(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN — Montana handed Montana State an 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-21 setback in front of a Bobcat, State of Montana, and Big Sky Conference record crowd of 6,457 in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, Friday night.
Montana State (6-9, 2-1) fed off the crowd early in the opening set, pulling away from nine-all with a 6-2 run sparked by pair of kills from freshman Madilyn Siebler. The Bobcats took the opening set on a Montana (10-5, 3-0) hitting error. MSU out-hit the Grizzlies .294 to .081 behind five kills by Siebler.
“Bobcat Nation showed-up,” said MSU acting head coach Cole Aiazzi. “They made this a very special event for our kids. In the end, as it always seems to be with Cat-Griz, it came down to who wanted it more and who took it.”
MSU kept the momentum in the second set owning a 19-14 advantage following a block by Jordan Radick and Avery Turnage. UM then turned the table for the rest of the match, outscoring the Bobcats 11-4 down the stretch, and MSU never recovered.
“They were able to knock us out of system,” Aiazzi said. “They established their block, and we just didn’t respond.”
Montana out-hit Montana State .173 to .021 in the final two sets to claim the victory and remain undefeated in Big Sky Conference play.
Radick, a Bozeman product, posted a career-high 15 kills and hit .560 to guide the Bobcats. Siebler finished with 10 kills and notched a .233 attack mark.
“I thought Jordan and Madilyn gave us a great effort,” Aiazzi said. “We’ll learn from this and move on to the next match.”
Defensively, the Bobcats were led by Kira Thomsen, who was playing her first match of the season returning from injury, with 16 digs, while Lauren Lindseth added 14. Radick also paced MSU with five blocks.
UM had three players in double-figure kills led by Clark with 17.
Montana State plays at Portland State on Thursday night.