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Frontier notebook: Montana Tech volleyball goes 4-0; Emily Funseth nets hat trick for Carroll women's soccer

Montana Tech volleyball
Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 11:15:32-04

MISSOULA — It was a busy week across the Frontier Conference, as teams in every fall sport were in action. The soccer teams at Carroll College, Providence and Rocky Mountain College, which compete in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, also took to the pitch.

The Montana Tech volleyball team went 4-0 on the week; Rocky carded a couple golf wins; and Emily Funseth had a big match to help the Carroll women's soccer team to a hot start. Those headlines and more highlight the Frontier Conference notebook for Sept. 18.

Volleyball

Maureen Jessop and Rhys Layton of Montana Tech were named the Frontier Conference attacker and setter of the week, respectively, after they helped the 11th-ranked Orediggers to a 4-0 weekend at the Frontier Preview tournament in Dillon.

Tech opened the tournament by handing rival Montana Western its first loss of the 2023 volleyball season. The Diggers clipped the Bulldogs 16-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 15-7 in a five-set thriller behind a team-high 16 kills from Olivia Muir and 14 from Jessop.

Maureen Jessop.jpg
Montana Tech's Maureen Jessop.

Jessop, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter from Corvallis, averaged 3.71 kills, 0.41 blocks and 1.47 digs per set during the tournament and posted a season-high 27 kills in Tech's five-set win over Rocky Mountain College on Saturday. Layton had a career-high 56 assists in the win over Rocky and averaged 10.29 assists per set on the weekend.

Rocky's Brooke Ark was named the Frontier's defender of the week after recording 20-plus digs in all four of the Battlin' Bears matches at the Frontier Conference Preview Tournament. She averaged 6.53 digs per set as Rocky split its four matches, defeating Providence and MSU-Northern and losing to Tech and Western.

Last week:

Sept. 14

Montana Tech def. Montana Western 16-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 15-7
Rocky Mountain College def. Providence 25-17, 25-16, 19-25, 23-25, 16-14

Sept. 15

MSU-Northern def. Carroll 16-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-16
Montana Tech def. MSU-Northern 25-19, 25-21, 18-25, 25-21
Montana Tech def. Rocky Mountain College 21-25, 25-19, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12
Montana Western def. Providence 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15
Providence def. Carroll 25-20, 15-25, 25-18, 25-17

Sept. 16

MSU-Northern def. Providence 25-17, 25-21, 25-22
Montana Tech def. Carroll 27-25, 25-18, 25-19
Montana Western def. Rocky Mountain College 27-25, 25-17, 25-27, 25-18
Montana Western def. Carroll College 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-13
Rocky Mountain College def. MSU-Northern 25-17, 16-25, 15-25, 25-20, 17-15

Up next:

Rocky Mountain College Montana State Billings, 6 p.m. Tuesday
Carroll College at Rocky Mountain College, 7 p.m. Friday
Montana Tech at Providence, 7 p.m. Friday
Montana Western at MSU-Northern, 7 p.m. Friday

Cross country

All six Montana Frontier Conference schools competed at the University of Montana Invitational in Missoula last week.

Rocky Mountain College senior Jackson Wilson paced the Frontier runners in the men's 8K, placing sixth overall with a time of 24 minutes, 40.37 seconds, the fastest time in the conference this season. Runners from Montana State took each of the top five places in the race.

Zack Gacnik, a Carroll College sophomore, was 13th overall with a time of 25:06.38, as he helped the Fighting Saints to a fifth-place team finish, one point ahead of Rocky.

Carroll also was the top-finishing Frontier team on the women's side. The Saints were sixth overall with freshman Isabelle Ruff leading the way. She crossed the finish line in 19:19.38 to place 45th in the field of 94 runners and score 35 points for the team.

Wilson and Ruff were named the league's runners of the week for their performances.

Up next:

Montana Tech will head to Santa Clarita, Calif., to compete at The Masters University Invitational on Saturday. Carroll, MSUN, Providence, Rocky and Western are off until the Yellowjackets/Battlin' Bears Open in Billings on Oct. 6.

Golf

Rocky swept the individual and team titles at the Montana Tech Invitational at the Butte Country Club last week. Junior Valentina Zuleta carded a two-round 7-over-par 149 to win the women's medalist honors, while sophomore William Dexheimer took the men's individual title with a three-round 2-over-par 212.

