Skylights turn back Orediggers

Montana Tech’s volleyball season came to an end Friday afternoon with a hard-fought  25-19, 25-23. 23-25, 25-22 loss to MSU-Northern.

The match, which was played at the Montana Tech HPER Complex, was in the first-round of the Frontier Conference tournament.

After seeing his first season as the coach of the Orediggers end unceremoniously, Brian Solomon could easily pinpoint the reason Tech didn’t win Friday — the Skylights.

“Sometimes you don’t have control over the other team playing great,” Solomon said. “Northern did everything they needed to do. They played very well. They passed too well for us to win.”

Abby Nicholas tallied 17 kills and collected 24 digs to lead the way as the Skylights advanced to play top-ranked Lewis-Clark State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s kind of hard to stop her when they pass as well as they did,” Solomon said.

Hillary Isleifson added 12 kills, while Kelsey Williams spiked 12. Joni Nagy dished out 46 assists.

“We played aggressive and they made a couple more plays,” Solomon said, pointing to the many long volleys in the match.  “The teams went back and forth, and I think they won most of those long rallies.”

Freshman Sydney Norris had a big match, smacking 20 kills to lead Tech.

Senior Shersteen Cline killed 18, while sophomore Korey Krumm killed 12.

Kimmy Kavran, the best single-season digger the Diggers ever had, collected 27 digs. She closed the season with 776 digs. That was the best in the nation.

Senior Lacey Phelan collected 21 digs.

The match was also the final one in an Oredigger uniform for senior Kirstin King and Jesse Bowden.

The Orediggers closed the season at 18-11 overall. They won seven of their final matches.

“It was a great year to try to turn the corner of the program,” Solomon said. “It was a great season. I think all the players were committed to it as much as they could.”

Tech-Northern stats