State AA volleyball: Great Falls CMR earns first title since 2000 with win over Billings West

Posted at 8:51 AM, Nov 15, 2021

BOZEMAN — Great Falls CMR finishes the 2021 volleyball season unbeaten.

The Rustlers held off a furious rally from Billings West in the State AA championship game on Saturday in Bozeman to win in five sets to claim their first state title since 2000.

"You're happy to be tested. I don't think I wanted to be tested like that at all, especially after the match we had (Friday)," CMR head coach Patrick Hiller said. "We knew the team was battle-tested, though. We played a lot of matches. The summer, all through last year. Getting to that championship game last year and losing in five. I'd be lying to you if I thought they'd do it in five. I just didn't know, so it was a tough match."

CMR won the opening set 25-18 but quickly fell behind 2-1 after losing the second set 25-14 and the third 25-19. The Rustlers rallied to win the fourth set 25-15 to force a fifth, where they found themselves in a battle.

The two sides traded scores before Ella Cochran and Tennisen Hiller put an end to West's championship hopes in the fifth set, as CMR held on 19-17.

Lauren Lindseth, a future Montana State Bobcat, led all players with 28 kills. Cochran had 13. Kaitlin Grossman led West with 22 kills, while Sydney Pierce added 19.