SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Talk about a nail-biter.
No. 14 Montana Tech fell by the slimmest of margins in a four-set loss to No. 13 Missouri Baptist in the elimination rounds of the NAIA Volleyball National Championships Friday at the Tyson Events Center.
After winning the first set 25-20, the Orediggers dropped the next three matches, losing each one by two points. Missouri Baptist (33-8) won 27-25, 25-23, 26-24 to advance to the next round. (Stats)
The Frontier Conference champion Orediggers head home, closing the book on a memorable 24-10 season. The Orediggers, who advanced to the elimination rounds for the second straight year, won the Frontier regular-season title for the first time since 1990. They followed that with a Frontier tournament crown.
Marion Couraud pounded 17 kills to lead Missouri Baptist, which out killed the Orediggers 62-55. Ana Oliveira killed 16.
Frontier Conference MVP Masha Korol tallied 16 kills to lead the Orediggers, who got 13 kills from Angela Molesworth and 11 from Haley Druyvestein.
Sabrina Hopcroft led the Oredigger back row defense with 23 kills, while Gena McMillan, who registered five kills, dug up 16.
Hanna Liss dished up 28 assists for the Orediggers, who got 14 assists from Tori Chelini. Hopcroft also served five aces.
Coach Brian Solomon’s Orediggers will return the bulk of their team when they look to defend their Frontier title in 2018. They will, however, loose seniors Druyvestien, Molesworth and Nicole Peacock to graduation.