Sentinel Spartans repeat as volleyball state champions


MISSOULA, Mont. - For the second straight year and the sixth time in program history Missoula Sentinel ended its volleyball season as class AA state champions. "It feels amazing," said senior Sarina Moreno. "A feeling I can't even explain. It's awesome." "I could not be more proud," said head coach Erin Keffeler. "This group totally deserves everything that they've earned, and I'm just ecstatic." Heading into the state tournament Billings Senior had not lost a match all season. The Spartans changed that with a five-set victory in Friday's semifinals followed by a straight sets sweep over the Broncs on championship Saturday. "We played them (Friday) night," said senior Elsa Godwin. "We knew how they worked. And we've played them years before. I think we were all just ready to get another state title." "It's unbelievable," Keffeler said. "I have complete respect for them. For my team to come together -- I just feel like we played more as a unit, and it just worked. I am so proud of them." The win marks the end of an era for a roster that was loaded with 11 seniors this season. Four of those seniors have already inked to play volleyball or basketball for the Montana Grizzlies, with a couple other players still being recruited for college athletics. "It is the most special group of kids on the volleyball court and off the volleyball court," Keffeler said. "As people and as students." "It's amazing," Moreno said. "I've been playing with some of them since I started, so it's awesome to end with them too." "It was so good to get another state title with this group of girls," said Godwin. "We've all been playing together, so to win it with them felt amazing." The Spartans are just the second class AA program to win six or more state volleyball titles.