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Sugarbeeter's ready to serve it up as the 2019 campaign gets started


August 28, 2019

2019 Chinook Sugarbeeter Volleyball Team

The Chinook Sugarbeeter Volleyball team is back on the court getting ready for the start of the 2019 Volleyball season. The Sugarbeeters have had some great success through the years and this years squad is looking forward to another good year.

The Sugarbeeters are again under the direction of Head Coach Paula Molyneaux. Her ties to the program run deep and her volleyball experience is noteworthy.

Molyneaux was the Head Coach of the 'Beeter program from 1990-2002. She later came back to the program as the Junior High Volleyball Coach in 2013-14 and was the High School Assistant Coach in 2015 and 16, before assuming the head coaching job once again at the start of the 2018 season.

Many of the girls attended camps this off season and the team also took part in the North Star Summer Tournament as well as the Big Sky State Games. Molyneaux noted, "Many of them worked with the basketball coaches in a lifting program and attended weekly volleyball open gym sessions where we worked on both team and individual skills."

Being so early in the season it can be difficult for a coach to know exactly where their team is at and what to expect the first time they step on the court, "We have one senior who has not played for a couple of years due to knee injuries, eight juniors with varying levels of varsity experience, four sophomores and nine freshman. I would say that we are definitely a young team," said Molyneaux.

This years roster includes one senior, Kendra McMaster. Due to injury McMaster hasn't been able to play the past couple of seasons. The 'Beeters return three juniors who started on the varsity a season ago in Delaney Kellam, Hailey Bell and Ginger Hauer.

Junior Lily Surber saw extensive varsity action and will look to play a bigger role this fall for the team. Looking to contribute as well are juniors Crystal Hofer, Rebecca Stroh, Jade Cecrle and Jayden Miller.

Sophomores back for their second season are Shay Hauer, Kinley Hamilton, Tylie Richman and Allison Powell.

Nine freshman are out this fall and include Alexis Pitkanen, Aspyn Colby, Sasha Gallus, Sarah Gillette, Bree Swanson, Toren Cecrle, Anna Terry, Belle Elliot and Morgan Friede.

This years squad definitely has some experience but leadership comes in many forms, "I would add that I look to Kendra McMaster to help us as she has a never say die, competitive spirit that can be infectious. In addition I look for good things from the returning juniors. As we get to know the sophomore and freshman better, I know that these are a great bunch of kids who have been working on their skills. It will be fun to see where the season takes us," said Molyneaux.

As far as team goals for the season that is still a work in progress, but Molyneaux has some expectations, "We have not worked on our goals quite yet, however, currently, as we work to figure team composition and get the season going, my goal for this years' team will be to work together every day at improvement. Plus, maintain the tradition of pride and competitiveness that this program has established."

That tradition and pride is a program that through the years has had their way in the District 6C-East. The 'Beeters have had numerous undefeated conference seasons and won several District and Conference Titles since moving to Class C in 2005. The 'Beeters won it all that season and returned to the State Tournament in 2013 and 2015.

Chinook will get the season started this weekend when they play Fort Benton Friday and take on the Longhorns in a non-conference match at home.

Saturday the girls will be at the Malta Pre-Season Tournament which features a good mix of Class B and Class C teams.

The 'Beeters will take on the Big Sandy Pioneers in their conference and 6C-East opener on Thursday, September 5. Chinook will then host their own Invitational on Friday and Saturday, September 6-7. The Chinook Invitational is the longest consecutively running high school volleyball tournament in the state and features some of the top Class B and Class C teams from the region.

The District 6C-East Tournament will start in Havre on Thursday, October 31 and conclude Friday in Chinook on Friday, November 1. The top three teams will advance to the Northern Divisional in Cascade November 7-9. State will be in Bozeman November 14-16.


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