Orediggers sink the Vikings at NAIA National Championships

By Montana Tech Sports Information. 
SIOUX CITY, Iowa- The 44th Annual Volleyball National Championship didn’t get started the way the Orediggers planned, but it did finish the way they wanted, with a 3-0 sweep of the Vikings. (25-20, 25-19, 25-23)

Valley City State (23-11) came out firing on all cylinders in the first set. Using solid passing and great work at the net the Vikings jumped out to an 18-10 lead, forcing the Orediggers to scramble.

Then the tides shifted.

The Orediggers would go on a 6-1 run before Valley City would use a timeout. Senior Outside Hitter Maureen Jessop got three of those six points. Tech trailed 19-16.

The teams would exchange back-to-back attack errors to advance the score to 20-17 in favor of the Vikings. That would be the last point Valley City would tally in the first set, and the Orediggers would close on an 8-0 run, to take the first 25-20.

The Orediggers hit .167 in the first set, getting 13 kills on 42 swings. The Vikings would finish with a hitting percentage of .070, and 12 kills.

The second set belonged to Montana Tech. Frontier Conference MVP Olivia Muir put down seven kills in the second, and the Oredigger Middle Blockers stepped up in a big way. Senior Taylor Henley accounted for 3 kills and a pair of blocks, and Junior Olivia Labeau also had three kills as well as a pair of blocks. Montana Tech hit .245 and 17 kills in the second while holding the Vikings to 7 total kills with a .029 hitting percentage.

While the third set was closer, the Orediggers controlled the pace throughout, winning the deciding frame 25-23.

The Diggs finished with 44 total kills, led by Muir with 16, Maureen Jessop had nine, and Olivia Labeau in the middle put down seven. As a team Montana Tech hit .214, they had five aces, and eight total blocks.

Rhys Layton is credited with 20 assists, and McKenna Kaelber also checked 13. Jelena Jablanov led the Orediggers with 14 digs, Sarah Hopcroft had 10.

Bailey Nelson led the Vikings with 10 kills in the match, hitting .133. Valley City hit .062 for the match.

The Vikings having gone 0-2 in pool play are eliminated from the tournament, and it sets up a “win you’re in” match between – #3 Eastern Oregon University and #11 Montana Tech- tomorrow at 12:00 PM MST.

The winner of that match will win Pool-C, and advance to the Quarter Finals that start on Saturday.

You can read about Eastern Oregon, view the game notes, and get the link to the (paid) NAIA Stream HERE.

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