(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
ANCHORAGE, Ala. – Opening its annual Alaska road trip, the Montana State University Billings volleyball team took a 3-0 (20-25, 20-25, 14-25) defeat at the hands Alaska Anchorage on Thursday night.
“We fought really hard tonight,” MSUB head coach Casey Williams said. “Anchorage is a great team and really pushed us physically. We made some costly errors, and they took advantage.”
The Yellowjackets (4-7, 1-2 GNAC) kept it close for two sets against the Seawolves (10-5, 3-0 GNAC) but the hosts pulled away with a big third set.
- Bayli Monck’s 13 kills and 11 dig-outing amounted to her sixth double-double of the season. She also led the team with a .385 hitting percentage on 26 total attempts.
- Jahsita Fa’ali’i, Skylar Reed and Joelle Mahowald chipped in six kills apiece.
- Hannah Hashbarger finished with 16 assists and five digs.
- MSUB hitting: .111 overall (.071 set one, .186 set two, .073 set three)
- Alaska Anchorage hitting: .232 overall (.186 set one, .216 set two, .313 set three)
- Service aces: MSUB 3, UAA 11
- Digs: MSUB 53, UAA 53
- Blocks: MSUB 6.0, UAA 6.0
- Alaska Anchorage was led by Eve Stephens’ 14 kills and four service aces.
A kill from Hannah Hayden put MSUB on the board first at 2-1, but the Seawolves took a quick 4-1 lead. Undaunted, the Yellowjackets went on a 3-0 run – highlighted by Joelle Mahowald’s first kill of the night – to tie it at four-all. Despite another Seawolves run, kills from Skylar Reed and an ace from Mahowald sparked a 5-0 run to tie the game at 11. Another 3-0 run from MSUB that started from an Alaska Anchorage error, an ace from Reed and Christine Funk finding Bayli Monck for a kill gave the ‘Jackets a 15-14 lead midway through the first set. An ace from Hailey Carroll tied the game at 18, but Alaska Anchorage closed out the set on a 7-2 run to win the first, 25-20.
In the second set, MSUB took an early 5-3 lead thanks to a pair of early kills from Monck and Jahsita Fa’ali’i. But a pair of service aces from Eve Stephens gave the home team the lead. MSUB clawed back into it, however, thanks to more swings from Fa’ali’i, Mahowald and a clean solo block from Monck to pull within three, 12-9.
Fa’ali’i and Monck did plenty of damage on the outside, combining for 10 kills in the second set. Back-to-back kills from Fa’ali’i pulled MSUB within one at 15-14, but Anchorage pulled away once more. Reed’s fifth kill of the night to end a long rally gave MSUB momentary momentum at 21-19, but the Seawolves won the second set, 25-20.
In the third, Monck put MSUB on the board first, finding a tight angle off the right side for her ninth kill. But MSUB sided out on the next play, which kicked off a 10-0 run for the Seawolves. Kills from Mahowald, Monck and Fa’ali’i halted Alaska Anchorage along the way, but the Seawolves’ early lead was too much to overcome. Alaska Anchorage won the third set, 25-14.
MSUB travels north to Fairbanks to play Alaska on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time (4 p.m. MT).