The Montana State Bobcats hosted the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks in Shroyer Gym on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Lumberjacks out-blocked MSU 16-4 to ensure a 3-0 victory.
The Bobcats’ late comeback fell short in the first set as the Lumberjacks outscored the Cats 25-20. NAU outhit MSU .440 to .062 in the first set.
“We just need to practice with getting the athletes into position and facing a big block,” MSU Head Coach J.J. Riley said. “That way when the game comes we’ll have built up confidence in how to handle it.”
The Bobcat squad came out strong in the second set and pulled ahead to an early 9-6 lead. The Lumberjacks went on a 7-4 run to tie it at 13 apiece. The game was tied six more times, and with the score tied at 23 apiece, the Lumberjacked secured two straight points to take set two. “You have to make plays,” Riley said. “You can’t let any opportunity that you should take care of pass you by.”
The Cats jumped out to another early 9-6 lead in the third set. The Lumberjacks went on a 10-3 run to take a 16-12 lead. Montana State came within one point with the score at 21-20 before the Lumberjacks finished off the set with four unanswered points. The Bobcats were led in kills by junior Loni Kreun and senior Natalee Godfrey with eight apiece while Chase Doughty added four kills off the bench. “Chase coming off the bench was great for us,” Riley said.
“Coming in I knew I had to do whatever I could to help my team out,” Doughty said. Doughty also tallied a block and three digs.
The Bobcats host the Eastern Washington University Eagles on Thursday, Oct. 15. “Eastern is playing with a ton of confidence,” Riley said. “They are going to come in and believe they can win, and that is going to be the challenge for us is believing that we can win.” The game begins at 7 p.m.