GREAT FALLS — Montana Western and Rocky Mountain College are set to face off in the Frontier Conference volleyball championship on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs' journey consisted of a five-set matchup in the quarterfinals with MSU-Northern, and just hours later a clean sweep over the top seeded Montana Tech.
Rocky found itself on a similar path after defeating Carroll in five sets during the quarterfinals then taking down Providence in another five sets in the semis.
Montana Western 3, Montanan Tech 0
Western’s energy helped them control the match in the opening set. An all around performance from the Bulldogs propelled them to stealing the first set 25-21. That momentum carried over into the second set as they got out to a 15-9 lead.
Tech was able to climb back in and cut the deficit down to 16-14, forcing the Bulldogs into a timeout. After talking it over, Western regained control and went on to win 25-21, giving them a two set advantage.
Tech would not go away easy. After trailing by three or more for most of the third set, the Orediggers fought back in to make it just a one point game at 19-18. The comeback was not enough, though, as the Bulldogs were able to complete the three set sweep with a 25-21 win and knock off the top-seeded Orediggers.
Rocky Mountain 3, Providence 2
A very competitive first set could have gone either way with multiple lead changes and numerous ties. The Argos took a 22-20 lead but the Battling’ Bears wouldn’t go away and took a 23-22 lead.
Following the trend of the opening set, Providence reclaimed the lead and went on to take a 26-24 win. The second set was more of the same for the first 13 points. After breaking the tie, the Argos created the largest lead of the match at 19-15.
They wouldn’t give the lead back as they took the two set advantage with a 25-19 win.
Rocky found a spark in the third set, getting out to a 9-4 lead but the Argos would not shy away. Providence scored five unanswered points to even the score, but the Battlin’ Bears had a response of their own. Rocky continued to jump out to small leads and eventually would steal a set, 25-22.
Rocky kept rolling in the fourth set, getting out to a 14-7 lead. Providence went down 22-15 and climbed back, tying the set at 23 but the comeback was short as Rocky won their second straight set, 25-23.
Starting the final set, Rocky got out to a 5-1 lead before Providence closed the gap at 5-4. The Battlin’ Bears took over once again and extended the lead to 10-6, but the Argos crept back in to make it 14-12.
Rocky would seal the deal, completing their comeback and securing their spot in the championship game.