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Carroll sweeps Skylights in the Armory


September 24, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Jordan O'Connor, left, tips a ball during Saturday's Frontier Conference match against Carroll in the Armory Gymnasium. The Fighting Saints beat the Skylights in straight sets.

The Montana State University-Northern volleyball team was hoping to get a win on the board in the Frontier Conference against the Carroll College Saints. Yet, the Saints had other ideas and they implemented them like clock work.

The opening set was the most competitive between the two teams but even then, Carroll led wire-to-wire setting the tone for a three-game sweep by the score of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-17 Saturday afternoon in the Armory Gymnasium.

"I think that my players are playing really hard," MSU-Northern head coach Rose Obunaga said. "I think that we are improving; we just aren't where we need to be yet and we just have to keep working to try to get there."

In the first set, Carroll jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead. The Skylights did manage to tie the score at 5-5, Carroll responded with a 5-0 run to take control. Northern wouldn't get within two points again and the Saints grabbed a 1-0 lead in the match after three consecutive points closed out the 25-19 win.

Leading 1-0, Carroll quickly asserted its dominance in the second set, scoring the first six points and 12 of the first 14. The Saints lead got as large as 12, when it was 17-5 and the Skylights didn't get the margin within single digits again as they dropped the set 25-12 to fall behind 2-0.

Hoping to avoid a sweep in the third set, the Skylights grabbed their first and only lead of the match thanks to a kill by Katia Michelotti. However, the Northern advantage was short lived. Carroll fought back to square things at 5-5, then the Saints ripped off five straight points to gain a 10-5 advantage. MSU-N did creep within two points twice during the set, but a 5-1 run gave Carroll a 21-13 lead, which turned into a 25-17 win, a victory that clinched the sweep for the Saints.

Statistically, the Saints dominated just about every category. Carroll finished with 36 kills compared to 28 for the Skylights. The Saints also had more assists 33-28 and more digs 47-43. The Saints finished with 11 blocks compared to five to MSU-N.

Emily Gutierrez was the top hitter for Northern with eight kills. Abigail Ellison and Jessica Curl each added seven. McKaylie Tanner also contributed with 25 assists; Hannah Amtmann also pitched in with 15 assists. Pacing Carroll College in the win was Brielle Bumgarner, who had a match-high 12 blocks. Lext Mikkelsen added eight blocks, one ace, two assists and 13 digs and in the middle, Paige Wollan had a big night with five blocks.

"We definitely need to hit the ball better," Obunga said. "We need to score more points and have fewer errors. We had too many errors tonight."

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Hailey Warren sets a pass during Saturday match in the Armory Gymnasium.

The Skylights, who are 1-15 overall, and 0-4 in the Frontier Conference on the season, will travel to Billings this Saturday to take on Rocky Mountain College.

Carroll def. MSU-Northern

25-19, 25-12, 25-17

Carroll - Kills 36 (Brielle Bumgarner 12, Lexi Mikkelsen 8, Rayne Pilgeram 5); Assists 33 (Rayna Pilgeram 27); Digs 47 (Ayla Carpenter 14, Lexi Mikkelsen 13); Blocks 16 (Paige Wollan 5, Jenna Starke 4, Lexi Mikkelsen 3); Aces (Maddie Wolter, Laurel Ksaas, Lexi Mikkelsen).

Havre - Kills 28 (Emily Gutierrez 8, Jessica Curl 7, Abigail Ellison 7); Assists 28 (McKaylie Tanner 25); Aces 1 (Shania Neubauer); Blocks 8 (Jessica Curl 4, Emily Gutierrez 2); Digs 43 (Hannah Amtmann 15, McKaylie Tanner 5, Abigail Ellison 5, Ashley Ponce 5).


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