RMC hangs tough to sweep MSU-Northern
LEWISTON, Idaho - Even with its back to the wall, the
Rocky Mountain College women's volleyball team never
Trailing late in both the second and third sets, the
Bears rallied to claim a 25-8, 25-22, 26-24 sweep over
Montana State-Northern University during the opening day
of the Frontier Conference Tournament at the Lewis-Clark
State College Activity Center on Friday.
RMC, the No. 2 seed, improves to 22-6 on the season and
advances to the semifinals where it will face the winner
of Friday's late match between Great Falls and Carroll.
The semifinal match is at 1 p.m. Saturday and the
championship match will be at 7 p.m.
Rocky Mountain, ranked No. 18 in the NAIA, swept the
regular season series against MSU-Northern, the No. 7
seed, and appeared it would have its way against the
Skylights after rolling easy in the first set.
MSU-Northern, which finishes the season at 11-14, got
off to a much better start in the next two sets but just
couldn't close out as RMC rallied for the sweep.
"The first game our serve-receive was at 2.5 but we kind
of broke down after that," RMC coach Laurie Kelly said.
"But the kids found a way and they know how to win.
That's just what they did."
The second game was tied at 8, 16 and again at 20 as RMC
rallied each time. MSU-Northern grabbed a 22-20 lead,
but Rocky ran off the next five points, the final two
coming on kills by Ashley Welborn, for the win.
MSU-Northern had leads of 5-1, 10-8 and 19-6 in the
third set, but RMC again turned it on when it mattered
and tied the contest at 20. MSU-Northern took the lead
twice, the final time at 23-22, but Rocky rallied back
and scored three of the final four points to close it
"We had 15, 15 and 18 kills (in the three sets) so I
can't be mad at our offense, but our defense, passing,
and especially serve receive was not good tonight,"
Kelly said. "That's what we just talked about. We will
be a better passing team tomorrow."
Sara Brunner had a match-high 13 kills to pace the
Bears, while Welborn added 12. The two also helped RMC
hit .297 for the match. Brunner also had three service
aces and 15 digs.. Jessica Overstreet had a big match at
the net with 3.5 blocks, helping RMC to a 7-3 block
Brittany Baker paced MSU-Northern with nine kills, while
Karyssa Bowron added seven along with a team-high 13
For the match, MSU-Northern hit .121 for the match and
had 29 kills, compared to 48 for RMC.
Kristin Barott added 35 assists and 11 digs for RMC and
played a solid match, according to Kelly.