick Breeden Field House for the first time. It was also Scobey’s first trip to the state tournament in 20 years.
“It has, as the kids said, ‘Crazy vibes,’ “ Scobey coach Melissa Holum said. “It’s a huge building and all the matches are being played.”
Adrian Malek (13) and Dani Urick (11) combined for 34 kills, while Kolby Pimperton had 34 assists for the Huskies. Morgan Cooper added 20 digs and four aces.
Scobey, No. 2 out of the East, got 15 digs from Gracee Lekvold and nine assists from Katelyn Lamb.
“I like the energy, the closeness of this team,” Holum said. “Their camaraderie definitely makes a difference.”
Ennis 3, Great Falls Central 0
Ennis needed less than an hour to put away Great Falls Central in the first round.
The Mustangs swept the other Mustangs 25-14, 25-17, 25-23.
Ennis, the No. 1 seed from the West, was led by Jourdain Klein’s 14 kills. Danyel Martin added eight kills and eight blocks for the Mustangs.
Great Falls Central will play Wibaux at 10 a.m. on Friday in a loser-out match.
Sara Tarum led GFC with four aces, two blocks and 16 digs. Bryn Anderson added 10 kills for the Mustangs, the No. 2 seed from the North.
Gardiner 3, Bridger 1
Gardiner’s experience won out in matchup between two of the most successful programs in Class C with the Bruins prevailing 25-17, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23.
Sage Cowley, a four-year starter for Gardiner, had a double-double of 33 assists and 23 digs, directing 3
Brook Russell led the winners with 14 kills and five aces, while Kyndra Long had 12 kills.
“They were able to pop some things in there maybe we should have gotten up,” said long-time Bridger coach Wayne Moorman, who has guided the program to 10 state championships.
The Scouts, during certain rotations, had three freshmen on the court. The trio included setter Emily Adkins and libero Kyra Kroll, along with Jenna Kallevig.
Desiree Scott had 13 kills and five blocks for the Scouts, while Sylvia Scianna added 17 assists and 16 digs.
“Twenty four hours makes a big difference,” said Moorman of what he told his team. “We’ve come back before.”
Roy-Winifred 3, Wibaux 0
Becca DeMars and Jada Goettlich each had six kills for a balanced Roy-Winifred team in the Outlaws 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 win. DeMars also had three blocks, while Cassie Smith had 19 assists and five aces.
Jada Llewellyn had 13 assists, 12 digs and 4 aces for Wibaux.
It was the first loss of the season for Wibaux, the No. 1 seed out of the East.
“We didn’t have any energy or attitude,” said Longhorns’ head coach Tiffany Llewellyn. “We didn’t bring that Wibaux team play today. We didn’t hit or play like Wibaux can.”
The Longhorns feature three sets of sisters on the roster along with the mother-daughter coach-player dynamic.
“We have a lot of dynamics,” said Lllewellyn, whose daughters Nakiya and Jada play for the Longhorns.
There are also the Scheiffer sisters – Toni, Layni and Marni – along with the Miske siblings – Ceara and Micayla.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Tiffany Llewellyn of all the family ties. “It keeps everybody in check. The older ones watch out for the younger ones and the younger ones push the older ones. They all get along. It’s fantastic.”