Montana Tech rallies to knock off Great Falls in five
Idaho - It wasn't exactly payback for what happened on
Montana Tech's Senior Night, but the Orediggers'
volleyball team doesn't mind being considered copycats.
After a tough five-set loss to Great Falls during its
final home match of the season last week, the Orediggers
followed the same script to defeat the Argos 15-25,
19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-10 in the opening round of the
Bank of Whitman Frontier Conference Volleyball
Tournament on Friday afternoon at the Lewis-Clark State
College Activity Center.
During Senior Night, Montana Tech won the opening two
matches, but then lost the next three as Great Falls
claimed the win. Friday's match was just a reversal as
No. 3 seed Great Falls dominated early, only to seed No.
6 seed Montana Tech roar back for the win.
"Volleyball can be such a game of momentum," Montana
Tech coach Marilyn Tobin said. "This same thing happened
to us last week against them during Senior Night. We win
the first two sets and they roar back. I guess this is
kind of a balance of the universe."
Montana Tech, 14-14 overall, advances to Saturday's
semifinals where it will face No. 2 seed Rocky Mountain
at 11 a.m. The winner advances to the championship game
on Saturday night. The eventual champion earns an
automatic berth into the NAIA national tournament, which
opens with 12 first-round matches next weekend.
The loss ends the season for Great Falls, 15-13. The
Argos rolled easily in the first set and then rode the
serving of freshman Chelsie Cameron to rally from a 12-6
deficit in the second set to eventually claim the win.
Cameron had eight straight service points, including
five on service aces to give RMC the lead.
The third contest was again a see-saw game early, but
Great Falls seemed to gain control with a short run and
a 17-10 lead. Tech, however, put together a nice rally
of its own and took a 20-18 lead. The two teams
exchanged points the rest of the way and Tech was able
to hang on for the win and swing the momentum.
"They scored some big points that swung the match and we
just couldn't bounce back," Great Falls coach Arunas
Duda said. "It's been that way all year for us. We lose
the first two and then rally back to win or win the
first two and then lose. It's hard to be upset when
we've been consistent like that all year."
"I think when we overtook them in the third game our
confidence really soared," Tobin said. "And we took the
early lead in the final two games. Once you get out in
front you play more relaxed. That was an amazing win for
us and I know it's a heartbreaker for Great Falls. It's
too bad they have to end their season like that."
Janet Friesz and Maria McNeil paced Tech with 16 kills
apiece, while Jodi Hogart had 40 assists. Kristi Witt
added 18 digs, while McNeil had 13 along with three
Jodi Miller led Great Falls with 18 kills, while Cali
Buck had 11. Cameron finished with seven of the team's
11 service aces, while Jennifer Peterson had 42 assists.
Kari Schiller added 20 digs.