LEWISTON, Idaho – Montana Western took to the road again for the second straight weekend, this time they headed to the LC State Red Lion Classic
For the second consecutive week, the Bulldogs started the tournament with a win, this time a hard-fought, five set, victory over the University of Saint Francis from Fort Wayne, Ind. In a back and forth affair, that saw no team win two consecutive sets, Montana Western prevailed 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-12.
On offense, Montana Western had a hitting percentage of .254 in the match, including a .326 in the third set. The Bulldogs were led by freshman Cady Siemion, who recorded 22 kills and 20 digs in the match and had a hitting percentage of .340 on 50 total attacks.
Siemion now has two matches early in the season with 20-plus kills, a phenomenal start for the true freshman from Huntley.
“Cady is off to a great start and handling a big load for us. She came with championship experience from high school and she plays and swings fearlessly,” stated Coach Lisa Griffiths, “I love her energy and her willingness to play a lot of different positions.”
Montana Western saw three other players have 10 or more kills in the match to join Siemion; Joanna Avery (16), Tessa Miller (11) and Bailey Wilson (10). Setters Sierra Cahill and Callie Hanson again split the setting duties, tallying 34 and 29 assists respectively.
Defensively, freshman Dylan Fowler led the way again. Fowler recorded 22 digs to lead five players with double digits the category; Brianna DeCock (13), Wilson (11), Cahill (12) and Siemion (20).
Saint Francis was held to a .209 hitting percentage, and a .109 in the pivotal third set, by the Bulldog defense. Griffiths was very pleased with the play at the net and the floor defenders.
“They challenged our defense with a lot of different hitters,” said Griffiths, “but our floor defenders stepped up to the challenge and we got some key blocks from both of our middles and Bailey Wilson.”
The Bulldogs had three players record double-doubles in the match; Siemion, Wilson and Cahill.
Following a four hour break, Montana Western hit the floor again to take on the Evergreen State Geoducks from Olympia, Washington.
Everything seemed to go the Bulldogs way on Friday as they continued to hit well, finishing with a .314 (42-10-102) mark against Evergreen State, while holding the Geoducks to a .207 (43-18-121) attack. Montana Western tallied 40 assists, five aces and five blocks in a three-set sweep.
Montana Western made quick work of Evergreen State, winning 25-21, 25-19, 26-24.
Siemion had another double-double, tallying 10 kills and 14 digs, to lead the way for Montana Western. Fowler continued her dominant floor defense at the Libero position recording 16 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Joanna Avery had a good match collecting 10 kills on 14 attempts with two errors for a hitting percentage of .571, Avery also added in a solo block and three block assists. Hanson tallied 37 assists and seven digs from her setter position.
Montana Western finished the first day with an undefeated 2-0 record, putting their season record at 3-3 in the young season.
Saturday morning, started much differently than Friday’s matches as they took on the Northwest University Eagles from Kirkland, Washington.
The Bulldogs were forced into 29 hitting errors and .064 hitting percentage in the match, as they fell in straight sets, 20-25, 12-25, 24-26.
Defensively, the Bulldogs made the Eagles work for every point, forcing them into 12 hitting errors and a .183 hitting percentage, the lowest the Bulldogs have allowed on the season. Dylan Fowler again recorded 20 digs to lead the floor defense. Fowler was named to the all-tournament team for her performances during the weekend. Cady Siemion chipped in with 13 digs to continue her impressive start to her freshman season.
Despite the good defense, Montana Western was unable to overcome its offensive woes and seven service errors. Tessa Miller, nine kills, and Brittany Erickson, seven kills, led the in the match. Sierra Cahill and Callie Hanson tallied 13 and 14 assists respectively. Montana Western recorded 37 assists on its 38 kills in the match.
Montana Western fell to 2-1 in the tournament and 3-4 on the young season.
Their fourth match of the tournament was moved to a scrimmage following a power outage in the Lewis-Clark State College gym.
The Bulldogs will return to play on September 11-12, when they travel to Hastings, Neb., to face Peru State, Concordia, MidAmerica Nazerene University and Midland University.
— Montana Western Sports Information