(RMC release)

BILLINGS – The 21st-ranked Rocky Mountain College volleyball team dropped a tight four-set match to No. 14 Montana Tech on Friday night in the Fortin Center.

After winning the first set, Rocky (19-10, 7-3 Frontier) dropped the next three for a 25-21, 24-26, 23-25, 17-25 home loss. With the win, Montana Tech (19-7, 9-1 Frontier) sweeps the season series.

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The Battlin’ Bears had the offense going in the first as they banged 18 kills and hit .326. They weren’t able to sustain the effort as they didn’t record more than 14 kills or hit above .137 in the final three sets. Rocky ended the night with 55 kills and hitting .122.

Both teams had the dig game working as the teams combined for 206 digs in the match. Rocky had a 106-100 edge, but they were done in by Tech’s 14-7 advantage in blocks. The visitors recorded 57 kills and hit .194.

Sydney Matheny and Daniella Russell had 12 kills apiece to lead the Battlin’ Bears. Hailey Copinga added 11 kills and a career-high 25 digs.

Holland Fergurson led Rocky with 27 digs. Ruby Kallenbach and Krista Judisch finished with 16 digs apiece. Natalie Hilderman recorded 43 assists and 15 digs.

Masha Korol led Tech with 15 kills and Sabrina Hopcroft had 27 digs.

Rocky now sits two games behind Tech in the Frontier standings with two matches to play. They are one-half game ahead of Carroll as the Saints have three matches remaining. The Battlin’ Bears will play the final two matches of the regular season next weekend in the Fortin Center, including a November 3 contest against Montana western at 7 p.m.