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Missoula Big Sky Eagles outlast Missoula Hellgate Knights in 5-set crosstown thriller

Posted at 10:47 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 11:34:00-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula Big Sky Eagles took home their first crosstown volleyball win of the 2020 campaign with a five-set win over the Missoula Hellgate Knights on Thursday.

From start to finish it was a battle with both teams laying it all out on the court for five straight sets.

In the first set, it was the Big Sky Eagles who went out to a 12-9 lead, but Hellgate closed the gap and eventually came back to win the first set 27-25.

The second set was similar with a different result. Hellgate went out to an early lead before Big Sky came back and held the lead to win an important second set, 26-24.

In Set 3, it was all Eagles as they went out to a commanding 14-4 lead. The Knights battled back though and brought it to 21-14, until Big Sky put the nail in the coffin, winning the set 25-16.

In the fourth, Hellgate came out hot, going up 6-1 before Big Sky rattled off five straight points to make it 6-6. Hellgate pulled away for the 25-18 win, forcing a fifth and final set.

In Set 5, the Eagles couldn't have started any better, going up 6-0. Hellgate came roaring back but Big Sky held on for the 15-10 win in the fifth set to take the match.

"We have wanted it for years, we’ve been pushing and pushing, it’s very exciting, I feel like we earned it," said Big Sky senior outside hitter Beth Hicks. "Feels good for our reputation -- we don’t have the best reputation, so it feels good to get a win."

"It’s a crosstown match, and I know my girls, we have four crosstown matches each year and they always circle them and they were ready for this match. They were excited and they brought a lot of energy and brought a lot of spirit (Thursday)," said Big Sky head coach Mathew Pimental.

The Big Sky Eagles take on Missoula Sentinel in another crosstown match on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Hellgate Knights will look to rebound against Butte High on Tuesday.