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Northern gets defensive

 


George Ferguson — [email protected]

If the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team is hoping to discover just what kind of team it has in the early part of its schedule, the Skylights should like what they see.

This weekend at the Montana Tech Invitational in Butte, the Skylights went 3-1 against great competition and a demanding match schedule, and they played well in the process.

"I'm really proud of what we did this weekend, with how we played," MSU-N head coach Bill Huebsch said. "The consistency was there, we are just getting better and better and this weekend really showed us that, when we play like we're capable of, we can be competitive against anybody."

And Northern was exactly that in Butte -— competitive.

On Friday, the Skylights took care of South Dakota Mines in three games by scores of 25-21, 25-17 and 25-13. Senior Kaylee Bossert had 11 kills, three blocks and two aces and Jordan Merrill added 25 assists in the three-game sweep.

Friday saw Northern suffer its only loss on the weekend, but it was a difference of a couple of points, or the Skylights would have went undefeated. MSU-N fell to a very good Eastern Oregon club by scores of 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23 and 15-12. Against the Mountaineers, the Skylights were up two games to one and ahead 23-18 in game four. But they couldn't finish the Mounties off and eventually lost in the decisive fifth game.

However, Northern rebounded right away on Saturday. In the morning, the Skylights bested Dickinson State by scores of 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22 and 15-11. Against the Blue Hawks, the Skylights showed they not only could go the distance, but win coming from behind. Brittany Baker had 16 kills and 14 digs to lead the Skylights to the victory.

In the final match of the tournament, MSU-N handled Minot State by scores of 25-17, 25-21, 21-25 and 25-12. In the win, Bossert had 14 kills and Jenna Frankino led the Northern defense with 10 digs.

And while they lost a heartbreaker on Friday to EOU, Huebsch was more than pleased with the Skylights' progress.

"Not to dwell on that match, but we were so close, we just didn't finish," Huebsch said. "But credit our kids, they came right back and played so well on Saturday. Our consistency and our ability to stay in points, stay in games was much better this week. Look at our scores, every single game was a few points difference here and there. That shows that we are really getting much more consistent and playing our game for much longer stretches, and I think it shows how far we've come in a short amount of time. We were even much better than last week in Great Falls, and we didn't play poorly there. So, I'm just really proud of what we accomplished this week."

And the Skylights are hoping to build on what they've done so early in their 2010 campaign. At 4-2 on the season, MSU-N is off to its best start in five years.

"This gives us a lot of confidence going forward," Huebsch said. "I can't say enough about how happy I am with where we're at. Playing this way so early, I think it just really gives this team a good idea of where we're at and how far we can go this season. And hopefully, we'll continue to build on what we've done so far. This was definitely a really good weekend for our program."

The Skylights will go back on the road on Friday and Saturday when they play at a tournament in Dickinson, N.D.

Friday

Eastern Oregon def. MSU-Northern

22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12

Kills - EOU 59 (Jessica Lea 19), Northern 45 (Kaylee Bossert 14, Brittany Baker 14). Aces - EOU 10 (Leigh Ane MacCarthy 3, Emily Sampson 3), Northern 3 (Jordan Merrill 2). Assists - EOU 51 (Sampson 26), Northern 38 (Merrill 36). Digs - EOU 72 (Kaitlyn Duncan 24), Northern 65 (Baker 12). Blocks - EOU 7 (Lisa Steinbach 2), Northern 11 (Baker 3).

Montana State-Northern def. South Dakota Mines

25-21, 25-17, 25-13.

Kills - Mines 21 ((Justine Blade 8), Northern 31 (Kaylee Bossert 11). Aces - Mines 2 (Rachel Perarek 1, Becky Keilholtz 1), Northern 6 (Bossert 2, Sierra Diehl 2). Assists - Mines 23 (Jessie Guthals 23), Northern 27 (Jordan Merrill 25). Digs - Mines 22 (Reanna Roberson 8), Northern 40 (Holly Cartwright 9). Blocks - Mines 15 (Blade 5), Northern 9 (Bossert 3).

Saturday

Montana State-Northern def. Dickinson State

25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11

Kills - DSU 48 (Courtnie Trustem 14), Northern 56 (Brittany Baker 16). Aces - DSU 5 (Karen Almeida 2), Northern 2 (Jordan Merrill 1, Baker 1). Assists - DSU 130 (Kristina Eric 81), Northern 51 (Merrill 49). Digs - DSU 100 (Rebecca Johnson 29), Northern 63 (Baker 14). Blocks - DSU 10 (Trustem 3), Northern 8 (Kaylee Bossert 4.5).

Montana State-Northern def. Minot State

25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-12

Kills - Minot 42 (Jen Dixon 10), Northern 39 (Kaylee Bossert 14). Aces - Minot 1 (Abbey Aide 1), Northern 4 (Elisa Davis 2). Assists - Minot 39 (Aide 20), Northern 35 (Jordan Merrill 27). Digs - Minot 67 (Jenna Moffatt 16), Northern 52 (Jenna Frankino 10). Blocks - Minot 9 (Janice-Rose Reinbolt 5), Northern 8 (Davis 2.5, Brittany Baker 2.5).

