UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Bulldog volleyball team lost matches to Carroll College on Friday afternoon, 25-18, 25-16, 25-8 and to Rocky Mountain College on Saturday afternoon, 25-7, 25-13, 25-9. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldog volleyball team lost matches to Carroll College on Friday afternoon, 25-18, 25-16, 25-8 and to Rocky Mountain College on Saturday afternoon, 25-7, 25-13, 25-9. Both Carroll and Rocky came into the weekend ranked in the Top 25 in the latest NAIA national poll. The Fighting Saints were ranked 24th while the Battlin’ Bears were ranked number 11. The last four matches saw the Bulldogs take on three ranked teams. Last week the Bulldogs faced ninth-ranked Lewis-Clark State. “We knew we had a tough stretch coming with our matches these past two weeks with three of four teams being ranked in the top 25 nationally,” head coach Lisa Griffiths said. “Although we struggled getting our offense going I was proud of how our young team competed and battled. The stats don’t necessarily recognize all of the long rallies and great defense we saw but I do think the team put up a much bigger fight than we did the first time around.” Against Carroll, Susie Rehse had six kills and two service aces and Emily Erickson had five kills. Paige Latimer was the assists leader with 16 and Kayla Schmid (14) and Shelby Mack (12) led the team in digs. Eli Graff was the Saints’ kills leader with 12 and Caitlyn Tocci had 10 digs. Tocci (16) and Natalie Stewart (10) had double digits in assists. Markki Otteson was strong defensively with four blocks. On Saturday afternoon against Rocky, Schmid and Charelle Minor each had five kills and Latimer’s setting gave her 13 assists. Mack and Jessica Brunett played well defensively getting 12 and 10 digs, respectively. Sara Brunner led the Bears with 13 kills and Kristin Barott led the way with 24 assists. Jamie Elenbaas had 16 digs and Brunner was close behind with 13. Jillian Bates and Jillian Stanek were both involved in four blocks at the net. “Shelby, Kayla, and Jessica all had great defensive performances this weekend doing all they could to keep our team in system and protecting our floor,” Griffiths said. “They demonstrated the relentless defensive effort our team strives for each match.” The losses leave the Bulldogs at 1-12 in conference play and 6-18 overall. Rocky improved to 10-2 in the conference and 22-4 overall. Carroll upped their record to 8-4 in the conference and 15-7 overall. Montana Western will host Montana Tech on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Straugh Gymnasium. Tech is 0-13 in conference and 7-19 overall.