Talk about momentum getting stopped dead in its tracks. That’s exactly what happened to the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team in its second-to-last match of the regular season.
The Skylights were on a roll heading into their matchup with Rocky Mountain College Thursday night in Billings, but the Battling’ Bears’ quickly put an end to that roll. Rocky defeated the Skylights in three straight sets, by scores of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-23, dropping Northern out if its three-way toe for second place in the Frontier Conference standings.
Hitting was the big difference in Thursday night’s match. The Skylights hit a dismal .034 after hitting almost .500 in a three-set win over Westminster just last Saturday. The Bears didn’t hit a whole lot better, but they did have 44 kills to just 20 for the Skylights. And in just three sets, RMC racked up 13 blocks, while MSU-N had 7.5.
MSU-N got nine kills by Abby Nicholas, while Hillary Isleifson added seven in the tough loss. Isleifson also had two blocks, while Nicholas and Holly Cartwright each totaled 16 digs. Esther Timofeyev and Anna Dewald paced the Bears, who earned a season split with Northern, by totaling 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
The loss to Rocky dropped Northern to 9-6 in the Frontier Conference and 15-14 overall. MSU-N will look to close out the regular season with a win over Dickinson State Saturday afternoon in Dickinson, N.D.