Argos block Skylights on homecoming
Last updated 9/26/2019 at 9:46am
The Montana State University-Northern volleyball team was looking to make the most of its homecoming match in the Armory Gymnasium. The visiting University of Providence Argos had other ideas though.
The Skylights were looking to defend their home court in the Armory Gymnasium Wednesday night, but the Argos struck down the Skylights 25-16, 25-17 and 25-11 in a Frontier Conference sweep.
Northern head coach Jerry Wagner is looking for more from his team but knows that the girls played with as much effort as they could.
"There are a couple of things that we're trying to work on," said Wagner. "We passed the ball better than we had. It's nice to be at home."
MSU-N gave it their all throughout the match, often going back-and-forth with Providence. The Skylights opened the first set with a score, but the Argos responded right away. The pattern repeated itself often throughout the first part of the set. Northern scored a point, then Providence answered, the score eventually 6-6. From there, the Argos broke into a 5-0 run. The Skylights scored next, but Providence was ready. The Argos went on another 5-0 run, then a 3-0 run shortly after, keeping Northern at bay.
After the quick run, an intense volley between the teams ensued. Multiple saves on both sides ensured the ball stayed in play. The volley was exciting and fast. The Skylights quickly got the ball over the net, the Argos replied right away. The ball looked as if it was to hit the ground at times throughout the volley, but Northern and Providence kept it going at a fiery pace. Eventually, the Skylight's luck ran out and the Argos managed to score on the volley, the score 15-9 in their favor, and they would go on to close the Skylights out.
The first set was not the best start for Northern, but the team had a major consistency in their serving. Not often was the ball served into the net or out-of-bounds. Wagner was pleased to see the continuous good serving from the team.
"We served the ball better tonight than we had been previous to it," Wagner said. "That's where our whole deal was at."
The Argos however, started strong in the second set, going on a 5-0 run. Northern tried to respond consistently, but the Argos kept scoring. Providence went on 4-0 runs twice within the set, making sure the Skylights could not keep up. Though, often Northern found some sparks and thinned out the Argos' lead, it was to no avail. Multiple blocks and kills by Tyna William in the set pushed Providence to a continuous lead over the Skylights. Ember Schwindt also contributed a decent number of blocks for the Argos, often alongside William. In the end, missed opportunities by Northern kept the win in set two out-of-reach. Providence put the nail in the coffin for the Skylights with a heavy-hitting kill by Kelsey Shaver.
The main strength for Northern in the second set was its blocking. Multiple times Rylee Burmester, Katia Michelotti and Hailey Warren were seen either sharing a block or serving one up on their own. The Skylights' blocking was a factor in keeping them in tandem with the Argos but was not enough to secure a win in the set.
The third and final set though, was all Providence. The Argos kept the Skylights to 11 points in a strong showing to close out the sweep.
Jensyn Turner was a force for Providence in the set, racking up many blocks and kills to shut down the Skylights. Three aces from Averi Dyer, Cassie Thompson and Sacha Legros assisted the Argos within the set.
Wagner knows the mishaps the Skylights faced in the match will be improved upon with more effort and work.
"All this other stuff, it'll fall into place in time," said Wagner.
Despite the loss, Northern did have some standout players on the court.
Burmester ended the night with eight kills, one assist and six digs. Warren racked up 13 assists, three kills and six digs. Junior setter Shania Neubauer led the team with 12 digs and also got three kills. In fact, the entire club got three spikes across the board.
The Skylights (0-3, 6-10) put up a good fight against the Argos, but at the end of the night there is still some work to be done for the club. Northern will have to lick its wounds and mend its mistakes quickly, because the Skylights will be competing against another strong conference team, Carroll College.
The Fighting Saints are a very difficult team to go up against, especially on their own home court. The road-game for Northern will give the team a chance to show that they can compete against dominant teams. The Skylights take to the court against the Carroll College Fighting Saints Saturday at 2 p.m. in Helena.
Providence def. MSU-Northern
25-16, 25-17, 25-11
UP - Kills 42 (Turner 10, Davis 09, Shaver 06, Adysen Burns 05, William 04, Schwindt 04, Paige Dixon 02, Legros 01, Thompson 01), Assists 39 (Cydney Finberg-Roberts 21, Davis 14, Dyer 02, Shaver 01, Cameron Davies 01), Digs 51 (Legros 11, Finberg-Roberts 11, Dyer 08, Shaver 07, Davis 07, Thompson 02, Turner 01, Davies 01, Mehki Sykes 01, Burns 01, Jess Eichenlaub 01), Blocks 04, Aces 10 (Legros 04, Shaver 02, Dyer 02, Davis 01, Finberg-Roberts 01)
MSU-N - Kills 16 (Burmester 08, Neubauer 03, Marlee Bender 03, Tammy Maddock 02), Assists 14 (Warren 13, Burmester 01), Digs 39 (Neubauer 12, Kaitlin Murdock 08, Warren 06, Burmester 06, Shay Waldbillig 05, Michelotti 01, Maddock 01), Blocks 03, Aces 01 (Warren 01).