PORTLAND, Ore. — Top-seed Portland State, with fresh legs and six players who earned some level of All-Big Sky Conference honors a day earlier, ended the Montana volleyball team’s season Friday night with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-9 victory in the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament at PSU’s Stott Center.
The Vikings (21-10) will face No. 3 Idaho State in Saturday night’s championship match, the winner of which advances to the NCAA tournament. The Bengals upset No. 2 North Dakota in four sets in Friday’s first semifinal.
Montana, which won its first postseason match since 1996 with a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Northern Arizona in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon, ends its season with a record of 16-15.
The Grizzlies enjoyed a 10-win improvement from last season and had two more victories than any of eighth-year coach Jerry Wagner’s first seven teams.
But Portland State, which defeated Montana twice in the regular season in three sets, was once again too much for the Grizzlies.
The Vikings had 21 more kills than Montana and hit .261 to defeat the Grizzlies for the 21st straight time and for the 15th consecutive time at the Stott Center.
Big Sky Conference MVP Garyn Schlatter had 34 assists, 11 digs and 3 blocks, and added 7 kills on .636 hitting, as PSU trailed just once in the match, 1-0 in the second set.
Montana hit .125 and was led offensively by seniors Kayla Reno and Brooke Bray. Reno, named first-team All-Big Sky Thursday, had seven kills. Bray, who was named honorable mention, also totaled seven kills on .375 hitting.
— Montana Sports Information