(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – LIU Brooklyn fought off four match points and used the momentum to rally past Montana State 22-25, 16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-12 on Friday afternoon at the North Portland Marriott Invite.
Montana State (2-3) cruised to a 2-0 advantage outhitting LIU Brooklyn (2-3) .274 to .088 over the first two sets. The Bobcats held a 24-20 cushion in the third frame following a Kelsie White block, but the Blackbirds rallied with six straight points for the win.
LIU Brooklyn kept its energy in the fourth stanza outhitting the Bobcats .341 to .109 to force a deciding set.
The Blackbirds got out to an early 4-2 lead in the final frame before MSU went on a 5-1 run to take a 7-5 advantage. The stretch was sparked by a White kill and service ace. LIU Brooklyn, again, flipped the switch rattling off a 9-2 run to hold match point at 14-9. Montana State fought off three match points behind a pair of White blocks, before the Blackbirds’ Filippa Hansson ended the contest with a kill.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said MSU head coach Daniel Jones. “We had opportunities to put it away and we didn’t take advantage of them. It speaks to where we are at as a program. We need to grow in maturity and learn how to put matches away.”
Evi Wilson paced the Bobcats with a career-high 20 kills, while Hannah Scott 11 and White 10 also reached double-digit kills. Bozeman native Allie Lynch dished out a season-best 42 assists, while chipping in seven digs and three blocks.
White, a sophomore middle blocker from Layton, Utah, finished with a .304 attack mark and added a match-high seven blocks.
Defensively, Allyssa Rizzo guided MSU with 31 digs, while Lexi Goroski 13 and Scott 11 also notched double-figure saves.
LIU Brooklyn was led by Viktoria Fink with 21 kills and nine digs.
Montana State will close out tournament play against Wyoming on Saturday at 11 a.m. (MST).