Bobcats drop four-game match

BOZEMAN — Montana State head coach Kyle Weindel was pleased with his team’s offensive efforts despite dropping a 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-12 decision to Northern Colorado, Saturday night in Shroyer Gym.

A night after just having two players in double-figure kills in a 3-1 loss to North Dakota, Weindel saw three Bobcats hit the double-digit kill plateau with a fourth just one kill away against the Bears.

“Eli (Svisco) and Nat (Godfrey) picked it up offensively,” Weindel said. “It was really nice to see Eli have a nice night. We need to keep focusing on scoring points from different positions. We’re still struggling finishing out a set and sustaining a high level of play throughout a match.”

The opening set featured 18 ties and eight lead changes, before Northern Colorado (5-6, 1-1) broke away at 21-all with two consecutive points. Montana State (2-11, 0-2) came to within 23-22 on a Godfrey kill, but the Bears closed out the set on two straight kills via Brianna Strong.

Northern Colorado jumped out early in the second stanza building an 11-4 advantage, before MSU rallied to close to within 20-18 on a Loni Kruen kill. UNC finished the set on a 5-2 run, winning on a Bobcat hitting miscue.

Montana State came out strong after the intermission break, storming out to a 16-10 lead following a Bear hitting error. Northern Colorado knotted the set at 18-all on a Bobcat hitting mistake, but the Bobcats answered with a 7-3 run sparked two kills apiece from Svisco and freshman setter Anna Sykora to get the victory.

The final set belonged to Northern Colorado as the Bobcats never got on track. The Bears out-hit the Bocbats .267 to -.100.

“We have the talent to play with anyone in the Big Sky Conference,” Weindel said. “We need to stop being conservative when things aren’t going our way. It should be just the opposite.”

Kreun, a freshman outside hitter from Davis, Calif., guided the Bocbats with her third double-double of the season with a team-high 15 kills and 11 digs. Also hitting double-digit kills were Kennadie Clute 14 and Godfrey 10. Svisco recorded her best outing of the season with nine kills, a .381 attack mark and two blocks.

“I thought Loni had a very nice weekend for us,” Weindel said. “We’ll still need our left-sides to score a majority of the points, put it was nice to see us spread out the offense.”

Sykora finished with 44 assists, while Kasey Schlatter also hit double-figure digs with 11 saves.

Northern Colorado was paced by Strong with 15 kills and seven blocks.

MSU will play at Eastern Washington on Thursday night.

— MSU Sports Information