SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The No. 9 Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears made a point Tuesday – they will be contenders for the NAIA Volleyball National Championship.
Rocky swept No. 23 McPherson College 26-24, 25-17, 25-11 in its opening game of Pool H play at the national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, with senior Hailey Copinga leading the way. The Billings Skyview product recorded 12 of the Bears’ 41 total kills, plus four blocks.
Red Lodge grad Daniella Russell added seven kills, while Miranda Gallagher and Olivia L’Ami had six each.
Rocky came out on fire, taking an 18-5 lead on a Natalie Hilderman block in the first set. Hilderman added five kills and 15 digs to go along with her 29 assists from the setter positions.
McPherson, however, came storming back in the first, tying the game at 24-24 on a block. Copinga responded with a kill, and Rocky claimed the first when the Bulldogs hit it into the net.
The two teams were even midway through the second set before Rocky went on a 14-6 run to end it and take a 2-0 lead.
Rocky returns to action Wednesday against No. 25 Marian University at 7:00 p.m. MDT.