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MSU-N spikers win four in Spokane

George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor

[email protected]

After playing just one match on the opening weekend of the 2013 season, the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team got down to business this weekend. The Skylights played six matches against Cascade Conference opponents at the annual Cascade/Frontier Challenge in Spokane.

Northern went 4-2 on the weekend, with losses coming to nationally ranked Eastern Oregon Thursday, as well as Northwest College Saturday. Meanwhile, the Skylights beat Warner Pacific Thursday, went 2-0 Friday with wins over Corban College and Evergreen State, and 1-1 Saturday, with a win coming over Oregon Tech.

Things started off a little shaky for the Skylights Thursday as they dropped the first set to Warner Pacific 26-24. But MSU-N rebounded quickly and took the match by scores of 25-22, 25-15 and 25-20. In the opening win, MSU-N racked up 46 kills with Kelsey Williams totaling 17 and Abby Nicholas adding 15. Williams had a huge match overall with five aces and 17 digs, while Joni Nagy added 38 assists.

Things got a little more difficult Thursday night as the Skylights took on the powerful EOU Mounties. But in the first two sets, the Skylights put up a great fight, falling 25-23 in the first, but rebounding to win the second 25-20. From there however, EOU took command and finished Northern off by scores of 25-15 and 25-20. Williams had another great outing with 21 kills and 10 digs, while Nicholas added 16 kills and a block. Holly Cartwright totaled 16 digs.

Despite the tough loss to EOU, the Skylights showed resiliency by coming back Friday and dusting both Corban and Evergreen State.

MSU-N beat Corban by scores of 25-22, 27-25 and 25-9. Williams continued her stellar play with 15 kills, two aces and 12 digs, and sisters Erin and Dayna Jensen combined for another 15 kills. Northern then took care of Evergreen by scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-20. Williams paced the MSU-N attack for the fourth straight match with 15 kills, while Nicholas chipped in with 12. Cartwright had 15 digs, Nagy added 35 assists and Dayna Jensen served up a pair of aces in the easy win.

The Skylights then closed out the tournament with a split Saturday. MSU-N was swept by Northwest College by scores of 25-22, 25-17 and 25-23, with Nicholas totaling a match-high 16 kills. The Skylights bounced right back and dismantled Oregon Tech, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-12. In the final win, Nicholas had 10 kills and a block, while Williams totaled nine kills and 10 digs. Nagy added 25 assists and 13 digs, while Cartwright came up with 17 digs of her own.

The Skylights, who are now 4-3 this early season, will have a short turnaround as they travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., for four matches Friday and Saturday.

Thursday

Skylights def. Warner Pacific

24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 25-20

MSU-N – Kills 46 (Kelsey Williams 17, Abby Nicholas 15, Dayna Jensen 5); Assists 40 (Joni Nagy 38); Aces 8 (Williams 5); Digs 56 (Williams 17, Holly Cartwright 16, Nicholas 10); Blocks 8.

Eastern Oregon def. Skylights

25-23,20-25,25-15,25-20

MSU-N – WILLIAMS, Kelsey 21-2-0; NICHOLAS, Abby 16-2-4; JENSEN, Erin 6-0-0; JENSEN, Dayna 5-0-1; FERRIS, Annie 4-0-4; NAGY, Joni 3-0-0; Totals 55-4-5.0. (Assists) - NAGY, Joni 39. (Dig leaders) - CARTWRIGHT, Holly 16; NAGY, Joni 13; WILLIAMS, Kelsey 10.

Friday

Skylights def. Corban

25-22, 27-25, 25-9

MSU-N – Kills 42 (Kelsey Williams 15, Abby Nicholas 9, Erin Jensen 8, Dayna Jensen 7); Assists 40 (Joni Nagy 33); Aces 5 (Holly Cartwright 2, Nagy 2); Digs 57 (Williams 12, Cartwright 12); Blocks 2 (Erin Jensen 1).

Skylights def. Evergreen State

25-21, 25-18, 25-20

MSU-N – Kills 43 (Kelsey Williams 15, Abby Nicholas 12); Assists 37 (Joni Nagy 35); Aces 5 (Dayna Jensen 2); Digs 40 (Holly Cartwright 15); Blocks 6 (Annie Ferris 1).

Saturday

Northwest College def. Skylights

25-22, 25-17, 25-23

MSU-N – Kills 35 (Abby Nicholas 16, Erin Jensen 6); Assists 34 (Joni Nagy 30); Aces 4 (Kelsey Williams 3); Digs 37 (Holly Cartwright 8); Blocks 0.

Skylights def. Oregon Tech

25-17, 25-16, 25-12

MSU-N – Kills 30 (Abby Nicholas 10, Kelsey Williams 9; Assists 28 (Joni Nagy 25); Aces 3 (Williams 2); Digs 56 (Holly Cartwright 17, Nagy 13, Williams 10); Blocks 10 (Nicholas 1, Annie Ferris 1).

 

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