Diggers battle past Rocky, clinch tie for Frontier title

BILLINGS — Montana Tech picked up a crucial victory Friday night, and the Orediggers helped their coach pick up a milestone along the way.

The No. 14 Orediggers knocked off Rocky Mountain College 21-25, 26-23, 25-23, 25-17 in a Frontier Conference volleyball match. (Stats)

The victory, No. 200 for Tech coach Brian Solomon, guarantees the Orediggers at least a share of the Frontier Conference title.

“That was a great win,” Solomon said. “It was a well-played match. They did a lot of good things, and so did we.”

Masha Korol registered 15 kills to lead the Orediggers, who improved to 9-1 in league play and 19-7 overall.

Rocky and Carroll College both have three conference losses, and the Orediggers have two matches left.

Angela Molesworth added 14 kills, while Haley Druyvestein and Nicole Peacock followed with nine and eight.

Tori Chelini dished up 30 assists, and Sabrina Hopcroft collected 27 digs. She was one of four Orediggers in double digits in that category. Gena McMillan (19), Chelini (16) and Peacock (14) were the others.

“I had a lot of people tell me that was the best match they’ve seen,” Solomon said. “For a good stretch of that match, we played as good of volleyball as we ever had.”

Sydney Matheny and Daniella Russell each tallied 12 kills to lead the Battlin’ Bears. Hailey Copinga spiked 11.

The Tech win was the first for the Orediggers over Rocky in Billings in Solomon’s six years at the helm.

“It was a good win,” Solomon said. “It puts us in a good spot.”

The Orediggers play at the University of Providence-Great Falls next Thursday before closing the regular season at home Saturday against MSU-Northern.

If Tech wins either match, the Orediggers are the outright conference champions.

Solomon was unaware of his win total.

“That must mean I’m close to 200 losses,” the coach joked.



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