RMC advances to
title match by downing Tech in four
LEWISTON, Idaho - Even
with a balanced attack, strong serving, and a great
hitting percentage that led two victories in the
first two sets, the Rocky Mountain College women's
volleyball team still didn't have things under
Check that, the
Battlin' Bears didn't have Montana Tech's Maria
McNeil under control.
That changed in the
fourth game when RMC's front line of Katharina
Hinrichsen, Jessica Overstreet, Jessica Eliasson and
Jillian Stanek stopped Tech's 6-foot senior to
complete a 25-13, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15 win over
Montana Tech in the semifinals of the Bank of
Whitman Frontier Conference Tournament at the
Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center on
The win lifts Rocky
Mountain to 19-7 overall and into Saturday night's
championship game where it will meet the winner of
the other semifinal between Lewis-Clark State and
Carroll. That semifinal game began at 1:05 p.m. and
the title match is set for 7 p.m.
Tech, which finishes
the year at 14-15, dug itself in holes in the first
two games and would have been overwhelmed if not for
the play of McNeil, who posted a tournament-high 24
kills in the match.
"We just couldn't shut
her down," RMC coach Kathy Brown said. "She had a
very nice game for them. In the fourth set, we
finally had some people step up and stop her."
The Bears rolled to
leads of 7-1 and 19-8 in rolling to the fourth-set
While RMC played a
solid match, Tech was its own worst enemy at times.
The Orediggers committed 14 service errors and hit
just .187 for the match. Rocky had only five service
errors and hit .280, including .467 with five blocks
in the fourth game. RMC also outblocked Tech 11-4.
"We don't miss a lot
pf serves, we blocked well and we hit well," Brown
said. "I like the way we are playing. Our kids don't
give up and they are playing tough."
"We just dug ourselves
in a hole every game that we lost and that was huge
for us not to fall behind early," Tech coach Marilyn
Tobin said. "Rocky is a very talented team and is
playing well. And they are one of the few teams here
that is playing at full strength."
Tech, which has been
hampered by injuries this season including losing
its starting middle blocker to a knee injury this
week, seemed to gain momentum after the win in the
third set, but RMC took it back with a strong start
to the fourth set.
"You can't make as
many errors as we did at this level and expect to
win," Tobin said.
Eliasson and Stanek
led RMC with 12 kills apiece, while Sarah Madinger
had nine. Hinrichsen added four service aces and 12
digs for the No. 2 seed Bears.
Kristi Witt had 15
digs for the No. 6 seed Orediggers, while McNeil,
along with Lacie Brenton, added 11 digs apiece.
"To be able to come in
and win that first round match is a real positive
for us," Tobin said. "Even though we lost today we
are leaving with a positive feeling. We played our
hearts out. Rocky has a great team."