(Photo courtesy MSU Billings)

(MSUB Athletics release)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Yellojacket volleyball team (6-10, 2-5 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) started their Oregon road trip with a tough 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-22) loss at Concordia University (8-7, 3-5 GNAC) on Thursday night in Portland, Ore. Maddi Vigil led the MSUB attack with 17 kills while hitting .295 followed by Bayli Monck’s nine kills and .348 hitting percentage.

“It’s always tough to start a road trip with a loss,” head coach Casey Williams said after the game. “We just couldn’t find our rhythm and Concordia’s consistent offense contributed to our struggles. We will regroup and focus on ending this road trip on a positive note.”

Izela Alvarez was held to her second lowest dig total of the season as the freshman libero tallied 10 in the loss. Miranda McConnell and Katie Campbell were the only other ‘Jackets to have multiple kills in the match with four and two respectively. Alexa Smythe guided the attack with 33 assists on the night while adding one kill and five digs. Taylor Sherman had seven digs in the contest.

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MSUB struggled to slow a balanced Cavaliers attack led by Lindsey Dorsey who recorded 17 kills and 10 digs in the match. Colby Barnette added 11 kills while three other Cavaliers recorded five or more kills as the team combined to hit .321. Michele Brown posted 39 assists for CU.

The match started with Vigil recording the first point of the night and the ‘Jackets taking a 5-2 lead. Unfortunately the three point margin would be the largest lead of the night for MSUB. The Cavaliers closed the gap to tie the first set at 8-8 and took control from there. McConnell was effective in the first frame with two kills on three attacks while Vigil and Monck recorded six and two kills respectively. The ‘Jackets were held to seven total digs in the opening set as CU hit a staggering .519 as a team.

In the second set MSUB couldn’t find its offense as the Yellowjackets hit .114 and never held a lead. Campbell and Mock each added two kills in the set and McConnell tallied one. Vigil was again the leading attacker for the ‘Jackets with three kills but the effective Cavalier defense stymied 12 of the outside hitter’s 15 attacks. Smythe and Alvarez each had four digs in the set but CU recorded a .256 hitting percentage while continuing to click.

MSUB showed great resolve in the third set after Concordia stitched together small runs to open up a five point lead 20-15. At that point Vigil and Monck combined for three kills while the Concordia attack committed two errors with a single kill in between leaving a one-point margin 21-20. However it was Dorsey and Barnette along with Karly Ernster that would put the match away for the Cavaliers.

UP NEXT: MSUB will travel to Monmouth, Ore. for a match against Western Oregon University (5-9, 1-6 GNAC) on Saturday at 3 p.m. (MTN). The match can be watched via the MSUB Stretch Internet Portal.

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