By Alan Sorensen
Montana State University-Northern's Skylight volleyball team was the underdog entering its Friday match with Western Montana's Lady Bulldogs. And while the match went pretty much as expected, there were some bright spots for the Skylights.
After coming up on the short of the score in the first two games 15-8 and 15-5, the ladies from Northern took the third game 15-8. Western rebounded in the fourth game to win 15-5 and take the match three to one.
Leading the way for the youthful Skylights were Mitsu Frazier with 12 kills, followed by Jessica Gerenz with seven. Andrea Knox led the Skylights in digs with 13, followed by Connie (Fritz) Becker and Heather Hammonds with nine each.
Northern only managed four service aces, with Fritz, Hammonds, Lyndi Hostetter and Gabrielle Chambliss each scoring one.
Chambliss led the Skylights with 16 of the team's 30 digs. Knox also led Northern in blocks, accounting for three of the team's 10 stuffs.
Western was led by Katie Ryan with 18 kills and eight blocks. The Lady Bulldogs' defense was led by Jennifer Gordon with 14 digs. Western managed only two more aces than Northern.
In Butte Saturday, the Skylights went deep into the five game before bowing to the Lady Orediggers 15-9. The final tally was Tech with three wins, 15-12, 15-12 and 15-9, and Northern with wins in the third and fourth games, 15-7 and 15-13.
Leading MSU-Northern Saturday were Chambliss with three of the team's eight aces and Connie Becker with 12 of the team's 45 kills. Becker and Hammonds each had 17 of Northern's 85 digs. Tanja Bruski came up with six of the Skylights nine blocks, and Gerenz with 20 and Chambliss with 18 garnered nearly all of the team's 39 assists.
Tech was led by Whitney Booth with six aces, Pebbles Clark with 13 digs, Leah McKenna with 13 kills, and Lindsay Guzzo with 46 assists.
Northern came out of the Western and Tech matches with an 8 and 16 overall record and dropped to a two and six record in Frontier Conference play.
The Skylights' next volleyball action will be this week when they host Carroll in a midweek match Wednesday and take on Rocky Mountain at home on Friday. Both matches will be played at the MSU-Northern gym starting at 7 p.m.