SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Montana State's volleyball season isn't over just yet.
The Bobcats extended their season by at least one match Thursday, defeating Pacific 25-16, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23 in the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship at The Nest on the campus of Sacramento State.
The Bobcats got another stellar match from standout Kira Thomsen, who put down 12 kills and served up three aces. As a team, Montana State recorded nine aces, with Lauren Lindseth also registering three and Camryn Greenwald adding two.
The Bobcats started the match on fire, using a 5-0 run — with Greenwald serving — to jump out to a 10-3 lead in the first set. They led by as many as 10 points in the set en route to the 25-16 win, punctuated by a Thomsen kill.
After Pacific controlled the second set, Montana State regained momentum in the third. The Bobcats held a 17-15 lead before scoring six of the next seven points and eight of the next 11, including a Greenwald kill for set point, to take the 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was the most competitive of the match and featured 15 ties. Pacific took a 22-20, but Montana State rallied off four consecutive points as part of a 5-1 run to close out the match. Avery Turnage put down two kills in the pivotal stretch, including the match point. Turnage had three total kills in the match.
Madilyn Siebler added 12 kills and Jourdain Kamps contributed 10 for the Bobcats. Nellie Stevenson dished out 34 assists. Pacific was led by Alexa Edwards, who had 16 kills and 10 digs.
Montana State, playing in the postseason for the first time in program history, will next play Sacramento State at 8 p.m. Friday with the winner advancing to the Round of 8. The Bobcats and Vikings split their two matches during the Big Sky Conference regular season.
The NIVC, which is the equivalent to the basketball NIT, features 16 first-round games, followed by eight second-round games, four third-round games, two semifinal games and the championship.