CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Griz sports roundup: Football falls on the road; volleyball splits to open conference play

Montana vs Northern Arizona
Posted at 1:39 PM, Sep 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-25 15:39:52-04

MISSOULA — Here is a look back at the most recent week for University of Montana athletics:

The Griz football team dropped its first game of the season when it lost its Big Sky Conference opener to Northern Arizona, 28-14.

UM mustered just 18 yards on the ground in the game, and quarterback Sam Vidlak was sacked seven times in the contest. The Griz quickly trailed 14-0 after a blocked punt led to NAU's first touchdown and at one point trailed 21-6 after Vidlak fumbled on a sack and the Lumberjacks used a double-pass trick play to score in the second quarter.

The Grizzlies got within 21-14 at halftime after a 24-yard touchdown run by Xavier Harris, but that was as close as they got as the Grizzlies turned it over again early in the third quarter and NAU scored to make it 28-14. UM was shut out in the second half.

Vidlak finished 23 for 37 for 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Keelan White led the way receiving for UM with career highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (92). Harris led the way on the ground for Montana with eight carries for 50 yards. UM had just 12 total first downs and went 2 for 12 on third down conversions.

Defensively, Braxton Hill and Ryder Meyer led UM with 12 total tackles each. Hill and Trevin Gradney each came away with interceptions as well. With the loss, UM falls to 3-1 and 0-1 in Big Sky play.

Griz volleyball also began Big Sky play last week and split its first series with a loss to Weber State last Wednesday and a win over Eastern Washington on Saturday.

The Grizzlies fell to Weber State 3-1 at home and were led by Paige Clark, who had 13 kills for the Griz.

UM then hit the road and took down EWU 3-0 in Cheney, Washington, for its first conference win. Maddie Kremer had 15 kills to lead Montana while Carly Anderson had two aces and 28 assists. Ellie Scherffius had three blocks to lead the Griz while Alexis Batezel had 19 digs.

Montana is 5-9 overall on the season and 1-1 in league play.

The UM cross country teams hit the road to Springfield, Oregon, for the Oregon Dellinger Invitational. The Griz men finished 11th at the meet while the women were 14th.

Nathan Carter led the way for UM as he finished 32nd in the men's field. Maxwell Scott was 51st and Cooper Morris was 54th to round out UM's top three placers.

On the women's side, Jade and Jaylyn Hallgrimson were UM's top two finishers at 84th and 98th, respectively. Iris McKean rounded out the top three placers for the Grizzlies at 103rd.

The Griz softball team also competed last week, with a pair of wins over North Idaho, 5-1 and 7-4, in the first two games of its fall exhibition schedule.

The men's tennis team competed well in its first fall tournament of the year at the Bedford Cup in the Mountains at the United States Air Force Academy. The women's tennis team also competed at the Barb Chandler Classic in Boise, Idaho over the weekend.

Up next

The Griz football team is home this Saturday as it looks to bounce back against Idaho State. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. in what will be Montana's homecoming game.

Volleyball has a big one on Friday with its first game of the Brawl of the Wild series with Montana State set to take place at Dahlberg Arena at 6 p.m.

After having last week off, the Griz soccer team kicks off conference play with road matchups at Eastern Washington on Thursday and at Idaho on Sunday.

The men's tennis team will compete at the ITA Mountain Regional in Colorado. The women's tennis team does not have a meet this week.

Men's and women's cross country is off until Oct. 14 when they compete at the LC Invitational in Lewiston, Idaho.

The softball team has its next exhibition game on Oct. 8 against Carroll College.