The Montana State Volleyball squad finished up the weekend with a solid performance Saturday against Idaho State to get back to their winning ways. The Cats improved to 9-8 overall and 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference, and are now looking up in the conference standings to only Idaho and Northern Colorado. Saturday’s win helped the Bobcats end a two-match slide following tough losses while visiting Southern Utah and hosting Weber State. Montana State’s match on Saturday was a return to the dominant style of play, by having the advantage over ISU in every team statistic recorded.
MSU relied on incredible performances by senior stars Evi Wilson and Allyssa Rizzo to pick apart the Bengals. Wilson, an outside hitter from Vancouver, WA put up a season-high 19 kills, including a standout fourth set which included seven kills and a .538 attack mark. Rizzo, one of the top liberos in the nation and the MSU all time leader in career digs, again put on a show for the home crowd with a match high 26 digs.
As a team, the Bobcats put on one of their best performances so far with a season-high 64 kills and 14 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Kira Thomsen had yet another strong match with 14 kills and a season-best 24 digs, leaving her with a second straight double-double. MSU’s bench also played a big role in Saturday’s win, allowing the Bobcats to not miss a beat when giving their starters a rest.
While discussing the previous matches against the Bengals during his tenure at MSU, Head Coach Daniel Jones declared, “I had a burr in my butt about Idaho State.” This was Montana State’s first win over the Bengals since 2012, yet another obstacle overcome by this years team. “This is an incredible group of young women,” said Jones, “When we got student-athletes doing the academic demands they do and some of them dealing with health issues the way they have, it’s pretty incredible.”
Montana State’s next home match in Shroyer Gym will be Saturday, Oct. 26 against Sacramento State at 7 p.m. Make sure to arrive early, as the Cats have been packing the place regularly. “The roof is coming off Shroyer, there is no doubt we’re shaking it,” Jones had to say about the recent attendances. “I hope the insurance companies haven’t quit on their roof repairs around here.”