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Bulldogs prepare for Frontier Volleyball Tournament

UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western Bulldog volleyball team will focus on a way to pull off an upset against a tough Rocky Mountain team in the upcoming Frontier Conference tournament hosted by Carroll College in Helena, Mont. on Nov. 11 and 12. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldog volleyball team will focus on a way to pull off an upset against a tough Rocky Mountain team in the upcoming Frontier Conference tournament hosted by Carroll College in Helena, Mont. on Nov. 11 and 12. Rocky finished the season in second place in the conference with a 12-2 record and had an overall record of 24-4. The Battlin’ Bears also have a six-match winning streak coming into the tournament. Montana Western finished seventh in the conference with a 2-12 record and finished 7-18 overall. “We are looking to have a great week of practice before we head to Helena,” head coach Lisa Griffiths said. “We know Rocky is a big and physical team and we are going to have to play well at the net to compete.” The Bulldogs finished the regular season on a high note by overcoming a slow start against Montana Tech in the regular season finale. Down two games to none, the Bulldogs rallied to win three straight sets and win the match 3-2. “It was great to see our team compete last week against Montana Tech and work hard to earn that win,” Griffiths said. “We are excited for the conference tournament to see what we can do.” Montana Western will need strong play at the net from Kayla Schmid, Susie Rehse, Charelle Minor and Emily Erickson. Schmid had 178 kills on the season, Minor had 147 and Rehse totaled 138. Erickson, who missed several matches during the year, came on strong at the end of the season and recorded 68 kills. Rehse and Minor led the team in blocks with 66 and 42 respectively. Shelby Mack was the leader in digs with 333 and Schmid was second with 283. Paige Latimer was the team leader in assists with 552 and service aces with 25. Rocky Mountain is led in kills by Sara Brunner with 307. Ashley Welborn is second with 220 and Jillian Bates ranks third with 199. Jillian Stanek leads in blocks with 85 and Bates has 67. Brunner, with 377, and Jamie Elenbaas, with 364, lead the team in digs. Kristin Barott has 883 assists and 52 service aces on the season. “Rocky has one of the best outside hitters in the conference and, in our previous meetings, we have not been able to slow her down,” Griffiths stated. “In order to compete this time, that will have to change.” Game time is 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 at Carroll College.
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