Posted: Aug 25, 2012 9:33 PM by Tom Schulz - MSU
EDWARDSVILLE, IL - The Montana State volleyball squad split a pair of matches, Saturday afternoon to finish second at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Cougar Classic.
Montana State (2-1) opened played with a five-set 23-25, 25-19, 14-25, 25-22, 15-8 victory over Western Illinois. Santa Clara handed the Bobcats its first setback of the season with a 20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 win over the Bobcats in the nightcap.
Against WIU, junior Sarah Horton paced Montana State with a career-high 26 kills, while adding 12 digs and three blocks. Also in double-figure kills was Macy Page with 12.
Senior setter Jennifer Lundquist dished out 49 assists in the win, while chipping in six blocks and six digs. Freshman Eli Svisco posted 11 digs and nine kills, while middle blocker Taylar Barney guided MSU at the net with a match-high seven blocks.
"We did a nice job against Western Illinois, especially with steady play in set four, after a tough set three," said MSU first-year head coach Kyle Weindel. "We did a nice job carrying to momentum over into the fifth set to get the win."
Against Santa Clara, the Bobcats battled back from a 2-1 deficit and forced a fifth set. MSU got down early to the Broncs, but pulled to within 8-7 at the switch. Santa Clara then surged to a 13-10 advantage in held on for the win.
"I really liked our resiliency," Weindel said. "We faced some adversity, but we bounced back. Santa Clara made some great plays defensively down the stretch. They are program that's been to the NCAA Final Four within the past seven years, so I'm proud that our kids were able to compete against a very good team."
Horton paced the Bocbats with a match-high 23 kills and posted her third consecutive double-double with 14 digs. Page was also in double-digit kills with 12 winners. Defensively, Svisco had 17 digs, while Nicole Baker and Lundquist added 13 and ten, respectively. Lundquist notched a double-double adding 40 assists and Barney was tops at the net with six blocks.
"We faced a lot of different situations this weekend and I'm very pleased with our play," Weindel said. "We exceeded our expectations, and now I expect more from them. They know we can play at a high level on a daily basis."
For their efforts, Horton and Lundquist were named to the Cougar Classic All-Tournament team.
MSU will play at the University of Akron Tournament next weekend.