By Bill Foley
Montana Tech volleyball coach Brian Solomon said his No. 17 Orediggers struggled on defense Thursday night at the HPER Complex.
The way the Oredigger offense was playing, however, you never would have known.
The Orediggers put on a hitting display, needing just 1 hour, 9 minutes to sweep Montana Western 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 to move to 3-0 in Frontier Conference play. Stats
“We outhit our defensive liabilities today,” Solomon said after the Orediggers (10-5 overall) tallied 51 kills on 97 attempts. “We took good swings throughout. We were over 50 percent kills, so that was a big number again.”
Ukrainian Masha Korol, a 6-foot-2 junior who is the reigning Frontier Conference Attacker of the Week, led that Oredigger attack. She tallied 15 kills on 29 attempts.
Senior Angela Molesworth tallied 11 kills for the Orediggers, who got nine kills from senior Nicole Peacock and seven from sophomore Gena McMillan. Senior middle blocker Haley Druyvestein killed six.
Also, sophomore Heather Thompson spiked three kills.
Tori Chelini (20 assists) and Kamile Moody (19) ran the Oredigger offense from the setter position, while sophomore Sabrina Hopcroft paced the backrow defense with 12 digs.
Hopcroft is the reigning Frontier Conference Defender of the Week.
Kyra Palmer killed 10 to lead the Bulldogs, who fell to 1-2 and 9-7.
McKenna Fink dished up 29 assists for Western, which registered a .253 hitting percentage compared to Tech’s .412.
The Orediggers are back at home for a 7 p.m. battle Saturday against Rocky Mountain College.
Solomon said Tech will study the game film on Friday to be ready for the Battlin’ Bears. He pointed out how his team made great adjustments between wins last week.
“It will be a good watch on film tomorrow, and we have a lot to try to be ready for on Saturday,” Solomon said. “We just need to be a little more disciplined on defense. A couple of corrections, and I think we’ll be in a better spot.
“We had a good film session last Friday between games last week,” Solomon said. “I think it will be good to have a good practice tomorrow. I think Rocky will be really good.”
Montana Western will head to Lewiston, Idaho, on Saturday to take on Lewis-Clark State College.