By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The MSU-Northern Skylights volleyball team split Frontier Conference matches over the weekend.
Friday at Dillon, Western Montana College (4-3 in the Frontier Conference, 5-6 overall) downed Northern 15-11, 15-10, 15-4.
Saturday, however, the Skylights sought redemption and overcame Montana Tech 15-5, 13-15, 15-10, 12-15, 15-8.
Friday night, of course, with the loss, we got thumped, said first-year head coach Lisa Handley. Western played extremely well. They were digging everything.
The Bulldogs notched 53 digs in the contest and were led by Jennifer Gordon with 18. Emily Carroll also notched double figures defensively with 11 digs in the contest.
However, it was Carroll at her middle hitter position who dismantled the Skylights.
She was bouncing balls within the 10-foot line, Handley said. Carroll tallied a game-high 13 kills in the effort.
They just played well, we didnt even play that badly, Handley said. The Skylights had almost three options on every pass off the serve.
Western, who went on to beat previously undefeated Carroll College Saturday night, simply hit around the Skylights blocks Friday.
Adrienne Poplawski hit .259, and finished with a team-high nine kills in the contest.
Jessica Gerenz tallied 13 assists, while Lyndi Hostetter notched four aces in the effort. Hostetter had a team-high four blocks for the Skylights.
Saturday afternoon, the Skylights heated up the courts and overcame the Orediggers in five games.
In the fifth game, we took charge and won, which I was extremely pleased to see, Handley said. They were able to come back and play hard. They were confident that they could get this win.
Montana Tech, who lost its third-straight match in five games, were led by Leah McKenna, who tallied 20 kills and 22 digs.
The Skylights exploded for 70 kills in the matchup, with senior Melanie Baack and Hostetter collecting 16 each.
Freshman Jaley Wacker came off the bench and notched 12 kills and four stuff blocks.
Gerenz led the Skylights with 35 assists, while Hostetter dug a team-high 13 balls.
Baack and senior Jennifer Sanders each tallied 11 digs in the contest.
They played well for playing their last match at Tech, Handley said about her seniors. They did well knowing it was the last time theyd be playing there.
Heather Hammonds also notched four blocks for Northern.
The Skylights return home to entertain fans during the homecoming festivities Friday and Saturday, when they meet nationally-ranked Lewis-Clark State and Westminster College, respectively.