BILLINGS - We all react differently to trying something for the first time. Some are nervous, some giddy, and some are just absolutely hungry.
Saturday we find out who's who in Montana's first ever Midland Roundtable Volleyball Classic.
Nearly two dozen recently graduated high school players — all of whom will continue athletic careers in college — will be pounding out their all-star showdown in a 3 p.m. start at Lockwood High School. Immediately afterward on the same court, the Midland Roundtable's Montana-Wyoming All-Star basketball series tips off with girls playing at 5:30 and the boys to follow around 7:30.
Admission to all three games in Lockwood is $10 for adults and $5 for students ages 8-18. Those under 8 are admitted free of charge.
The East-West volleyball squads, after arriving Thursday and working Rocky Mountain College's youth volleyball camp most of Friday, will be on the heels of only two practices.
"It just makes it fun because you have to communicate in the game, so it makes it easier to communicate off the court (getting to know other players), if that makes any sense," Huntley Project's and Josie Hasler with a laugh. The Rocky commit is playing for this year's East team.
"Mainly, we're trying to see what we can do with those kids, what position they can play," said Rocky head coach Yang Yang, who is in charge of your East All-Stars. Carroll's Maureen Boyle has the West.
And just like Montana's boys and girls basketball all-stars, the volleyball rosters are filled with hard hitters from Class AA to C.
"You know, Class C volleyball is a little different than Class AA, so it's a little nerve racking coming into this environment, but it's also exciting because it's preparing me for the next level" said Ennis middle/right hitter Shelbey Klein who will continue her career at the University of Providence.
Of course, it's not all fun and games for players this summer. But the weekend does offer relief for Klein and Hasler who, like several other all-stars, are earning college money.
"I work at Huntley Project school for the Migrant Program," said Hasler. "It works with little kids K-12 and Special Ed."
Klein is doubling up on her hours.
"I have two jobs, actually. I mow lawns and work at a clothing store, so I kind of do a little bit of everything," she said. "This is a nice break from it, getting to play and have fun."
Asked how much of her lawn-mowing money is spent at the clothing store, Klein, with an honest laugh, didn't hesitate.
"Yeah, all my paychecks go back to the clothing store."
East Volleyball All-Stars: Maria Stewart, Billings Central; Josie Hasler, Huntley Project; Macee Murphy, Huntley Project; Greta Peterson, Huntley Project; Baily Egan, Colstirp; Kara Pospisil, Billings Senior; Madi Ramsey, Billings West; Ryann Eddins, Bozeman Gallatin; Jordan Olson-Keck, Billings Skyview. Coach: Yang Yang, Rocky Mountain College.
West Volleyball All-Stars: Emma Gunderson, Choteau; Malia Harris, Anaconda; Sidney Gulick, Kalispell Glacier; Kennedy Pocha, Helena Capital; Paige Sawyer, Missoula Sentinel; Daisy Fisher, White Sulphur Springs; Shelbey Klein, Ennis; Savanna Sterck, Kalispell Flathead; Madiline Gilder, Corvallis. Coach: Maureen Boyle, Carroll College