Last Saturday, the Montana State Bobcat volleyball team was unable to defeat the Portland State Vikings, losing 3-1. However, the Lady Bobcats achieved victory Thursday night against the Eastern Washington University Eagles, winning 3-2.
In the game against Portland State, the Cats dominated the first set 25-16 but lost the next three sets 19-25, 15-25, 22-25. After that loss, the Bobcats were 8-4 in the season and 2-2 in the Big Sky Conference. The Lady Bobcats did not go down without a fight; in the final set the team went on four 3-point streaks and one 4-point streak. The most energized point in the game was the rally for the last point; fans were on their feet cheering as the teams battled back and forth. Sadly, a Bobcat strike sent the ball into the net, giving the point and match to the PSU Vikings.
“We weren’t quite able to maintain a level of play necessary to win.” MSU Head Coach Kyle Weindel commented on the 3-1 loss. “Consistency is something we are definitely going to focus on this week.” Weindel also stated that confidence is something the team struggled with, “I want to see the players play like they are up.” Confidence and consistency are two things Weindel said they will work on in order to win future games.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Nicole Baker said. The junior from Pleasanton, Calif. is the team’s libero (a position also known as defensive specialist). “We played well at some points but we were a little inconsistent.” When asked what changed between the sets, she said after the first set “Portland State played a lot better, they started scouting us better, blocking our hitters and we stayed the same — in order to win games like this, we need to switch things up and keep them on their toes.”
One thing that stood out about Baker was her motivation during the game; she led the team defensively with 18 digs and played with a fierce competitiveness. She claims her motivation is part of her personality. When asked where Baker gets it from, Weindel said, “her personality is just very fiery, and we like to see those things on the court.”
The MSU volleyball squad has a match at the Shroyer Gym tomorrow at 7 p.m. against Idaho State and Saturday at 7 p.m. against Weber State. Admission into Bobcat volleyball home games is free for all students with a valid CatCard.