The Montana State volleyball team traveled to Reno, Nevada this last weekend to compete in the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Classic. The Bobcats lost a close game against University of Miami (OH) on the first day of the tournament before losing to the University of Nevada Wolf Pack the next day.
The Bobcats faced off against the University of Miami Redhawks on Friday, Sept. 11. The team battled hard in the loss, losing 3-2 to the Redhawks. MSU led early in the first set before the Redhawks took the lead at 20-19. The two teams were tied eight times before the Redhawks edged out a 30-28 victory.
The Bobcats rebounded from the close set to take command of the second set with a dominating score of 25-17. The Bobcats also took the third set with a close score of 25-23 to take a 2-1 advantage over the Redhawks. In the fourth set the Redhawks came back, out-hitting the Bobcats and winning the set 25-22. In the deciding set the Redhawks closed out the game by a score of 16-14.
“We felt like the team put together a really good complete match in the sense that we did some good things from a volleyball perspective as well as competed at a high level. We definitely put ourselves in a position to win that match but had some untimely errors,” Head Coach J.J. Riley said. Junior Loni Kreun led the Bobcats in kills with 20 and sophomore Kasey Altman led in digs with 23. “I think the beauty of the match was there were many athletes that contributed and put up some good numbers,” Riley said “We had five athletes with double-digit kills and as well as four athletes with double-digit digs.”
MSU went on to face the University of Nevada on Saturday and lost three sets to none. “The biggest thing we can take away from Nevada is for everyone including myself to reflect on our preparation leading up to that morning match and see if there are things that we could have done differently to get the team going,” Riley said. “We just seemed really flat and had a hard time cranking it up as the match went on.”
The Cats held a 24-22 lead in the first set but the Wolf Pack rattled off four unanswered points to take a 26-24 victory. In the second and third sets the Bobcats were out-hit .210 to .000 as they fell to scores of 25-19 and 25-15. Kreun led the Bobcats in kills with 10, and freshman Katie Ireland led MSU in digs. “The biggest focus leaving the locker room was that we leave as a unified group, supporting each other, and hungry to keep improving,” Riley said.
The Bobcats will travel to Colorado Springs to play the United States Air Force Academy on Thursday, Sept. 17. “These next couple of days we are just going to keep focusing on our vision and big picture which is training the fundamentals of the game, being a great team, staying intense, and pushing ourselves to keep learning how to see the game,” Riley said. “We will work on some things specifically to help us be ready for Air Force from a defensive and offensive standpoint but our big focus is on the whole season and things that we need to keep learning for conference play.”
The Bobcats first home game will be against Idaho State University Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Shroyer Gym.