Havre Daily News Sports Editor
The Montana State University-Northern volleyball team has been excellent on the road this season. That was evident last weekend when the Skylights shook off a three-match losing skid by taking care of Rocky Mountain College and Carroll College, on both schools' home floor.
Now, if the Skylights are to build on the momentum they gained last weekend, they are going to have to win at home. MSU-N starts a three-match homestand that opens with Lewis-Clark State tonight at 7. The Skylights will host Montana Tech on Saturday night.
“We have been a good road team all year,” MSU-N head coach Lisa Handley said. “I don't know why, but we just don't play well at home. But hopefully this weekend that will change.”
The Skylights looked very impressive in their four-game defeat of RMC last Friday. Although they didn't play as well at Carroll on Saturday, they found a way to win, which impressed Handley even more.
Tonight MSU-N (4-5, 9-9) welcomes the last-place LC State Warriors to the MSU-N Fieldhouse. The Skylights defeated the Warriors (1-7, 2-17) in four games last month. Since that time, the Warriors have continued to struggle.
As always, Handley isn't letting her team overlook anybody.
“Lewis-Clark State will be better this time around,” Handley said. “Most teams always are the second time you face them.”
The Warriors are led by a pair of sisters. Tyger Spencer leads the team in kills, and sister Tyler Spencer is an excellent setter and solid all-around player. Both played extremely well the last time the two teams hooked up.
The Skylights come into tonight's match on somewhat of a roll offensively. After two weeks of struggling hitting the ball, the Skylights pounded the ball on their last road trip. Jasmine Mitchell was outstanding both hitting the ball and blocking. Jordan Fox, Tera O'Haire and Julie Henderson were also solid offensively all weekend.
Saturday night is senior night at MSU-N, and the Skylights will be highly motivated when the Montana Tech Orediggers come calling. The Oredig-gers (3-5, 3-16) have only won three matches all season, but one of those wins came last month when they handed the Skylights a gut-wrenching five-game loss in Butte. Despite Tech's woes since that time, Handley knows firsthand how well they can play on any given night.
The Orediggers have a pair of outstanding hitters led by Maria McNeil. McNeil torched the Skylights for 25 kills in last month's win in Butte. CareyAnne Russell is also capable of having a big night at the net. All-around player Krystle Spang is the team's leader in digs.
“We know we have to be very sharp when we play Tech,” Handley said. “They can be a very tough team, and they have taken all of the top teams to five games, as well as beating us.”
Before the match, seniors Ashley Roth and Emilee Madsen-Summers, as well as Mitchell, Fox and Henderson, will be honored.
MSU-N will celebrate parents night when the Skylights face LC State tonight at 7. Saturday's match with Montana Tech is also scheduled to get under way at 7.