BUTTE — For the third time in four seasons under head coach Brian Solomon, the Montana Tech volleyball team will make an appearance in the NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
This time around, however, the Orediggers drew one of the toughest pool play schedules possible. In the next three days, Tech will play 15th-ranked Concordia University, which has an overall record of 23-6. Then the Diggers will play third-ranked, 34-1 Indiana Wesleyan and finish pool play out with Saint Mary's out of Kansas.
It’s a tough draw for the 19th-ranked Orediggers, but the team’s main focus in Sioux City is gaining valuable experience playing on the biggest stage.
“It’s been a fun team to coach, I’ve really seen them rise to the challenges," said Solomon. "As a coach, you have your own questions whether or not we can overcome a situation, overcome maybe a tough part of the schedule, and they’ve done it each step.”
“Every single girl on the team I love, no matter the variance of personalities, I love them all. And I think overall going (to the national tournament), being able to see what it’s like and then next year we’ll have an even better chance than we do this year," said junior Gena McMillan.
Montana Tech's first game of the NAIA national tournament will be Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. against No. 15 Concordia.