(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
CEDAR CITY, Utah – Senior Natalie Passeck posted a team-high 14 kills and added 15 digs to guide Montana State to a 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday afternoon in America First Event Center.
Passeck finished the match with a .353 attack. The Bobcats as a team were out-hit by the Thunderbirds .250 to .238.
Montana State (7-10, 2-4) relied on its defense to overcome Southern Utah (2-16, 1-5). Four Bobcats reach double-digit digs led by Allyssa Rizzo with 17 saves. Aside from Rizzo and Passeck, also reaching double-figure digs were Carina Lehto and Hannah Scott with 14 and ten, respectively.
Sophomore middle blocker Kelsie White paced MSU from the service line with a career-high five aces. The Bobcats out-aced the Thunderbirds 10-3.
“Our serve put them on their heels,” Jones said. “And, our block did a really nice job of funneling the ball to our defense. Having four players in double digit digs was impressive.”
Scott, an outside hitter from Hawthorne, Calif., also hit double-digit kills with 13 to post her sixth double-double. Lehto also notched a double-double adding 30 assists. McKayla Landreth led the Bobcats at the net with a team-best four blocks.
The victory snapped at four-match losing streak.
“It’s been a tough two weeks,” said MSU head coach Daniel Jones. “What doesn’t show in recent results is the toughness and commitment this team has. There have been so many bright spots over the last two weeks that get lost in the headlines. To get a result like this is affirming for all the hard work that goes into being a collegiate student-athlete. We can’t wait to get home and compete in front of our fans, friends and family again this coming week.”
Southern Utah was led by Janet Kalaniuvalu with 18 kills.
Montana State will host Idaho on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in Shroyer Gym.