By Special to the Havre Daily News
DILLON The Skylights traveled to the University of Montana-Western to take on the Bulldogs in Frontier Conference play Friday night. The Skylights were 4-5 going into the match, while the Lady Bulldogs were 4-6 in Frontier competition.
Sophomore middle hitter Andrea Knox and senior Laura Munson lead the Frontier Conference in attack percentage, while the Bulldogs lead the conference in team blocks. With that, it was a night of hard hitting, tough blocking and great defense for both teams, which resulted in long and exciting rallies.
The Skylights downed the Bulldogs 30-28, 30-26, 18-30 and 30-18 to beat Western Montana for the first time in nearly seven years.
MSU-Northern's defense was relentless, digging up 105 balls of hard spikes and blocked attacks. Senior setter lead the team in digs with 24 and freshman outside hitter Stephanie Lanfear picked up 23. Knox and senior outside hitter Lyndi Hostetter added 15 digs each.
Knox, Munson and Hostetter tallied up over 10 blocks between them to help the Skylights to their best blocking night of the year, stuffing back 18 attack attempts back over to the floor of the Bulldogs.
Offensively, the Skylights served extremely tough, acing Western's team 11 times. Hostetter dished out four aces, while Lanfear put down three more.
Behind great team passing (2.4), Tanja Bruski killed the Bulldogs with her attacks down the line, smashing 14 kills out of 25 attempts to hit .360 on the night. Knox combined a mixture of attacks and smart tips to put down 10 kills out of 22 attempts, hitting .364.
Knox had a rare triple-double against Western with 10 kills, 15 digs and 10 blocks, which will be recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the NAIA on each of their web-sites for her accomplishment.
BUTTE The Skylights then traveled to Butte to take on the unpredictable Montana Tech team. Tech, who was 3-8 in the conference, played a nearly flawless match to take the Skylights out of their system.
The Skylights passing suffered a 1.4 team total behind tough deep serves followed by short drop shots of the Orediggers. The Skylights lack of offense forced the team to play defense all afternoon.
Northern dug up 74 digs in three games, behind Lanfear's 18 digs and Gabrielle Chambliss's 15. Knox put back six of Tech's attacks at the net, while Munson stuffed back five.
Knox hit .556 against Tech with 11 kills, while Tanja Bruski added six kills. The Skylights had their worst attack percentage of the year, hitting only .135 for the afternoon.
The Skylights fell to 5-6 in conference play and 9-11 overall. They will face Carroll College at home on Friday night and Rocky Mountain on Saturday night for their final matches of the regular season. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.
As a special promotion for Friday night, the Skylights are sponsoring a "Pack the House Night" in which a DVD player will be given away. Anyone who attends the game may sign up for the DVD player, which will be given away between games two and three. You must be present in order to win.