(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Skylar Reed and Maddi Vigil gradually improved their accuracy over four sets and helped Montana State University Billings volleyball to a 3-1 win over Concordia University Thursday night at Alterowitz Gymnasium in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest. It was the first home win of the year for MSU Billings and the first win against the Cavaliers in school history. The Yellowjackets (2-7, 1-0 GNAC) also snapped a five-match losing streak and started off the conference schedule with a victory.
“I thought we came out really hot and executed our game plan well,” commented head coach Casey Williams. “We wanted to attack their back corners, serve aggressively, and limit our errors, something we struggled with last weekend. I felt we set the tone right away in the first set.”
Reed led the offense with 15 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. The sophomore added a pair of service errors and five digs to the stat sheet for MSUB. Vigil posted her fourth double-double in eight outings with 11 kills, three block assists, and 13 digs. Teammate Bayli Monck connected on her second double-double of the fall with 11 kills and 13 digs. Marissa Logozzo had a solid outing at libero with 19 digs and five assists. Hannah Hashbarger and Alexa Smythe split time at setter and put up 24 and 18 assists respectively.
With a substantial crowd on hand, the ‘Jackets began the match with a 21-13 lead. Monck was particularly strong on offense early with eight kills and one error through the first set and change. The Cavaliers rebounded to take the second, helped on defense by Callie Wilkins (23 digs) and Camille Guerrero (19 digs). A late six-point run by the Cavaliers nearly derailed the ‘Jackets in the third frame, but kills by Vigil and Reed sealed the set by three. MSUB capped off the fourth set and the match on a kill by Joelle Mahowald.
“We had a good crowd tonight at home and I think that helped us,” Williams said. “I was proud that our fans and the athletic department came out to support and I definitely think that helped in the victory.”
The Yellowjackets outhit the Cavaliers .203 (53 kills, 22 errors) to .135 (47 kills, 27 errors). Each team posted seven service errors. On the front line, Mahowald and Monck led the way with three block assists apiece and MSUB edged Concordia 13-7 in total blocks.
Reed was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game. Reed sits third on the team with 66 kills, and 2.00 kills per set…The ‘Jackets improved to 1-8 all-time against Concordia in matches dating back to 2015… The last time MSUB began GNAC play 1-0 was 2017. The 2017 squad finished 5-15 in conference contests.
The Yellowjackets (2-7, 1-0) host Western Oregon (2-6, 0-1) Saturday at 7 p.m. at Alterowitz Gymnasium. The Wolves are coming off a loss to Concordia University on the road and have not played since Tuesday night.
“We watched Concordia and Western Oregon play each other on Tuesday and I felt they were really even in how they play,” Williams was asked about WOU. “I’m looking forward to coming out and hopefully taking the energy from tonight and translating it Saturday. Hopefully we can create some momentum and keep going in the GNAC.”