Bobcats start strong, fall in four

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For the second straight match the Montana State volleyball team captured the opening set, before faltering in the final three games to drop a 26-24, 19-25, 21-25, 17-25 decision to Northern Arizona, Saturday night.

Freshman Kennadie Clute posted a match-high 18 kills, while Natalee Godfrey added a career-high 17 kills and Eli Svisco notched 10. Godfrey broke her former mark of 16 kills, ironically, set against Northern Arizona in October.

“I thought we played well, especially in the first set,” said MSU head coach Kyle Weindel. “We lost to one of the Big Sky’s best teams, a team we beat earlier this season, and we had good contributions from everyone. We continue to play better as a team.

“We made fewer errors (tonight), but NAU made less,” Weindel said. “Historically, MSU hasn’t played well in Flagstaff, and with our effort, I hope we’ve started turning that around.”

For the match, Northern Arizona (19-8, 13-5) out-hit the Bobcats .362 to .190 and also held an 11-3 advantage in blocks.

Also contributing to the Montana State (6-23, 4-14) attack was Anna Sykora, who dished out 48 assists. Defensively, the Bobcats were paced by Nicole Baker with a match-high 20 digs, while Clute recorded her ninth double-double of the season with ten saves.

NAU was led by Jane Vander Ploeg with 16 kills and 15 digs.

The Bobcats will close out its season beginning Thursday against Sacramento State, before the season finale’ hosting Montana

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