Brooke Bray had five kills on .500 hitting
Oct. 5, 2013
Idaho State hit .327 and used big runs in each set to post a 25-17, 25-17, 25-17 victory over Montana Saturday night at Pocatello, Idaho, that snapped the Grizzlies' modest two-match winning streak.
Montana (6-9, 3-3 BSC) opened its weekend with a 3-1 win at Weber State on Friday.
Lori Mendenhall, last year's Big Sky Conference MVP, had 39 assists for Idaho State (10-7, 4-2 BSC) and set Marissa Todd up to finish with 15 kills on .462 hitting and Whitney Harrington to total 11 kills on .421 hitting.
Junior Kelsey Schile had nine kills on .318 hitting for Montana, which hit .132 and had 29 kills to Idaho State's 50.
"They played hard and well, and they won all the scramble plays," UM coach Jerry Wagner said. "They won all the small battles, and that turned out to be more than we could come up with tonight."
Idaho State's win was characterized by key runs in each set that turned close contests into one-sided victories.
In the opener, the Bengals claimed six of seven points midway through the set to turn an 11-9 lead into a 17-10 advantage. In the second, it was a 7-1 run that made a 12-12 deadlock a 19-13 lead.
In the third set, Montana played well enough to have it tied at 17-17, but a match-ending 8-0 run sent the Grizzlies to their first loss in three matches and the Bengals to their second home sweep in two nights.
Senior middle blocker Brooke Bray had five kills on .500 hitting and added three blocks for Montana, which got out-blocked for just the fifth time this season, 11-6.
The Bengals mostly neutralized senior outside hitter Kayla Reno, who had been playing spectacularly in Montana's previous two matches. On Saturday Reno had six kills and five errors to hit .034, and her four digs matched a season low.
The rest of the team combined for just eight kills on the night.
Idaho State, which advanced to the Big Sky Conference tournament championship match last year, is one of the league's top teams this season. As are North Dakota and Portland State. All three have now defeated Montana in straight sets.
"Our readiness level against the better teams in the conference hasn't been what it needs to be," Wagner added.
Montana will return home next week to host Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.
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