Tech spikers upset Warriors

The Orediggers were too tired to celebrate.

It’s hard to blame them considering they played two five-game volleyball matches in about a 21-hour span. To top it off, they had a girls’ camp to put on Saturday morning.

So, the Orediggers appeared to take Saturday’s upset win over No. 24-ranked Lewis-Clark State College, the first-place team in the Frontier Conference, in ho-hum fashion at the HPER Complex.

Still, the Orediggers were anything but casual on the court, and the team seemed to have a firm understanding of what their 25-23, 13-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10 victory means.

“It feels great,” said sophomore middle blocker Korey Krumm. The Anaconda product tallied 11 kills and four blocked shots to held the Orediggers post a victory that came on the heels of Friday’s crazy-long 3-2 loss to MSU-Northern.

Krumm, though, wasn’t doing a whole lot of jumping up and down after the match.

“Our bodies were just dead today,” she said. “We had a little kid camp this morning that we had to get up early for, so we weren’t too pleased with our coach this morning.”

The camp might have paid off in the end, however. Tech’s victory came in front of a large crowd considering it started at 2 p.m.

“A lot of the girls from the camp came here. It was nice,” Krumm said. “I always get pumped up the more fans we have.”

The David vs. Goliath matchup was pretty obvious to everyone in the crowd. Lewis-Clark State held a huge size advantage. The Warriors are athletic, and they hit the ball hard.

The Orediggers, though, overcame that swagger and aggression with good, old-fashioned fundamentals.

“We focused a lot on our keys versus the bigger picture, and I think that’s what’s most important, fundamentals,” Krumm said. “We were able to put everything together this week. They were out of system quite a bit. I felt like we were more in system. Our passing was a lot better than there. We were a lot more controlled, and they were scrambling quite a bit on the other side.”

Shersteen Cline tallied a match-high 18 kills in the victory. She had half of those in the first game as the Orediggers squeaked out a win.

The Warriors (8-3 in conference, 12-8 overall), though, seemed to put the Orediggers (5-7, 15-9) in their place with a lopsided win in game.

Tech battled back to win Game 3 and nearly put the match away in five. The Orediggers made a run to overcome a big deficit, only to see Lewis-Clark State make a run at the end.

Tech outscored Lewis-Clark State 4-1 to close out the tiebreaker.

“I think the fifth set is the best we played all year, and I think it was going to take that kind of game to beat them,” Oredigger coach Brian Solomon said. “We had to really grind it out technically and try to stay sound, making the right plays. They’ve got great athletes and huge swings.”

Mikayla Sullivan killed seven in the win, while Sydney Norris notched six kills to go along with 16 digs.

Kimmy Kavran collected 24 digs, and Kirstin King dug 10. Alison Lunde served up 26 assists.

Three Warriors reached double digits in kills. Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy and Niurka Toribio each killed 11, and Brianne Brown killed 10.

“That was kind of an ugly stat line for both teams,” Solomon said. “But it was a big win.”

The Orediggers won four of their last five matches — all in the Frontier Conference. They play at home against Rocky Mountain College and Dickinson State next week before playing their final two matches on the road, at Montana Western and Westminster College.

“We are finally in our groove,” Krumm said. “We’re playing with confidence, and it’s showing.”

The Orediggers, by the way, will have two days off of practice to rest.