BILLINGS – Rocky Mountain College has its eyes on two NAIA national tournaments this week. The men’s soccer team is down in California, while the volleyball girls are back in Sioux City, Iowa – with some newfound motivation.
The No. 9 Bears knew they were in after winning the Frontier Conference regular season, with a Top 10 national ranking, but they let up in the tournament, losing 3-1 to Providence in the championship game two weeks ago. That’s given them plenty to work on to make sure they’re firing on all cylinders.
“Definitely made us realize that there are times that things aren’t always going to go right for us,” said middle blocker Naomi Bad Bear, “and that we have to get past that mentally and try to figure out other things that work.”
“Sometimes a setback motivates people,” admitted head coach Laurie Kelly. “We didn’t play well all across the board against them, and they did, and credit goes to them, but we’ve had great practices.”
Kelly says the past week has been all about communication.
“This past week, we’ve really worked on talking to each other and getting back connections,” said setter Natalie Hilderman. “Serving, passing, everything, so it’s really been nice.”
The Bears open Pool H play Tuesday against No. 23 McPherson College at 4:00 p.m. MDT. They will play No. 25 Marian Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. MDT, and finish pool play against No. 8 Northwestern College Thursday, also at 7:00 p.m. MDT.