VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO MONTANA, DROPS INTO TIE FOR FOURTH PLACE
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Montana’s Brittany Quick had 10 kills and a match-high .667 hitting percentage (10-0-15) to lead the Grizzlies to a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) of Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference volleyball match Saturday evening at West Auxiliary Gym.
In a match that featured a battle between the two teams that were tied for third place in the conference standings, Montana (9-10, 5-3) came out on top. The Grizzlies now take over sole possession for third place in the standings while Sacramento State (11-12, 4-4) drops into a tie for fourth place with Idaho State. The top four teams in the nine-member league reach the Big Sky Tournament, and the Hornets are now at the midway point of the conference season.
In addition, Montana has won four straight against Sacramento State dating back to the 2008 season. The Hornets also fell to 2-6 on the road, and have dropped five straight when playing on an opponent’s home floor. Sacramento State is 4-0 against Big Sky competition at home and 0-4 when playing conference teams on the road.
In a match where both teams finished with the same amount of kills (40) and digs (57), and were nearly identical in team blocks (UM 8.0, SAC 7.0), the Grizzlies were able to take advantage of a Hornet serve that produced just one ace and eight errors. Conversely, Montana had four aces compared to just two errors. Sacramento State, which entered the week second in the Big Sky in aces, combined for just four this week (including three in last night’s loss to Montana State).
The only set Sacramento State was within legitimate striking distance was the third where a kill from Kayla Beal tied the score at 22-22. However, beginning with a Hornet service error at 22-22, Montana won the last three points to win the set and match.
Montana middle hitters Quick (10 kills, four blocks) and Jaimie Thibeault (11 kills, four blocks) combined for 21 of the team’s 40 kills. In fact, besides Kayla Reno’s seven kills, no other Grizzly player recorded more than three kills. Four Montana players had double figures in digs, led by Brittney Brown’s match-high 17.
For Sacramento State, Beal posted a match-high 12 kills to go along with four blocks. Outside hitter Eryn Kirby tallied 10 kills and 10 digs, Janelle Currey added seven kills and a team-best 15 digs and Kelsey Elston added five kills and four blocks. Both Olivia Moss and Anna Schoener had three blocks. Four Hornets had double figures in digs, comprised of Currey, Kirby, Breanne Menees (13) and Sydney Kordic (11).
The Hornets return home next week when the team welcomes both Northern Arizona (Friday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.) and Northern Colorado (Saturday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.) to the friendly confines. Sacramento State is 7-2 at home, and has won seven straight matches at Colberg Court dating back to Sept. 4.