SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Rocky Mountain College volleyball team saw its season come to an end Thursday with a tightly contested 27-25, 27-25, 27-25 loss to the College of Saint Mary (Neb.) at the NAIA national tournament.
Unforced errors plagued the Battlin’ Bears to begin the first set, but they battled back to even at 25-25. Saint Mary eventually got back to back kills to take a 27-25 victory.
Rocky had the second set in hand leading 24-21, but three kills and a service ace from Saint Mary’s Lexie Langley pushed the Flame to a second-set win.
Neither team held a lead larger than three in the third set, but Saint Mary found the momentum, coming back from another 24-21 deficit to give the Flames a three set sweep.
“This has been a great season.” said Rocky coach Yang Yang. “This team has worked so hard to get where we’re at and we have so much to be proud of. Thank you to our seniors for their hard work and the great seasons they had. This was a great experience for our younger players to see what it takes to get here and what it takes to win in the end, so I’m looking forward to their hard work in the offseason.”
The Bears were led by 27 digs from Ayla Embry, 31 assists from Blythe Sealey and 13 kills from Makenna Bushman with a .375 hitting percentage. Rhiannon Nez also added six kills and five blocks, while Taylor Wolf provided eight kills and four blocks.
The Flames were led by 14 kills, 15 digs and two service aces from Lexie Langley, while Rachel Cushing provided 30 digs for Saint Mary in the victory.
The Bears finished their season with a 21-16 record, winning the Frontier Conference tournament championship and advancing to the NAIA championship tourney in Sioux City after upsetting Indiana Wesleyan in the opening round.