Joliet beats Huntley Project to win first State volleyball title in school history

By 
Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Lady J–Hawk volleyball team celebrates after they scored their final point to secure Joliet’s first ever State title. The girls defeated Huntley Project in straight sets in Shelby to win the Class B State Championship on Nov. 14. Photos courtesy Hank Nowak

The Lady J–Hawk volleyball team celebrates after they scored their final point to secure Joliet’s first ever State title. The girls defeated Huntley Project in straight sets in Shelby to win the Class B State Championship on Nov. 14. Photos courtesy Hank Nowak

Makenna Bushman, Merrin Schwend, Skyler Wright and Kyelynn Coombe are overcome with emotion moments after winning the Class B State Championship for the first volleyball title in Joliet school history.

Makenna Bushman, Merrin Schwend, Skyler Wright and Kyelynn Coombe are overcome with emotion moments after winning the Class B State Championship for the first volleyball title in Joliet school history.

The Lady J–Hawk’s beat their conference nemesis and three– time defending champion Huntley Project to earn Joliet’s first State volleyball title last week in Shelby.

The team finished runner–up to the Red Devils last year and had struggled to beat them over the past few seasons, but this year was different. Joliet faced Huntley Project nine times over the season and the final victory gave them the 5–4 lead, and most important, the State Class B Championship.

Head Coach Colette Webber said “being at Shelby and not Bozeman was more of a small town feel and experience. The girls came out a little flat with Fairfield but played solid after getting their feet wet a bit. I was able to get all of my players in that game for a State experience.” Joliet won the first round match in three sets (25–19, 25–12, 25–11).

“Before we played Colstrip [in the second round match] we had a heart to heart about why we were here and what it meant to be in the moment and play with no regrets. They hadn’t been gelling well since Divisonals so we needed a reminder of how blessed we were to be where we were at. After the talk, the girls turned it around. The energy was ignited again and from that moment on, they played totally dialed in and as one unit,” Coach Webber said.

The Lady J–Hawks went on to win every set but one and finished the Class B State Tournament with a 12–1 record, which included taking down the Red Devils in straight sets in the Championship match.

“We had the best blocking of our whole season at State. That made a huge difference when playing Huntley. It was fun to watch them celebrate big and be all in for one last dance together.”

Senior and Rocky Mountain College commit Makenna Bushman led the team in kills (59), aces (7) and blocks (6) for the tournament. Senior Merrin Schwend led Joliet with 113 assists and senior Skyler Wright led in digs with 51. The Lady J–Hawks’ fourth senior, Kylia Kliner, had 10 digs and an ace.

 

Class B State Championship Shelby, MT

Shelby, MT

Nov. 12–14

 

Nov. 12

Joliet def. Fairfield

(25-19, 25-12, 25-11)

Kills 29: Makenna Bushman-10, Skyler Wright-10-Kyelynn Coombe-6

Assists 24: Merrin Schwend-22

Blocks 4: Makenna Bushman-1.5, Skyler Wright-1

Aces 5: Makenna Bushman-2 ( 3 with 1)

Digs 34: Kylia Kliner-10

Joliet def. Colstrip

(25-18, 25-18, 25-20)

Kills 32: Makenna Bushman-13, Skyler Wright-10

Assists 30: Merrin Schwend-29

Blocks 3.5: Skyler Wright-1.5

Aces 2: Kylia Kliner-1, Makenna Bushman-1

Digs 40: Makenna Bushman-15, Skyler Wright-10

 

Nov. 13

Undeafeated Semi’s

Joliet def. Huntley

(25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20)

Kills 42: Makenna Bushman-19, Skyler Wright-12, ChelSea DuBeau-6

Assists 37: Merrin Schwend-34

Blocks 12: Kyelynn Coombe-4, Makenna Bushman-2.5

Aces 4: Makenna Bushman-4

Digs 85: Skyler Wright-24, Makenna Bushman-18, Kyelynn Coombe-14

 

Nov. 14

Championship

Joliet def. Huntley

(25-18, 25-21, 25-17)

Kills 36: Makenna Bushman-17, Skyler Wright-9, Kyelynn Coombe-5

Assists 30: Merrin Schwend-28

Blocks 7: Kyelynn Coombe-2.5, Makenna Bushman-2

Aces 7: ChelSea DuBeau-3, Kyelynn Coombe-2

Digs 50: Skyler Wright-17, Makenna Bushman-11

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