By Shelly Davis
Montana Tech came on with a vengeance in match play against Providence College of Great Falls with a 3-1 match win 25-23, 25-15, 18-25, and 25-11 to move on to tonight’s championship match at 7pm at the Carroll College campus.
Diggers take the first set by a close margin 25-23. Montana Tech started out hot with a 4-1 early lead spurred by an ace serve by Hannah Liss and a stuff block by Haley Druyvestein and Marsha Karol. Angela Molesworth and Karol each scored on kills to push Montana Tech to an 8-3 advantage. Providence continued to fight back as Mariah Diaz, a 6’2” senior from California sent a kill down hard, but some errors in the backcourt held them from scoring until a much-needed timeout was called by Coach Duda.
The Diggers continued to roll expanding their lead to 14-7 then Providence finally brought on the power and scored 4 in a row including a smash by Lauren Brown. Providence was not ready to give in and continued to plug away at the score with strong hitting by Kailey Rashford, Sydney Anderson and Josee Pendleton. Providence was able to close the gap to 22-21 with a crushing hit by Pendleton.
The Diggers held on and Tori Chelini finished the set with an easy dump to the center court to seal the first set for the Diggers.
Coach Brian Solomon coached up his team during the break and the lady Diggers came out swinging strong in the second set. Montana Tech dominated the net with kills and stuff blocks to win 25-15. Hannah Liss setup Molesworth and Marsha Karol to set the fierce tempo of the game.
Providence held strong for the first half tying the set 12 all with a power play from Mariah Diaz. The Digger squad then took charge and powered their way to a victory 25-15..
Set 3 was all Providence as they kicked up the heat to a commanding 7-1 lead. Josee Pendleton showed her prowess as she scored four straight points with 3 kills and one stuff block to continue the throttling 12-5.
Providence’s front line of Sydney Anderson and Ember Schwindt then took control scoring on kills and blocks pushing Providence forward to 19-13 advantage.
The rally continued as Providence 5’8” hitter Korie Milan belted hit after hit to finish off the Diggers 25-18 and on game point she went down hard holding her knee.
Coach Solomon encouraged his team to finish the match and they responded with a resounding 25-11 punishment in the fourth set led by senior stand-out Haley Druyvestein and Masha Karol. Hannah Liss and Gena McMillan scored on tough serving while Tori Chelini set the stage for aggressive pounding by her teammates.
MT Tech plays the winner of Rocky / Carroll tonight at 7 o’clock.