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MSU Billings, Rocky Mountain College showcase Monday volleyball showdown

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Posted at 3:33 PM, Sep 23, 2019

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

BILLINGS – Since 1986, the Montana State University Billings volleyball team has been playing Rocky Mountain College for city supremacy. Monday 7 p.m. represents the 61st chapter of the rivalry at Fortin Center, home of the Battlin’ Bears. The ‘Jackets enter the building having won their previous two matches and with a 37-23 advantage in the all-time series against their NAIA foes. On the other side of the net, the Battlin’ Bears will be gunning to beat MSUB on their home court as they try to defeat the Yellowjackets in a fourth straight meeting.

MSUB students in attendance can get in for free with a valid student I.D. Those unable to attend in person can watch online via Rocky Mountain College’s video stream page. []

After the non-conference bout with RMC, the Yellowjackets hit the road for two Great Northwest Athletic Conference matchups later this week. The team will play University of Alaska, Fairbanks Thursday, September 26 at 11:30 AKT. On Saturday, September 28, MSUB plays University of Alaska Anchorage at 7 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: The Yellowjackets earned their first sweep of the season when they defeated Western Oregon 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23) Saturday night at home. 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. On Thursday, Skylar Reed and Maddi Vigil led the ‘Jackets to a 3-1 (25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 25-21) win over Concordia University in the first GNAC contest of the fall.

BY THE NUMBERS: Vigil reached the 100 kill mark last time out against WOU and is hitting an average of 2.78 kills per set. Bayli Monck ranks second with 85 kills (2.36 kills per set) and is also fourth with 85 digs. Marissa Logozzo has improved to third in digs with 92, but Makayla Baca continues to be the team’s primary defensive specialist with 114 total digs.

Joelle Mahowald ranks eighth in the conference with a .278 hitting percentage and 76 kills. Hannah Hashbarger and Alexa Smythe continue to split time at setter and rank seventh and eighth respectively in assists in the GNAC.

Scouting Rocky Mountain College
Game Day: Monday, September 23 – 7 p.m.
2019 Record: 10-4, 2-0 Frontier, 2-0 home, 0-0 away, 8-4 neutral
2018 Record: 30-6, 12-0 Frontier, 7-0 home, 9-1 away, 14-5 neutral
Head Coach: Yang Yang (1st season)

The Battlin’ Bears have won five straight matches and are undefeated (2-0) in their home gymnasium. Last time out, RMC defeated Carroll College 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19). Daniella Russell had 13 kills while Monique Rodriguez and Naomi Bad Bear each posted 10. Natialie Hilderman recorded 33 assists while Ayla Embry had 20 digs.

Last season, RMC swept MSU Billings in a pair of five set matches. Skylar Reed had her breakout performance on September 9, 2018 at Fortin Center and posted 20 kills but the ‘Jackets still fell 15-9 in the decider. Vigil held a double-double with 19 kills and 17 digs. At Alterowitz Gymnasium MSUB came with three points of a win but went down 15-12 in the fifth set September 23, 2018. The Battlin’ Bears Hailey Copinga connected on 17 kills and 28 digs. Vigil led the ‘Jacket offense with 14 kills and a double-double.

Last season, Rocky Mountain College lost the Frontier Conference Championship to University of Providence 3-1, then fell in pool play in the 2018 NAIA women’s volleyball National Championship Series.

Scouting University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Game Day: Thursday, September 26 – 7 p.m. LT
2019 Record: 5-5, 2-0 GNAC, 0-0 home, 2-2 away, 3-3 neutral
2018 Record: 14-13, 12-8 GNAC, 7-3 home, 5-6 away, 2-4 neutral
Head Coach: Brian Scott (1st season)

The Alaska Nanooks volleyball team continued their streak of strong play Saturday with a sweep of Seattle Pacific 28-26, 25-21, 25-22. UAF also swept Saint Martin’s on Thursday on the road. The Nanooks average 12.2 kills per set and 12.4 kills to opponents. On defense, UAF has 508 digs (14.5 digs per set) and 152 total blocks (2.3 blocks per set).

Lahra Weber leads the team with 81 kills (3.12 k/set) and 15 service aces. Kim Wong is second with 60 kills (2.50 k/set). Makena Overbey has 95 digs (3.65 digs per set) and Cate Whiting is second with 75 digs (2.88 digs per set).

Last season the Yellowjackets lost both matches to the Nanooks. UAF swept MSUB in Billings in three close sets 25-18, 25-22, 26-24. No player on the ‘Jackets made it to double-digit kills, though Monck and Vigil recorded nine apiece. The ‘Jackets pushed the Nanooks to five sets in Fairbanks but fell 15-9 in the deciding frame. Skylar Reed played exceptional with 17 kills and a .400 hitting percentage.

Scouting University of Alaska, Anchorage
Game Day: Saturday, September 21 – 7 p.m. MT
2019 Record: 7-3 overall, 2-0 GNAC, 2-2 home, 2-1 away, 3-0 neutral
2018 Record: 21-7, 14-6 GNAC, 10-3 home, 9-3 away, 2-1 neutral
Head Coach: Chris Green (12th season)

Alaska Anchorage enters the week with a four-match win streak having defeated Saint Martin’s 3-1 on Saturday, and Seattle Pacific 3-0 on Thursday to open GNAC play. The Seawolves rank second in the conference for hitting percentage (.289), first in opponent hitting percentage (.145), first in blocks (2.57 blocks/set), and first in service aces with 87.

Returner Eve Stephens leads the GNAC with 148 kills (3.89 k/set). Ellen Floyd is fourth in assists with 365 (9.61 assists per set). Vanessa Hayes and Maggie Schlueter share the GNAC lead with 0.66 aces per set and 25 total service aces. Vera Pluharova leads the conference with 1.44 blocks per set (52.0 total blocks).

The Yellowjackets failed to pick up a set in two outing against the Seawolves in 2018. Vigil managed a double-double (10 kills, 13 digs) versus UAA September 14, 2018. Eavan Taylor hit .364 with five kills for MSUB against the Seawolves October 13, 2018.