With a team comprised of 12 seniors and being the reining State Champions, the Sentinel Spartans were the team to beat all season.
For many players it was their final year to don a Sentinel jersey, but the girls were ready for the season to come.
All season long the Spartans were hit with injury after injury starting with Junior Shelby Schweyen coming off a torn ACL and meniscus. But as players recovered they were ready to go and get back in the game.
“Coming back was the best thing ever, I was finally on the court again. I wasn’t myself for a while and it took some time to get back into rhythm but once I did it was great,” Junior RS Shelby Schweyen said.
But the Spartans fought through each setback as the team was set to face any challenge that lie ahead. The Spartans kept their pace from last season by playing ‘Spartan Volleyball’ every match--meaning, they played their game each and every time they walked onto the court.
Spartans headed for the state tournament ending their season with a victory over the Flathead Bravettes finishing their season with only one loss to Billings Senior early on--the first loss in two years for the Spartans.
With a commitment to leaving everything they had on the court, and playing Spartan volleyball, they knew the title was within their reach.
Coming into Bozeman as the number one seed from the West, the Spartans faced off against Great Falls High Bison in the first round. Spartans took their first match in three sets, winning 25-8, 25-17, 25-17.
The second match was later that night as Spartans faced off with the Helena High Bengals, winning 25-14, 25-20, 25-18.
Senior Elsa Godwin lead the team with 15 kills and 3 aces. Senior Jordyn Schweyen had 35 of the team’s 37 assists, setting up the offense for a fast and hard victory.
After the undefeated Billings Senior team beat Helena Capital, the Spartans had to face the only team they’d lost to all season in the semi-finals. The gym was packed for the most anticipated match-up of the tournament.
“We waited all season to play Senior at state. We were all so full of excitement and ready to go out and play them,” Senior RS Cassie North said.
Senior DS Mariel Warren added, “We were all focused on playing our game and not playing any different just because it was Senior.”.
The Spartans would lose their first set 2025, and came back winning the next two sets 25-13 and 25-16. They lost the fourth set in a grueling 25-27 and would come back to win the match with the final set 15-8. This moved the team into the Championship round to be held the next day.
The Spartans had to stay focused and prepare for either outcome of the morning match between Billings Senior and Helena Capital, knowing they would face the winners in the final.
“We were remembering how great it felt to win last year, and how we knew that we would get it again with all the hard work we had put in this year,” Senior middle and captain Kylie Frolich stated.
As the semifinal match between Senior and Capital resulted with Billings Senior winning 3-1, the Spartans were looking at a repeat of last season’s championship match.
The game itself started off strong for the Spartans taking the first set 25-13.
“I was mostly excited since I knew it was most of our last time stepping on a volleyball court and that’s what made us all want it that much more,” Warren said.
The Spartans took the second set 25-18 and were leading the Broncs 2-0.
“I was so tired yet so focused and knew I had to keep playing at 110 percent. After winning the first and second set, I had that feeling that it was ours,” North said.
In the final set the Spartans put all they had into their game. With a back and forth set and the Spartans sitting at 24-23, they had one last point to seal the first place tittle.
The final volley had Senior libero Sarina Moreno with the dig, who passed it to setter Jordyn Schweyen. Schweyen then set the ball to the outside for Godwin to bring it home with the kill, winning 25-23.
The Spartans stormed the court in celebration as the took the second consecutive state title.
“Scoring the winning point was super special. I concluded my senior season in a very memorable way,” Godwin said. “I was able to finish with all my teammates but they were also my friends. I’m going to miss playing with them, but I wouldn’t have wanted to end my last season any other way.”