(Editor's note: Montana State Athletics press release)
BOZEMAN -- Weber State held a 19-kill advantage and out-hit Montana State .317 to .231, en route to a straight set 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 win over the Bobcats on Thursday night in Shroyer Gym.
The opening set featured ten ties. With the game knotted at 23-all, Weber State (12-6, 3-4) received back-to-back kills from Megan Gneiting for the victory.
Montana State (8-8, 4-3) came out flat in the second frame as the Wildcats built a 16-9 advantage. Bobcat junior Kelsie White helped ignite the MSU offense with four kills and a block, and behind the serving of Lexi Goroski, Montana State rattled off nine straight points for an 18-16 lead. WSU responded with a 7-0 run to take a 2-0 advantage at intermission.
“Weber State did a really good job serving tough,” said MSU head coach Daniel Jones. “When you don’t win the serve-receive battle they can really knock you out of system.
“Lexi’s (Goroski) serve helped us get back in the match,” Jones continued. “I love what’s she’s doing right now and staying aggressive.”
Weber State got out early in the third set before the Bobcats took control midway through the contest. The Bobcats held a 16-12 lead following a kill by Kira Thomsen. MSU held a 19-17 cushion on another Thomsen kill, but again the Wildcats answered with four consecutive points. The score was tied twice in the waning moments before Gneiting put an exclamation mark on the match with the final kill.
Weber State held a 57-38 advantage in kills.
“I’m proud that we fought to the end and never gave up,” Jones said. “They had some kids have very strong performances. Our block setup was not what we wanted it to be and it left too many holes and that was hard for our back-row to play around it. Credit to Weber State for taking advantage of what was in front of them and executing at a high level.”
MSU was paced by Thomsen with 12 kills. The freshman from Parker, Colo., also posted a double-double adding 11 digs. Defensively, Allyssa Rizzo recorded a match-high 17 digs, while Emma Pence guided the Cats at the net with a match-best six blocks.
Gneiting finished with a match-high 18 kills, while hitting .324 from the field and adding four blocks.
Montana State will host Idaho State on Saturday night in Shroyer Gym.