The women’s volleyball team competed in two tough away games this week and although the Cats lost both games they showed potential for the future.
The Bobcats traveled to Sacramento, Calif. to take on the Hornets of Sacramento State on Thursday, Oct. 22. The Hornets hold a 9-1 record at home and defended their home court with vigour. The Cats fell to the Hornets 25-15 in the first set. With the Bobcats behind 9-3 in the second set, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run to make the score 18-3 before the Bobcats could answer. The Cats lost the second set 25-7. The Bobcats jumped to a 3-1 lead in the third set, but the Hornets tied the score at four apiece before taking the lead. With the Cats trailing 15-10, Sac. State went on a commanding 15-2 run to take a 25-12 third set victory and dispatch the Bobcats 3-0. “I think the biggest thing that we took away from Sac. State is that we didn’t play well and the key was to see how we responded against Portland,” MSU Head Coach J.J. Riley said. “We felt like the team did a great job of moving on and refocusing for Portland state.”
The Bobcats then traveled to Portland, Ore.to take on the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Vikings jumped ahead early in the first set 7-4 before the Cats fought back and took the lead with the score at 11-10. PSU took the lead again with the score at 18-17, but the Bobcats were persistent. With the Vikings leading 22-21, the Cats scored four unanswered points to take the first set 25-22. “The team came out in the first set with great focus and determination,” Riley said. “They were dialed in with the plan and hitters tendencies which allowed us to get some blocks and then our passers did a great job which allowed our hitters to put up some great numbers.”
The second set proved to be similar to the first, with the lead changing several times throughout the set. With the score tied at 22-22, it was the Vikings that scored the final two points of the set to even the series at one apiece. In the third set, the score was tied 11 times and PSU held a 24-20 advantage before MSU tied the score at 24 apiece. The Bobcats and Vikings fought back and forth before Portland State scored two unanswered points to take a 34-32 victory in the third set. “The team showed great heart and fight in that third set to push it to extra points,” Riley said. “They are working hard and battling so we need to celebrate that and keep fostering that fight in them.”
While the fourth and final set wasn’t as close as the other three, the Bobcats fought hard, but came up short as the Vikings out-hit the Cats .194 to .097 and took a 25-19 victory to claim the match three sets to one. Montana State was led offensively by freshman Natalie Passeck, who recorded a career-high 21 kills, and senior Natalee Godfrey added 10 kills. Defensively, sophomores Kasey Altman and Dana Vestman led in digs with 21 and 18 respectively, while Godfrey also contributed with eight blocks.
The Bobcats will travel to Moscow, Idaho to take on the University of Idaho Vandals on Thursday, Oct. 29. “ Against Idaho we are looking to play our best volleyball, play hard as a team, and keep learning how to battle from start to finish,” Riley said. The game begins at 7 p.m.