(MSUB Athletics release)
ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Central Washington University Wildcats rolled to a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets Thursday night at Johnson Sports Center in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match. The Wildcats dispatched MSU Billings 25-14, 25-21, 25-8 in one hour, 28 minutes.
Madison Weg made 13 kills for CWU and had zero errors, hitting an impressive .765. Shelby Mauritson nearly equaled Weg’s mark with 13 kills and a .323 hitting percentage.
The Yellowjackets struggled to find consistency on offense and slipped behind on the scoreboard early in all three sets. This was especially true in the third frame when Central Washington rocketed to a 6-0 lead before MSUB could muster a point.
The Yellowjackets nearly came back to take the second set and drew to within two points of a tie at 23-21, but late kills by Gabrielle Aihara and Makala Swart eventually doomed MSUB’s chance to even the score.
Aihara posted a game high 41 assists at setter for CWU and Wildcats’ libero Kyla Morgan made 18 digs to lead all players. For the ‘Jackets, Maddi Vigil missed grabbing her third straight double-double and ended the night with seven kills and eight digs. Izela Alvarez had 10 digs and one assist and Skylar Reed led MSUB with eight total kills.
Miranda McConnell hit .375 for the Yellowjackets with seven kills while Kylee Clarke and Alexa Smythe split setting duties nearly fifty-fifty throughout the match. Clarke finished with 18 assists and Smythe had 12.
The Wildcats outhit the Yellowjackets .420 to .142 and made 50 kills compared to 32 for MSUB. Attack errors were a difference maker in the match and Central Washington won the category 17-8. CWU fired six service aces and MSUB had one. MSU Billings recorded 5.0 blocks compared to 4.0 for the home team.
Montana State Billings (11-16, 5-12 GNAC) fell to ninth in the GNAC standings, one game behind Northwest Nazarene University (6-18, 6-11 GNAC) for eighth place. The Yellowjackets have lost four straight matches for the second time this fall with three regular season matches to play. With victories in both, the team can close out the year two wins off a .500 overall record.
The ‘Jackets next opponent is Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday, November 3 at 7 p.m. in Nampa, Idaho. MSU Billings returns for its’ final homestand of the season on November 8, when they take on Concordia University for the second time. The season ends November 10 with a special senior night recognition against the Western Oregon Wolves at 2 p.m