Bobcats drop close games at Omni Invitational

The women’s volleyball team travelled to Colorado Springs over the last weekend to participate in the Omni Invitational, co-hosted by the Air Force Academy the University of Colorado. Montana State lost to the Air Force 3-2 and lost to the University of Colorado 3-1.

The Bobcats faced off against the Air Force Academy on Thursday, Sept. 17. They fell behind in the first two sets, each by a score of 25-14. The Cats fought back in the next two sets however, collecting 25-23 and 25-22 victories before falling in the final set to a close score of 15-13.

Late in those games and late in the match the key is to limit the errors and be able to execute at a very high level,” MSU Head Coach J.J. Riley said. “The more we find ourselves in a situation to win we will learn how to keep our focus on the task at hand which will allow us to get over the hump.”

Natalie Passeck led the Bobcats in kills with 12, and Kasey Altman lead the Bobcats in digs, also with 12. “There were some good individual performances from a statistical perspective but the biggest thing is that different people stepped up at different times and did some things that don’t show up in the stat lines which helped us stay in the matches and have a chance to possibly win,” Riley said. “A big part of our program’s philosophy is to celebrate the whole team and point out how important everyone is in our quest of becoming the best that we can.”

The Cats faced off against the University of Colorado the next day, Friday, Sept. 18. The Bobcats and Buffs split the first two sets with identical 25-18 final scores. The third and fourth sets the Buffs managed to edge out MSU 25-21 and 25-22 to notch a 3-1 win. “I think the team is doing a great job of showing a lot of character and toughness which has allowed us to be in a position to win some of those close matches even though we haven’t pulled a couple of them out,” Riley said. “Being in that position to win is key and we just need to learn how to play more consistently from beginning to end.”

Montana State will face off at home against Idaho State on Thursday, Sept. 24 in their first home match of the season. “As far as practice goes we need to get in the gym and have high intensity practices that force our athletes to be mentally locked in from the beginning until the end of practice,” Riley said. “We will keep working on the fundamentals as well as cleaning up some things from a defensive and offensive standpoint.” The Bobcats tip off at 2 p.m. in Shroyer gym.