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Skylights open with some success

 

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It may have been the first night of the 2010 NAIA volleyball season, but the Montana State University-Northern Skylights showed they have what it takes to turn things around quickly.

After dropping their season-opening match to Concordia College at the UGF/Carroll Tournament Thursday afternoon in Great Falls, the Skylights reversed their fortunes and bested nationally-ranked Jamestown College in four games to earn a split on the night.

The Skylights beat the Jimmies by scores of 25-19, 21-25, 25-19 and 26-24. The difference in the two matches was consistency.

"Against Concordia, we just weren't consistent enough," MSU-N second-year head coach Bill Huebsch said. "We probably had some pre-game jitters in that first match, but we also just didn't play that well. We couldn't protect a lead.

"But against Jamestown, we came out with much more urgency I thought," he added. "And we just played much better. We played good volleyball, we were able to protect our leads or at least trade points with them. It was just a well-played hard-fought match and I was really pleased with how we played."

Northern senior Kaylee Bossert had a big day for the Skylights. Against the Jimmies, Bossert racked up 16 kills, 10 digs, two blocks and an ace. Senior setter Jordan Merrill had 35 assists.

"Jamestown is a good team," Huebsch said. "So that was a really good match for us."

Things didn't go as well in MSU-N's opener Thursday afternoon at the McLaughlin Center.

The Skylights fell to Concordia of Portland, Ore., by scores of 27-25, 25-17 and 25-21. MSU-N had substantial leads in both the first and third games, but the Skylights just couldn't hang on in either one. Bossert and Paige Richardson led the way with seven kills each in the loss. Bossert also had three solo blocks.

"It's early, we tried a few different lineups," Huebsch said. 'I think consistency really hurt us in that match. We have to protect a lead and stay on top of things. We just didn't play as well as we did against Jamestown.

"But that's what I liked about the day," he added. "We responded well in the Jamestown match. We were much more consistent. So it was a good start for us."

The Skylights will be back in action on Saturday when they hold their annual Maroon/Gold Scrimmage in Havre. The event will start at 6 p.m. at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse, and admission is a can of food which will be donated to the Havre Food Bank.

 
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