VOLLEYBALL: Last spots at state on the line

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This weekend is the last chance for a handful of area teams to punch their ticket to the state volleyball tournament as the Western A and Western B volleyball tournaments start today.

Libby carries the top seed from the Northwest into the Western A tournament, which starts at 10 a.m. at Maroon Activities Center in Butte.

The Loggers open against Southwest fourth seed Frenchtown at 4 p.m., the last of the first round games. The winner of that game plays the winner of the 2 p.m. game between Whitefish, the third seed from the Northwest, and Stevensville.

Columbia Falls has the second seed from the Northwest and will open against Hamilton at noon. Corvallis, the top team from the Southwest, will open the tournament against Polson at 10 a.m.

Eureka is hosting the Western B tournament and will play Missoula Loyola in the opening game of the tournament at 10 a.m. Lincoln County rival Troy is on the same side of the bracket, facing Deer Lodge in the opening match at noon.

Bigfork plays Anaconda at 4 p.m., on the same side of the bracket as Florence and Thompson Falls.

The championship quarterfinals of both tournaments will be played at 6 and 8 p.m. Losers in the first round will play on Friday morning.

The top four teams from the Western A advance and the top two from the Western B move on. The state tournament will be held Nov. 9-11 at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman.

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