Fire Truck Ride

Manhattan Christian’s volleyball team received a ride around Churchill atop an Amsterdam Fire Truck Nov. 21 after winning the state Class C championship match Nov. 16. It was the program’s first state title since 2011.

Three members of Manhattan Christian’s volleyball team earned All-State honors for their efforts this past season in District 11C, while another received all-conference accolades.

The Eagles posted a 26-2 record — the two losses were the fewest in program history — en route to winning district, divisional and state titles. The state championship was the first since 2011.

Senior Maddie Liudahl, junior Taylor DeVries and sophomore Kiersten Van Kirk were All-State and first team all-conference selections, while Hailey VanDyken was a second team pick.

Van Kirk, a 6-foot-2 right side hitter was sidelined a couple of times early in the season with concussions, but was instrumental in the team’s postseason success. She averaged 24.5 kills and 2.75 blocks per match during state tournament en route to finishing with a team-best 394 kills, 141 blocks, and 61 aces on the season.

“Kiersten is a dominant hitter from the right side, has a great serve, can cover a lot of area on defense with her wing-span, and has a nice pair of setting hands,” Eagles coach Jill Ayers, who retired after 16 years at the helm following the championship run, said. “She missed part of the season with some concussion issues, but ended strong, tallying enough kills to get her in the top 10 for stats records.”

DeVries, a 5-foot-9 setter, continues to climb in the record book for Christian. She dished out 1,025 assists on the season to go along with team-best 99 aces, 118 kills and 442 digs, which ranked second on the team.

“Taylor is a team leader who served as co-captain this season,” said Ayers. “She has a great serve, is a smart setter, and has tallied enough assists to land her in the top five for Manhattan Christian stats records.”

Liudahl will graduate as the program’s second all-time leader in digs. The libero tallied a team-best 663 during the season and added 50 aces.

“Maddie Liudahl served as co-captain this season as she led her team in digs while performing her job in the libero position. She is now second all-time for digs in the Manhattan Christian stats records,” said Ayers. “Maddie hopes to continue her volleyball career next year and has several colleges who have shown interest. She hopes to make her decision soon.”

VanDyken filled a key role throughout the season and especially in the early going when Van Kirk was sidelined with the concussions. The 6-foot middle hitter finished third on the team in kills with 236 and led the team in blocks with 199 — 47 of which were solo.

“Hailey VanDyken grew leaps and bounds this year as a varsity middle blocker,” said Ayers. “There is a huge skill and learning curve for that position coming from JV to varsity. She learned a lot and ended up being an important part of our front-line defense.”

Tigers’ Davis, Wolves’ Welter earn All-State honors in 5B

Manhattan’s Erika Davis and Three Forks’ Erin Welter each earned All-State honors for their efforts this past season in District 5B.

Davis finished the season with 282 kills, 112 digs, 67 blocks and 29 aces, while Welter finished with 123 kills, 117 digs, 16 aces, eight blocks and a 2.16 serve receive rating.

“She was also first team last year,” Three Forks coach Tracy Welter noted. “Erin was one of our co-captains and leaders of the team. She is the kind of athlete that younger players look up to on and off the court. She will be difficult to replace next season.”

Davis finished second in kills for Manhattan en route to also earning first team honors. The senior helped the Tigers reach the divisional tournament during a 12-11 campaign.

Manhattan also had three second team all-conference selections in senior libero Amy Grevious, sophomore middle hitter Oliviah Westervelt and sophomore setter Cayli Chapman.

Grevious finished the season with a team-best 534 digs, 80 aces and 37 kills. She led District 5B in digs and ranked second in aces.

Westervelt led the Tigers with 303 kills, 177 digs, 28 blocks and 20 aces. She ranked second in the conference in kills (Davis was third).

Cayli Chapman dished out 883 assists during the season in addition to tallying 196 digs, 73 kills and 60 aces. She led the league in assists.

Three Forks’ only other all-conference selection was Kirstin Klompien, who earned second team honors. The middle hitter led the Wolves in blocks with 39 and added 103 assists and 26 aces.

“I was so proud of the season she had this year. She worked so hard all off-season and it really showed this year,” said coach Welter. “Kirstin was such a positive person on and off the floor. Kirstin led us in blocks and tied for ace leader this season.”

Three Forks finished with an 8-10 record after going 2-2 at the district tournament.

District 11C

All-State & First Team All-Conference

Kyndra Long, Gardiner, MB/OPP, Sr.; Josie Thomas, Gardiner, OH, Jr.; Kiersten Van Kirk, Manhattan Christian, OH, Soph; Taylor DeVries, Manhattan Christian, S, Jr.; Dounia Metje, Lone Peak, MH, Sr.; Chase Cunningham, Gardiner, S, Jr.; Maddie Liudhal, Manhattan Christian, L, Sr.

Second Team All-Conference

Lanie Powell, Gardiner, L, Sr.; Hailey VanDyken, Manhattan Christian, MH, Soph; Cabry Taylor, White Sulphur Springs, OH, Soph; Ivy Hicks, Lone Peak, S, Jr.; Rane Sager, Shields Valley, L, Sr.

District 5B

First Team

Taylor Noyes, Townsend, Sr*; Peyton Vogl, Townsend, Sr*; Erika Davis, Manhattan, Sr*; Mykala Edmisten, Jefferson, Sr; Meagan Johnson, Whitehall, Jr; Erin Welter, Three Forks, Sr; Jolie Wood, Big Timber, Sr.

Second Team

Cayli Chapman, Manhattan, Soph; Kendra Klapan, Whitehall, Jr; Amy Grevious, Manhattan, Sr; Kirstin Klompien, Three Forks, Sr; Oliviah Westervelt, Manhattan, Soph; Zoe Everett, Townsend, Sr; Dakota Edmisten, Jefferson, Soph.