By Amanda Eggert EBS Senior Editor

MANHATTAN, Mont. – The Big Horns came to the 11C District Tournament with an 11-4 record, but were handed two losses by the Manhattan Christian Eagles, a talented team they’ve been in tight competition with all season long.

Lone Peak was seeded No. 2 entering the tournament, and fell to the No. 3-seeded Eagles in the Big Horns’ first post-season game on Nov. 26.

The Big Horns bounced back with an easy win against White Sulphur Springs in three sets before losing again to Manhattan Christian in a thrilling match on the afternoon of Nov. 27.

The Eagles played an incredibly strong game from the front and back rows with a tall line of blockers and an agile libero in the back. Both teams put on their best spiking and blocking games, using increasingly cagey strategy in their hit placement as the match progressed.

Although the Eagles had an edge in terms of height, the Big Horns led in experience—this year’s varsity squad fielded six seniors and four juniors.

The crowds for both sides were animated and the Eagles and Big Horns responded with intensity and hustle, igniting a string of suspenseful back-and-forth volleys. But in the end, it was the Eagles who wrapped up the set.

But even the Eagles fell to the Gardiner Bruins, who won their sixth straight district championship on Oct. 30, sweeping all three sets.

Lone Peak players graduating this spring include Carter Johnsen, Kuka Holder, Peytynne King, Bryn Iskendarian, Julia Barton and Katie Hoffman.

Several of Lone Peak’s players could be in contention for All-Conference honors when those selections are announced later this month.