(MSUB Athletics release)
LACEY, Wash. – The Yellowjackets (7-16, 3-10 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) swept the season series with a five set (25-21, 26-28, 25-22, 19-25, 15-11) win over Saint Martin’s (8-14, 3-11 GNAC) on Thursday night. The Montana State University Billings team rallied behind a well balanced attack and a season high 12 blocks in the match.
“It was a total team effort tonight,” head coach Casey Williams said after the match. “I‘m proud of the way we bounced back in the fifth set.”
Taylor Sherman recorded a season high 10 kills in the match while adding six digs and one block-assists to her ledger. Jordan Mix also recorded a season high as she led the MSUB attack with 14 kills in the match followed by Katie Campbell who had 10 kills with 22 digs for her first double-double of the season. Setter Kylee Clarke also tallied a double-double with 18 digs and 14 assists and Alexa Smythe contributed 30 assists to the offense.
The MSUB block party was led by Miranda McConnell’s seven block assists followed by Bayli Monck and Hali Ehresmann who each tallied five. Campbell added a season-high with four block-assists while Mix added two more.
After reaching the top-10 on Tuesday, Izela Alvarez flew up the MSUB single-season dig total record list with her 36 digs moving her to second in program history with 458 digs. She is now 119 digs away from tying the record with seven games left.
This is the first match this season that the ‘Jackets have won while hitting below .200, but they out-hit the Saints .134 to .123 thanks to their defensive efforts.
McConnell and Campbell led the defense early on as the pair of juniors each had three block-assists in the first set. Mix had three kills in the first frame and carried the momentum into a five-kill second set. Monck was the ‘Jackets most effective hitter with nine kills while posting a .321 hitting percentage.
Sheman was a clutch performer in the match as she only played the final three sets recording three kills in both the third and fourth before delivering four decisive strike in the fifth set. Monck and McConnell teamed up to seal the win with a block on the Saints final attack of the night.
MSUB will stay in Washington and make the short drive to Settle as they face the Seattle Pacific Falcons (11-10, 6-7 GNAC) on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Pacific time. The Falcons topped the ‘Jackets in five sets in the first meeting of the season.