(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Earning their first sweep of the season and second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference win, Montana State University Billings defeated Western Oregon University 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23) in volleyball Saturday night at Alterowitz Gymnasium. Joelle Mahowald had a strong night on attack with nine kills and a .571 hitting percentage. Marissa Logozzo took care of the back row with 17 digs and a pair of assists for MSUB. Hannah Hashbarger also posted 30 assists and three kills at the setter position.
“I thought we came out with some good energy and a good attitude tonight,” commented head coach Casey Williams. “Hannah Hashbarger did a good job moving the ball around and that enabled our attackers to get into good positions and find our flow.”
The Yellowjackets played with the lead most of the night and staved off a late push by the Wolves to win the third set 25-23. Hitting .168 as a team, Maddi Vigil contributed 11 kills and one service ace but MSUB contributions came from multiple sources on the court. Skylar Reed chipped in five kills and three service aces and Bayli Monck recorded eight digs toward MSUB’s team total of 44.
“I think a big part of our success was our passing,” Williams said. “All of our passers were giving us two and three balls where we have multiple options. Hash has that ability to choose attackers and that really confuses the defense on the other side. We got put in good situations and then our offense was rolling.”
Both teams suffered from service errors throughout the match. MSUB finished with five aces and 12 errors. Western Oregon made two service aces with nine service errors. Sarah Crowell led WOU with nine kills and Allie Spear dug out 16.
The Yellowjackets (3-7, 2-0 GNAC) have won two straight matches for the first time this season. MSUB plays rival Rocky Mountain College Monday night at Fortin Center at 7 p.m. The team resumes GNAC play Thursday, September 23 in Fairbanks against University of Alaska.
Mahowald was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game for MSUB.
“I love the girls and we are starting to mesh and find our love of volleyball on the court again,” said Mahowald. “Being on the court with them when we have a lot of energy is really a lot of fun.”