The Bobcats played their second game in two days as they took on the University of Northern Colorado in Shroyer Gym on Saturday, Nov. 7. Despite out-blocking UNC 10-7, the Cats fell to the Bears 3-2 in five close matches.
Senior Natalee Godfrey started her last home game as a Bobcat in Shroyer Gym with a dynamic kill to start off the first set. In spite of the team’s intensity, the Bobcats soon fell behind as UNC took a 10-5 lead and cruised to a 25-19 win in the first set.
The Bobcats fought to a 7-5 early lead in the second set, with the Bears fighting back to tie it later at 17 apiece. The Bears took a 23-20 lead, but the Bobcats scored seven of the last nine points of the set to take set two with a score of 27-25 and even up the match 1-1. “We just found that fire to help us not give up,” Godfrey said. “I felt like we didn’t lose our focus.”
The intensity of the second set carried over into the third as the Cats scored six unanswered points to start the set. With the score at 23-17, the Cats withstood a late surge by the Bears and took the second set 25-23 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.
In a very close fourth set, Northern Colorado led by five points with the score at 17-12 before the Bobcats fought back to tie the set at 21 apiece and then 22 apiece. It was the Bears this time however that finished strong, winning the fourth set 25-23 and evening the match at two sets apiece.
Despite a quick start and small lead early in the fifth set, UNC tied the score at six apiece before scoring 5 unanswered points to establish commanding lead that carried them to a 15-10 set win and 3-2 match win over the Bobcats. Freshman Natalie Passeck led the Bobcats offensively with 20 kills, and sophomore Dana Vestman led defensively with 18 digs. Montana State will close out the season on the road against Weber State on Thursday, Nov. 12 and University of Montana on Saturday, Nov. 14. “To be honest this is some of the best volleyball we’ve played all year,” Montana State Head Coach J.J. Riley said. “To be playing this great at the end of the year is what we want.”