If the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team is hoping to discover just what kind of team it has in the early part of its schedule, the Skylights should like what they see.

This weekend at the Montana Tech Invitational in Butte, the Skylights went 3-1 against great competition and a demanding match schedule, and they played well in the process.

"I'm really proud of what we did this weekend, with how we played," MSU-N head coach Bill Huebsch said. "The consistency was there, we are just getting better and better and this weekend really showed us that, when we play like we're capable of, we can be competitive against anybody."

And Northern was exactly that in Butte -— competitive.

On Friday, the Skylights took care of South Dakota Mines in three games by scores of 25-21, 25-17 and 25-13. Senior Kaylee Bossert had 11 kills, three blocks and two aces and Jordan Merrill added 25 assists in the three-game sweep.

Friday saw Northern suffer its only loss on the weekend, but it was a difference of a couple of points, or the Skylights would have went undefeated. MSU-N fell to a very good Eastern Oregon club by scores of 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23 and 15-12. Against the Mountaineers, the Skylights were up two games to one and ahead 23-18 in game four. But they couldn't finish the Mounties off and eventually lost in the decisive fifth game.

However, Northern rebounded right away on Saturday. In the morning, the Skylights bested Dickinson State by scores of 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22 and 15-11. Against the Blue Hawks, the Skylights showed they not only could go the distance, but win coming from behind. Brittany Baker had 16 kills and 14 digs to lead the Skylights to the victory.

In the final match of the tournament, MSU-N handled Minot State by scores of 25-17, 25-21, 21-25 and 25-12. In the win, Bossert had 14 kills and Jenna Frankino led the Northern defense with 10 digs.

And while they lost a heartbreaker on Friday to EOU, Huebsch was more than pleased with the Skylights' progress.

"Not to dwell on that match, but we were so close, we just didn't finish," Huebsch said. "But credit our kids, they came right back and played so well on Saturday. Our consistency and our ability to stay in points, stay in games was much better this week. Look at our scores, every single game was a few points difference here and there. That shows that we are really getting much more consistent and playing our game for much longer stretches, and I think it shows how far we've come in a short amount of time. We were even much better than last week in Great Falls, and we didn't play poorly there. So, I'm just really proud of what we accomplished this week."

And the Skylights are hoping to build on what they've done so early in their 2010 campaign. At 4-2 on the season, MSU-N is off to its best start in five years.

"This gives us a lot of confidence going forward," Huebsch said. "I can't say enough about how happy I am with where we're at. Playing this way so early, I think it just really gives this team a good idea of where we're at and how far we can go this season. And hopefully, we'll continue to build on what we've done so far. This was definitely a really good weekend for our program."

The Skylights will go back on the road on Friday and Saturday when they play at a tournament in Dickinson, N.D.

Friday

Eastern Oregon def. MSU-Northern

22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12

Kills - EOU 59 (Jessica Lea 19), Northern 45 (Kaylee Bossert 14, Brittany Baker 14). Aces - EOU 10 (Leigh Ane MacCarthy 3, Emily Sampson 3), Northern 3 (Jordan Merrill 2). Assists - EOU 51 (Sampson 26), Northern 38 (Merrill 36). Digs - EOU 72 (Kaitlyn Duncan 24), Northern 65 (Baker 12). Blocks - EOU 7 (Lisa Steinbach 2), Northern 11 (Baker 3).

Montana State-Northern def. South Dakota Mines

25-21, 25-17, 25-13.

Kills - Mines 21 ((Justine Blade 8), Northern 31 (Kaylee Bossert 11). Aces - Mines 2 (Rachel Perarek 1, Becky Keilholtz 1), Northern 6 (Bossert 2, Sierra Diehl 2). Assists - Mines 23 (Jessie Guthals 23), Northern 27 (Jordan Merrill 25). Digs - Mines 22 (Reanna Roberson 8), Northern 40 (Holly Cartwright 9). Blocks - Mines 15 (Blade 5), Northern 9 (Bossert 3).

Saturday

Montana State-Northern def. Dickinson State

25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11

Kills - DSU 48 (Courtnie Trustem 14), Northern 56 (Brittany Baker 16). Aces - DSU 5 (Karen Almeida 2), Northern 2 (Jordan Merrill 1, Baker 1). Assists - DSU 130 (Kristina Eric 81), Northern 51 (Merrill 49). Digs - DSU 100 (Rebecca Johnson 29), Northern 63 (Baker 14). Blocks - DSU 10 (Trustem 3), Northern 8 (Kaylee Bossert 4.5).

Montana State-Northern def. Minot State

25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-12

Kills - Minot 42 (Jen Dixon 10), Northern 39 (Kaylee Bossert 14). Aces - Minot 1 (Abbey Aide 1), Northern 4 (Elisa Davis 2). Assists - Minot 39 (Aide 20), Northern 35 (Jordan Merrill 27). Digs - Minot 67 (Jenna Moffatt 16), Northern 52 (Jenna Frankino 10). Blocks - Minot 9 (Janice-Rose Reinbolt 5), Northern 8 (Davis 2.5, Brittany Baker 2.5).

 

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