CollegeMontana State Bobcats


Montana State's magical volleyball run continues with five-set win at Wyoming

Kira Thomsen
Posted at 9:15 PM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-07 01:16:31-05

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Montana State's magical volleyball run continued Wednesday with a 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-23, 15-8 win over Wyoming in The Great 8 of the Women's National Invitational Volleyball Championship.

Kira Thomsen, the Bobcats' all-time leader in career kills, had another monster match Wednesday, putting down 24 kills. Thomsen scored the penultimate point of the match with her 24th kill, and then teammate Nellie Stevenson put away the Cowgirls with a service ace to secure the five-set win.

Wyoming controlled the first set, quickly running out to a 7-2 lead. The Cowgirls led throughout, ultimately building a 22-13 advantage before the Bobcats started to settle in. MSU scored seven straight points to get back within 22-20, but Wyoming held off the comeback for a 25-22 win in the first set.

The rally gave the Bobcats the confidence they needed, though, and the teams played an even second set. Neither team led by more than three points, but Thomsen, Camryn Greenwald and Jourdain Kamps proved to be too much for Wyoming down the stretch, as a Kamps kill gave Montana State the 25-22 set win to even the match.

The third set brought more of the same, as neither team could gain separation. This time, though, it was Wyoming that closed strong, scoring the final three points of the set to take a 2-1 lead.

The Cowgirls got out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set. Montana State battled back to tie the set at 8-8 and again at 13-13. From there, the teams went back and forth until the Bobcats hit a crucial 4-0 run to turn a 17-16 deficit into a 20-17 lead. Courtney Weatherby and Avery Turnage had kills in the spurt. Wyoming rallied to tie the set at 20-20, 22-22 and 23-23, but Thomsen and Weatherby hammered home consecutive kills to force the decisive fifth set.

The fifth set was all Montana State, as the Bobcats blew open a 2-2 tie with an 8-3 run. After Wyoming rallied to within 11-8, the Bobcats answered with four consecutive points to win the match.

In addition to Thomsen's 24 kills, Kamps registered 12, Greenwald contributed seven, Turnage had six and Weatherby five. Wyoming had five players record double-digit kills, led by Rylee Schulz and Paige Lauterwasser, who each had 16.

The Cowgirls had 74 kills to the Bobcats' 64, but Wyoming had 25 attack errors and 10 service errors. The Bobcats had seven aces in the match, with Thomsen accounting for three of them. Kamps, Stevenson, Shayla Webber and Audrey Hofer had the other aces.

Montana State is making the first national postseason volleyball appearance in program history and has now won three matches, defeating Pacific and Sacramento State in California last week. Wednesday's win is the Bobcats' 24th of the season, which is the most ever by an MSU volleyball team.

Montana State will play at Wichita State at noon (MT) Saturday in the semifinals of the 32-team tournament.