Bobcat volleyball hosted Northern Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 6, and Sunday, Feb. 7, in Shroyer Gym. The series against the Lumberjacks marked the first home games of the Cats’ season. Coming into the match, the Cats were 1-1 after playing Northern Colorado in Greeley. 

The Bobcats fought hard on opening night, playing five tight sets against Northern Arizona. Though they nearly eked out a win in the fifth with the score tied at 12-12, the Lumberjacks finished with three successive kills, securing victory and handing a loss to the Cats. 

It was a real momentum match," said Daniel Jones, MSU’s fourth-year head coach. “We came out strong in that first set and flowed into the second set and had at least one set point. Once Northern Arizona got the momentum, they finished out the second and rolled through the third.”

On Sunday, the Bobcats were looking to avenge their loss. Throughout the match, the Cats controlled the court, winning in straight sets (3-0). In their dominating win, sophomore outside hitter Kira Thomsen recorded 13 kills and senior outside hitter Hannah Scott recorded 11 digs. Montana State was dominant at the net with sophomore middle blocker Emma Pence recording four blocks. And for her efforts, Pence was named Big Sky Offensive Volleyball player of the week. 

“After Saturday’s loss we knew we had to adjust our game plan,” Jones said. “We couldn’t let their big hitters go off like they did. We made a couple adjustments for us defensively and it paid off. [Assistant coach] Cole [Aiazzi] came up with a nice plan and our kids executed really well and we were able to slow down their offense. Once we did that, it built momentum for us.”

The Bobcats hit the road next week to play against the Griz in Missoula. The past two Cat-Griz volleyball series have ended 1-1. Tune in Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m., and Monday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Last year against Montana the Cats went 1-1, winning on the road 3-0 and falling at home, 1-3. Be sure to support the Cats, wish them luck and watch the match on Pluto TV channel 1057.