DILLON — The University of Montana Western volleyball team fell to the Skylights of Montana State-Northern in a hard-fought come from behind five-set loss on Friday night.
The Bulldogs (4-12 overall, 0-5 Frontier) dropped the first two sets of the evening, 19-25 and 22-25 before rallying to win the third and fourth set, 25-22 and 25-19. The fifth and final set proved to be as exciting as the rest of the match, as it ended in favor of the Skylights (9-12, 1-4) 18-16.
Montana Western was led offensively by sophomore Tessa Miller’s 19 kills and .390 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs saw three other players record double digit kills in the match, Bailey Wilson (12), Joanna Avery (10) and Mikayla Ness (10). Avery had a very efficient evening as well, with a hitting percentage of .321. The Bulldogs totaled a .149 hitting percentage on the night, their highest in the last eight games.
Junior setter Callie Hanson had her best outing of the season as she dished out 52 assists on 66 team kills. Hanson found her teammates early and often in one-on-one situations, allowing the attackers to gain an advantage and put the ball away.
Freshman Sierra Cahill notched three service aces.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were paced by sophomore libero Brianna DeCock, who recorded 24 digs. DeCock was followed by Cady Siemion (22), Hanson (17), Dylan Fowler (14) and Wilson (13).
Senior Mikayla Ness came away with two solo blocks, Wilson led the team with six block assists, as Miller and Avery recorded five and four block assists respectively to go along with their one solo block each.
Siemion also contributed with seven kills and a service ace in the match.
The Skylights saw a great performance from Cassie Krueger who tallied 28 kills, 19 digs and two solo blocks. The offensive attack was led by setter Emily Russell who matched her Western counterpart with 52 assists, Russell also recorded 13 digs in the match.
Libero Jacy Vining collected 33 digs to slow down the attack of the Bulldogs. Cydney Auzenne totaled 22 digs in the match.
Montana State- Northern was able to out-hit the Bulldogs on the night, .202-.149, and have less hitting errors, 25-31, that proved to be the difference of this Frontier Conference battle.
Montana Western will return to action next weekend as they travel to Denver, Colo. for a non-conference tournament hosted by Johnson & Wales University.
— Montana Western Sports Information