Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop


A successful regular season sets the Varsity team as the #3 seed in Western AA
Sentinel Volleyball Team Picture
Sentinel Volleyball Team Picture

The Sentinel High School varsity volleyball team has had a great season this year. The team held the largest win streak of the year in the Western AA conference; they are showing no signs of slowing down. With 7 wins in a row before their loss to Glacier, this team is going into the playoffs with a head of steam.

The team has performed exceptionally well against opponents within their division, with a record of 11-3 against Western AA conference teams. This has led them to being 3rd in the division, out of 8 teams. The only two teams ahead of them are Glacier, who have won all 5 of their last matches. Earlier in the season, they had their 7-game win streak. Helena also took the lead over the Spartans in the last game of the regular season. 

The varsity team also certainly feels the home-court advantage, having won 6 out of 7 games at home this season. The schedule gave them the short end of the stick for the amount of home games they got though, and they started the season with a tough stretch of 8 away games in a row. The team started 0-4, and their stretch of away games was a contributor to that. 

Kasey Arceniega coaches the team, and she has certainly helped the team have a great season so far. The real test begins on Thursday, November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The divisional playoffs begin then, but the team will be well prepared. They have played very well against opponents in the division. Their biggest competitions will be Glacier and Helena, as these will most likely be the only teams besides Sentinel with winning records on the season. 

Their biggest competitions will be Glacier and Helena…

The games will be played in Butte, so they will have a home-court advantage. This may not matter much though, because Butte is 5-8 and has a 38.5% win percentage in their season. This means that the site of the matches will be neutral when Sentinel isn’t playing Butte, which will be most of the time. The Sentinel High School varsity volleyball team has certainly benefited from playing at home this season, winning 6 out of 7 games at home. They won’t have this advantage in the playoffs though, and the team has not won a game this season at a neutral site. Although Butte has a losing record this season, playing on neutral territory may level the playing field for some teams, as they won’t have to deal with the challenges of playing in a hostile environment. 

Sentinel losing all of their neutral-site games this year was most likely a coincidence, the neutral site does not make a large impact on the outcome of the game. In the Western AA tournament, being at a neutral location will likely not affect how Sentinel performs, and they will most likely be at their best. The motivation of being in the playoffs may even drive them to be better than they have been the whole year.

The match against Glacier on 10/28 was a preview of how the playoffs may go; the Spartans will hope for a better outcome in the actual playoffs. Sentinel lost at home to the Glacier Wolfpack team, by 3 sets to 1. This is the second time this year that Glacier managed to dismantle the Sentinel varsity volleyball team.

Varsity had improved since the last meeting these two teams had earlier in the year. In the most recent match against Glacier, Sentinel managed to win 74 total points throughout the 4 sets. They managed to win the third set of the match to force a 4th set. In the first matchup, Glacier swept Sentinel and only allowed 54 points in the three sets. 

If Sentinel Varsity wants to win the Western AA championship this year, they will need to make some adjustments to beat Glacier. Sentinel will have to study film on the other team and find a way to expose their weaknesses. Helena was able to expose those weaknesses, and they managed to hand Glacier their most recent loss. Glacier has also done great against opponents in their division, with only one loss the entire year against them; they have won 6 games in a row, and their most recent loss is to Helena, a team not within the Western AA division. 

No matter what happens in the playoffs, the regular season for the Spartans was still very impressive, especially after starting the season with 4 losses in a row. The beginning of the season was anything but smooth for them, but they managed to make something out of it and even held 2nd place in the Western AA division for the majority of the season.

The Spartan community hopes to see their team perform well at divisions, and especially at state. As they advance toward the state tournament, Sentinel may be bracing themselves for having to face the formidable Billings West team, which is an extremely impressive 24-0 on the season. They have won 64 out of 66 sets, and have only lost sets to Gallatin, who is 18-5 on the season. They still won this match, but Gallatin was the only team that showed that Billings may have some vulnerability. It will be shocking if Billings West does not win the state championship this year. 

The odds for Sentinel High School to take home the state championship this year are stacked against them. But the Spartan community will remain hopeful, and support the team the whole way. 

Both the Western and Eastern AA conferences in Montana are riddled with tough competition and great teams. Sentinel is one of these great teams, and they will likely be even better next year. The JV, Sophomore, and Freshman teams have also put together impressive seasons, and they are the future of Sentinel Volleyball. We hope to see them succeed, hopefully even bringing a state championship to Sentinel.

About the Contributor
Sam Maney
"Sports is life" -Sam