The Bobcats faced off against the Idaho State Bengals Thursday, Sept. 24 in Shroyer Gym to start Big Sky Conference competition. The Bengals, the preseason favorite to win the conference championship,defeated the Bobcats in three sets.
Idaho State overmatched Montana State from the start, out hitting the Bobcats .394 to .094 in the first set. The Bengals went on to win the first set 25-17. The Bobcats looked to rebound in the second set, at one point leading 19-16. The Bengals ended the set with a 9-1 run however, and put the Bobcats away by a score of 25-20. “Consistency is really key to getting those wins,” Head Coach J.J. Riley said. “We need to keep our minds clear and work on our mental focus.”
The Bengals jumped out early in the third and took a commanding 11-15 lead. After a MSU timeout, the Bobcats went on a 10-5 run to take a 21-20 lead. The score was tied 8 more times before the Bengals edged out a 30-28 victory over the Cats. “We did a better job on focusing on the task at hand,” Riley said. Junior Loni Kreun led the Bobcats with 15 kills, and freshman Natalie Passeck and sophomore Kasey Altman led the Bobcats with 10 digs apiece. “Our biggest thing to work on is consistency,” Altman said. “We need to work on good passing and eliminating serving errors.”
The Bobcats play the University of Montana Saturday, Sept. 26 in the annual Brawl of the Wild. “We just need to control what happens on our side of the court,” Riley said. “We need to limit errors and apply pressure by getting serves in.” The Bobcats host the Griz at 7:05 p.m. in Shroyer Gym.