By Ryan Divish
It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't the way Montana State University-Northern volleyball coach Lisa Handley wanted to end the season.
The Skylights were drubbed in the first round of the Frontier Conference volleyball tournament by the Rocky Mountain College Bears 30-16, 30-9, 30-28, Friday night in Butte.
After being upset in last year's conference tournament by Northern, Rocky wasn't about to let it happen two years in a row. The Bears came out serving aggressively and overwhelmed Northern in the first two games.
"Rocky played extremely well," Handley said. "They were out for revenge and they got it."
As has been the case several times this season, Northern's serve-receive game faltered under the aggressive Rocky serves.
"It wasn't pretty," Handley said. "All (Rocky) did all week was work on serving. They chewed us up alive in the serve-receive game."
But to the Skylights' credit, they didn't give up. Handley made a few personnel adjustments and her team responded, playing solidly in the third game.
"They didn't give up and played tough in that third game," Handley said.
However, Northern couldn't quite win game three, ending the season with an overall record of 11-21 and 3-12 in the Frontier Conference.
Northern was led by Tanja Bruski with seven kills and seven digs, while Tamecia Watkins added six kills and four digs.
Libby Torma led Rocky with 11 kills and 11 blocks, while Tess Morrison dishd out 29 assists and four aces.
"It would have been nice to finish the season a little stronger," Handley said. "Rocky played like they knew they were going to win. Unfortunately we played like we knew we were going to lose."