Diggers begin National Championships with a sweep of Valley City State
Valley City State (23-11) came out firing on all cylinders in the first set. Using solid passing and great work at the net the Vikings jumped out to an 18-10 lead, forcing the Orediggers to scramble.
Then the tides shifted.
The Orediggers would go on a 6-1 run before Valley City would use a timeout. Senior Outside Hitter Maureen Jessop got three of those six points. Tech trailed 19-16.
The teams would exchange back-to-back attack errors to advance the score to 20-17 in favor of the Vikings. That would be the last point Valley City would tally in the first set, and the Orediggers would close on an 8-0 run, to take the first 25-20.
The Orediggers hit .167 in the first set, getting 13 kills on 42 swings. The Vikings would finish with a hitting percentage of .070, and 12 kills.
The second set belonged to Montana Tech. Frontier Conference MVP Olivia Muir put down seven kills in the second, and the Oredigger Middle Blockers stepped up in a big way. Senior Taylor Henley accounted for 3 kills and a pair of blocks, and Junior Olivia Labeau also had three kills as well as a pair of blocks. Montana Tech hit .245 and 17 kills in the second while holding the Vikings to 7 total kills with a .029 hitting percentage.
While the third set was closer, the Orediggers controlled the pace throughout, winning the deciding frame 25-23.
The Diggs finished with 44 total kills, led by Muir with 16, Maureen Jessop had nine, and Olivia Labeau in the middle put down seven. As a team Montana Tech hit .214, they had five aces, and eight total blocks.
Bailey Nelson led the Vikings with 10 kills in the match, hitting .133. Valley City hit .062 for the match.
The Vikings having gone 0-2 in pool play are eliminated from the tournament, and it sets up a "win and you're in" match between - No. 3 Eastern Oregon and No. 11 Montana Tech at noon MST on Friday.
The winner of that match will win Pool C and advance to the quarterfinals that start on Saturday.
LOOK: We ranked 20 former group members by their solo career success—here's who's #1
Gallery Credit: Emma Madden
LOOK: Musicians with their own museums
Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger