By Tiffany L. Rehbein
DILLON The MSU-Northern Skylights volleyball team returned home after getting beat by their toughest opponent.
It is disappointing when we beat ourselves, first-year head coach Lisa Handley said.
The Skylights opened the Frontier Conference Tournament Friday at Dillon with a 15-11, 15-13, 15-5 win against University of Mary.
I was extremely pleased with our middles, Handley said. They cut the ball well over the blocks.
Those middles, sophomore Adrienne Poplawski and Heather Hammonds, tallied eight kills and five kills, respectively, in the match. Hammonds also tallied four solo blocks.
I thought Jessica Gerenz had a good match hitting-wise and setting-wise, Handley said.
Gerenz had a team-high .444 hitting percentage that included nine attacks, four kills and zero errors.
The Skylights had 51 digs in the contest led by senior co-captain Melanie Baack with 11.
Sophomore Lyndi Hostetter served four aces in the match.
The win drove the Skylights into head-to-head competition with the Western Montana Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs won the match, 15-1, 13-15, 15-4, 15-6, leaving the Skylights 1-1 in pool play.
Hostetter tallied a team-high 11 kills in the contest. Gerenz had 15-of-26 assists and seven digs in the contest.
The Skylights notched a 97 percent serving with five players serving 100 percent.
I was really pleased with my setters defense, Handley said. I felt both improved their defense greatly this weekend.
In power pool play, Rocky Mountain College downed the Skylights 15-2, 15-8, 6-15, 15-11.
Even hitting from Baack with nine kills, Hammonds with eight and Poplawski with seven set the pace for the Skylights but it wasnt enough for the win.
We kept making offensive errors after offensive errors, Handley said.
Gerenz notched 11 digs and left backs Baack and Hostetter each tallied 10 in the contest.
Sheridan College then downed the Skylights in four games and the University of Mary put the Skylights out of the tournament.
We need to quit playing to hang on and start playing to pound, Handley said. Against Rocky and Sheridan, we beat ourselves.
The Skylights, 1-6, travel to Salt Lake City to take-on Westminster College Saturday in the first conference match-up of the season.