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Skylights win Medicine Hat tourney, Bruski named Frontier Conference player of the week

 


The Montana State University-Northern volleyball team continued its solid play by winning the Medicine Hat Rattler Invitational volleyball tournament.

Northern finished the weekend with a perfect 6-0 record and picked up a decisive win over the RAGE squad in the championship match. Mitsu Phillips led Northern in the championship with 10 kills while Kelly Thorpe dished out 17 assists. Nicole Kruse finished with a game-high 16 digs.

"It was a lot of good playing experience," said Skylights head coach Lisa Handley. "We got plenty of games in. I was really happy with the way they responded in the later games."

Northern opened the tourney with a 25-16, 25-20, 25-19 win over a Medicine Hat club team. The Skylights got a combined 17 kills from Lindsay Garcia and Tera O'Haire, 29 assists from Thorpe and 29 kills from Nicole Kruse and Brandi Snell in the win.

The Skylights then defeated the Medicine Hat second squad, as Garcia had 13 kills and Thorpe had 20 assists and 11 digs.

Northern's only test of the tournament came in its third match. The Skylights were forced to go five games with with the Rage, picking up a 25-17, 25-27, 25-27, 25-21, 15-8 win.

The tandem of Garcia and Phillips had 19 and 15 kills respectively. Thorpe had another solid match with 48 assists and 13 digs while Kruse had a match-high 25 digs.

Northern then picked up a pair of easy wins over a Medicine Hat College alumni squad and the Medicine Hat College varsity squad. Tanja Bruski picked up 16 kills and 5 blocks in the two matches while Phillips added 19 kills.

"I wanted to get some playing experience for our younger players," Handley said. "We got to work on some things and our serving started coming around. Also playing four matches in one day let me see how good of shape they were in."

For her efforts this past week, Bruski was named the Frontier Conference player of the week. The senior from Billings helped lead Northern to a 7-0 record on the week with a key conference win over the University of Great Falls. Bruski had 35 kills, 10 aces, 20 digs and 13 kills for the week.

"Tanja had a nice week," Handley said. "She has really started getting comfortable with Kelly and her blocking has been huge for us."

Northern returns to conference action this weekend with a pair of critical home matches against UM-Western and Westminster on Friday and Saturday night at the MSU-Northern gym.

MSU-Northern def. Medicine Hat

25-16, 25-20, 25-19

MSUN - Kills 40 (Lindsay Garcia 9, Tera O'Haire 8), Assists 36 (Thorpe 29), Aces 5 (Snell 2), Digs 58 (Nicole Kruse 19, Snell 10), Blocks 6 (Jeanna McPherson 3).

MSU-Northern def. Medicine Hat #2

25-13, 25-15, 19-25, 18-25, 15-9

MSUN - Kills 39 (Garcia 13), Assists 36 (Thorpe 30), Aces 8 (Bruski 3), Digs 105 (Kruse 21, Thorpe 11), Blocks 15 (Tanja Bruski 5).

MSU-Northern def. RAGE

25-17, 25-27, 25-27, 25-21, 15-8

MSUN - Kills 62 (Garcia 19, Mitsu Phillips 15), Assists 60 (Kelly Thorpe 48), Aces 3 (O'Haire 2), Digs 108 (Kruse 25, Emmy Olson 16, Kelly Thorpe 13), Blocks 14 (Bruski 5).

MSU-Northern def. Old Rattlers

25-13, 25-22, 25-21

MSUN - Kills 26 (Bruski 7, O'Haire 7), Assists 27 (Thorpe 22), Aces 9 (Engstrom 4), Digs 43 (Kruse 14), Blocks 4 (Bruski 1.5).

MSU-Northern def. Rattlers

25-19, 25-17, 25-11

MSUN - Kills 27 (Phillips 9, Bruski 9), Assists 27 (Thorpe 15, Christine Smith 8), Aces 4 (Engstrom 3), Digs 55 (Kruse 18), Blocks 10 (Bruski 4).

MSU-Northern def. RAGE

25-14, 25-11

MSUN - Kills 23 (Phillips 10), Assists 23 (Thorpe 17), Aces 3 (Engstrom 2), Digs 51 (Kruse 16, Snell 10), Blocks 14 (Bruski 1.5).

 

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