MISSOULA — It was a big week for Montana Frontier Conference athletic teams. Rocky Mountain College did well in volleyball and golf; Montana Tech got strong performances in football and cross country; and Carroll College continued its hot start in women's soccer.
Those headlines and more highlight the Frontier Conference notebook for Sept. 25.
Rocky Mountain College had a perfect week on the volleyball court, sweeping past crosstown rival MSU Billings in an exhibition match and Carroll College in its Frontier Conference opener last week.
Makenna Bushman and Blythe Sealey were named the conference's attacker and setter of the week, respectively, for the Battlin' Bears on Monday. Bushman, a junior outside hitter from Joliet, had a double-double of 13 kills and 12 digs in Rocky's win over Carroll. She added a service ace and three blocks. Sealey, a senior setter from Roundup, tallied 35 assists, nine digs and one kill in the match.
KayLee Kopp of Montana Western was named the defensive player of the week. Kopp, from Fort Collins, Colo., had 17 digs, two blocks and seven kills in the Bulldogs' sweep of Montana State-Northern.
Rocky def. MSU Billings 3-0 (exhibition)
Montana Tech def. Providence 3-1
Rocky def. Carroll 3-0
Western def. Northern 3-0
MSU Billings at Rocky, 7 p.m. Monday
Carroll at Western, 7 p.m. Wednesday
Providence at MSU-Northern, 7 p.m. Wednesday
MSU-Northern at Montana Tech, 7 p.m. Friday
Providence at Carroll, 7 p.m. Friday
Western at Rocky, 7 p.m. Friday
Rocky at Tech, 2 p.m. Saturday
The Carroll College men's and women's cross country teams are both ranked in the latest NAIA Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Ratings, which were released on Sept. 21.
Carroll is ranked 17th in the women's rankings and 19th in the men's. The Rocky Mountain College women are 21st, and the Montana Tech men are 25th.
The Orediggers were the only Frontier Conference harriers to compete last week, running at The Master's Cross Country Invitational in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tech's men finished in sixth place and the women took seventh at the event that featured teams from both the NAIA and NCAA.
Edwin Kipainoi finished sixth overall with a time of 24 minutes, 24.2 seconds. Justin Morgan was also in the top 20 in the field of 236 runners. Morgan took 12th place with a time of 24:34.3. Kipainoi was fifth among the NAIA competitors, and Morgan was seventh. Carlin Manning took 12th overall and third among NAIA schools in the women's race with a time of 21:36.0.
Montana's Frontier cross country teams are off until the Yellowjackets/Battlin' Bears Open in Billings on Oct. 6.
Rocky Mountain College swept the team and individual titles at the Argo Invitational at the Meadowlark Country Club in Great Falls last week.
Daniel Sigurjonsson led the way for the Battlin' Bear men, carding a three-round 6-under-par 210, including a sizzling 67 in the final round. Rocky's Jared Smith (213 strokes) and Leon Doedtmann (215) placed second and third overall, as the Bears finished with 852 total strokes to finish 55 shots ahead of second-place Montana Tech.
Rocky's Valentina Zuleta captured another individual win on the women's side, finishing her two rounds with a 1-under-par 143 (73, 70). Kadence Fischer (153 strokes) and Tyla Potgieter (157) added second- and third-place finishes for Rocky, which totaled 612 shots to finish 28 strokes ahead of second-place Tech.
“Both teams played really great this week,” Rocky coach Nathan Bailey said. “I was really proud of how well we played Monday with the tough, windy conditions. Our play on Monday really separated us from the field. (Tuesday) we had some great weather and we took advantage of that. We really showed off how deep our teams are this season, especially on the men’s side. I believe this week will give us a lot of confidence going forward into the fall season.”
The Frontier Conference golf teams will take the course at Laurel Country Club for the Beartooth Invitational on Oct. 2-3.
Montana Tech defeated then-No. 7 College of Idaho last week, and the Orediggers were rewarded for their performance on Monday. Tech jumped to No. 11 in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Rating, and had two players earn Frontier Conference player of the week honors.
The Diggers were previously ranked 15th but are now one spot ahead of College of Idaho, which slipped to 12th after the loss. Carroll College is the highest-ranked Frontier team in the poll at No. 9. It's the Fighting Saints' highest ranking since they were No. 9 in 2013. Montana Western and Rocky Mountain College both received votes but finished outside the top 25. The top six spots went unchanged from last week: Northwestern (Iowa), Grand View (Iowa), Morningside (Iowa), Indiana Wesleyan, Marian (Ind.) and Bethel (Tenn.). View the complete poll.
Quarterback Blake Thelen and kicker Ryan Lowry were recognized for their individual efforts in Tech's win over C of I. Thelen, a redshirt junior from Great Falls High, was named the conference's offensive player of the week after passing for a career-high 366 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-28 passing. Lowry, from Pasco, Wash., was named the special teams player of the week after kicking field goals from 23, 28 and 36 yards and converting all five of his point-after tries.
Eastern Oregon's Jason Grant was named the defensive player of the week after totaling 15 tackles and an interception against Rocky.
Carroll 35, Arizona Christian 20
Rocky 13, Eastern Oregon 7
Tech 44, College of Idaho 35
Western 24, Southern Oregon 23
Carroll at MSU-Northern, 1 p.m. Saturday
Rocky at College of Idaho, 1 p.m. Saturday
Tech at Southern Oregon, 2 p.m. Saturday
Arizona Christian at Southern Oregon, 2 p.m. Saturday
Soccer (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Carroll College senior Emily Funseth continued her great start to the Cascade Collegiate Conference women's soccer season, helping the Fighting Saints to wins over Multnomah (1-0 on Thursday) and Warner Pacific (2-0 on Friday) last week. Funseth, a forward from Great Falls CMR, was named the league's offensive player of the week on Monday for the second consecutive week. The CCC also named the Carroll women the league's team of the week.
Funseth found the back of the net on a penalty shot in the 69th minute in Carroll's win over Warner Pacific. Molly Molvig gave the Saints an insurance score 20 minutes later, as Carroll improved to 6-0-1 overall and 3-0 in league play.
Providence's Jose Vasquez, meanwhile, was named the CCC's men's offensive player of the week. Vasquez, a freshman forward from Acarigua, Venezuela, scored all four Providence goals in the Argos' 4-1 victory over Multnomah on Friday.
Carroll 2, Multnomah 0
Eastern Oregon 4, Rocky 1
Providence 4, Multnomah 1
Warner Pacific 4, Carroll 1
Warner Pacific 6, Providence 0
College of Idaho 2, Rocky 0
Carroll 1, Multnomah 0
Eastern Oregon 2, Rocky 0
Providence 1, Multnomah 1
Carroll 2, Warner Pacific 0
College of Idaho 3, Rocky 0
Providence 1, Warner Pacific 0
Carroll at Bushnell, 1:30 p.m. Friday
Providence at Corban, 1:30 p.m. Friday
Carroll at Corban, 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Providence at Bushnell, 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Walla Walla at Rocky, 8:30 p.m. Saturday
Carroll at Bushnell, 4 p.m. Friday
Providence at Corban, 4 p.m. Friday
Carroll at Corban, 4 p.m. Saturday
Providence at Bushnell, 4 p.m. Saturday