-By Nick Bowsher
The No. 15 Montana Tech volleyball team survived the Montana Western Bulldogs who wouldn’t go quietly. The Orediggers went five set defeating the Bulldogs 25-19, 21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-12.
The Orediggers (23-7, 8-1) are another match closer to the regular season conference title winning their eighth match on the conference schedule and second straight.
Tech outhit the Bulldogs 70-62, but Western stayed with the pace the Orediggers have played at all season. The Orediggers hit for .260 in the match and the Bulldogs finishing hitting .209. Tech won the battle at the net as well outblocking Western 9-5.
The Bulldogs had their only aces in the fourth set with five to push the match to the final frame.
Maureen Jessop had a season-high 26 kills on 62 attacks and just five errors. Jessop finished with a .355 hitting percentage and three blocks.
Freshman Kinnidi Willmore also had her top performance of the year. The Claremont, California native finished with 16 kills on 49 attempts for a .184 hitting percentage.
Taylor Henley had 12 kills and just three errors hitting for .375. Henley added two blocks to her stat line.
Olivia Muir had nine kills and a team high four blocks.
Setter McKenna Kaelber had a career night finishing with 61 assists.
Olivia Caddy had 24 digs and Jelena Jablanov had 17.
Jazi Smith led the Bulldogs with 24 kills while hitting for .322. Danyel Martin had 12 kills.
The finale for the regular season is at home on Kelvin Sampson Court this Friday. The Orediggers host the MSU-Northern Skylights at 7 p.m.