Zuleta shot a 75 in the second round to overtake teammate Kadence Fischer, who led after one round with a 73. Fischer placed second with 154 total strokes, and fellow Battlin' Bears Tyla Potgeiter and Grace Metcalf both shot 162 to tie for sixth place. As a team, Rocky recorded 627 strokes, outpacing second-place Montana Tech by 22 strokes.

Dexheimer closed with two birdies in his final three holes to edge Dickinson State's Bryce Reed and Montana Tech's Tyler Avery for the men's medalist honor. Rocky also got top-five finishes from Jared Smith (fourth, 214) and Daniel Sigurjonsson (fifth, 215). The Battlin' Bears finished with a team score of 859. Dickinson State was second with 888 strokes.

Zuleta and Dexheimer were named Frontier golfers of the week on Monday.

Up next:

The Frontier Conference golf teams head to Great Falls for the University of Providence Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.

Football

After a record-setting performance in No. 10 Carroll College's comeback win at Rocky, quarterback Jack Prka was named the Frontier offensive player of the week. Prka completed 28 of 45 passes for a Carroll-record 407 yards and two touchdowns as the Fighting Saints rallied from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 21-20 win.

Montana Western placekicker John Mears was the special teams player of the week. He converted all seven of his point-after tries in the Bulldogs' 49-13 win over Lewis and Clark (Ore.). Arizona Christian's Cameron Tibbetts was the defensive player of the week after recording a program-record 17 tackles in the Firestorm's 21-20 win over MSU-Northern.

Carroll maintained its No. 10 ranking in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 poll, and Montana Tech moved up one place to No. 15. College of Idaho remains the highest-ranked Frontier team at No. 7, while Montana Western is in the "receiving votes" category. Northwestern (Iowa) is the unanimous top-ranked team, followed by Grand View (Iowa), Morningside (Iowa), Indiana Wesleyan and Marian (Ind.). View the complete top 25.

Last week:

No. 10 Carroll College 21, Rocky Mountain College 20
No. 16 Montana Tech 49, Eastern Oregon 31
Arizona Christian 21, MSU-Northern 20
Montana Western 49, Lewis and Clark (Ore.) 13
Southern Oregon 49, Willamette 7

Up next:

Southern Oregon (0-0, 1-1) at Montana Western (0-1, 2-1), 1 p.m. Saturday
College of Idaho (1-0, 3-0) at Montana Tech (1-0, 2-1), noon Saturday
Rocky Mountain (0-1, 2-1) at Eastern Oregon (0-1, 0-3), 6 p.m. (MDT) Saturday
Arizona Christian (1-0, 2-1) at Carroll (1-0, 3-0), 2 p.m. Saturday

Soccer (Cascade Collegiate Conference)

The Carroll College men's and women's soccer teams swept Rocky in Billings over the weekend.

Emily Funseth netted a hat trick to help the Carroll women improve to 2-0 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play for just the third time in program history with a 3-1 win over Rocky. Funseth, a senior midfield from Great Falls CMR, scored in the 13th, 62nd and 88th minutes. She now has five goals in the past two matches and six on the season.

On the men's side, Carroll earned a 2-0 win, the Fighting Saints' first win over Rocky in program history. Michal Mojzis and Enrico Paparelli scored first-half goals to hand Rocky its first loss of the season. The Battlin' Bears opened their Cascade Collegiate Conference slate with a 2-1 win over Providence earlier in the week.

Funseth and Mojzis were named the Cascade Collegiate Conference soccer players of the week on Monday.

Last week:

Men

Carroll College 3, Walla Walla 0 (Sept. 15)
Rocky Mountain College 2, Providence 1 (Sept. 15)
Carroll College 2, Rocky Mountain College 0 (Sept. 17)
Providence 2, Walla Walla 1 (Sept. 17)

Women

Rocky Mountain College 4, Providence 1 (Sept. 15)
Carroll College 3, Rocky Mountain College 1 (Sept. 17)

Up next:

Men

Multnomah at Carroll College, 2 p.m. Thursday
Multnomah at Providence, 1 p.m. Friday
Warner Pacific at Carroll College, 2 p.m. Friday
Rocky Mountain College at Eastern Oregon, 5 p.m. Friday
Warner Pacific at Providence, 1 p.m. Saturday
Rocky Mountain College at College of Idaho, 11 a.m. Sunday

Women

Multnomah at Carroll College, 4 p.m. Thursday
Multnomah at Providence, 3:30 p.m. Friday
Warner Pacific at Carroll College, 4 p.m. Friday
Rocky Mountain College at Eastern Oregon, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Warner Pacific at Providence, 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Rocky Mountain College at College of Idaho, 1:30 p.m. Sunday