Jenna Larson

Idaho State University Sports Information

POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State volleyball team defeated visiting Montana State in five sets Saturday evening at Reed Gym. The Bengals posted season-highs in kills with 66 and digs with 88 in the five set battle, besting the Bobcats 26-28, 20-25, 25-15, 25-17 and 15-12.

“Our team did what we expected them to do,” Head Coach Rick Reynolds said. “I thought in the first two sets we played solid volleyball, but we just gave away too many easy points. I think we had six serve-receive errors and seven serving errors in the first two sets, and we only lost by seven points. But we gave away thirteen points right there that you just can’t afford to give away to a good team. Montana State is well coached and they’re a good squad that has been battling every team they play. For us to battle back against a team that has been gaining confidence, it’s impressive.”

Idaho State (6-13, 3-3 BSC) was led by Abby Garrity with 21 kills, her second-straight match with 20 or more kills, to go along with 11 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Chloe Hirst added 14 kills and 20 digs while Ashlyn Van Every finished with 48 assists, 11 digs and seven kills hitting at a .389 clip. Libero Haylie Keck finished with a career- and match-high 37 digs.

The Bengals played solid volleyball in the first two sets, but as Reynolds alluded to in his post-game interview, they struggled on service and serve-receive. In the first two sets alone, the Bengals committed seven service errors and six receiving errors. Montana State (6-9, 2-4 BSC) took advantage, edging the Bengals for the 28-26 first set win and 25-20 second set win.

Idaho State came alive in the third set, hitting .282 for 14 kills while limiting the Bobcats to just 10 kills off 38 attempts with eight errors to hit .053. The Bengals also clean up their service, serving two service aces courtesy of Van Every, with just one service error and one reception error. Garrity started things off for the Bengals with a big kill and ISU never looked back. The Bengals raced out to a 9-1 advantage and led by as many as 12 in the set, cruising to the 25-15 third set win.

The Bengals carried their momentum into the fourth, increasing their hitting accuracy to a whopping .421, connecting for 19 kills off 38 swings with just three errors. Garrity was a force for Idaho State in the fourth, collecting seven kills on 14 attempts with no errors to hit .500. With the set tied 3-all, Montana State committed two consecutive hitting errors to give ISU the two-point advantage, 5-3. A few plays later, the Bengals still led by two, 7-5, but three straight Bengal kills gave ISU a 10-5 advantage to force MSU to call a timeout. The Bengals continued to build on their lead and put Montana State away, 25-17.

In the fifth, ISU earned the first point off a Bobcat service error, and though there were four ties in the set, the Bengals led the entire way. Van Every came up big for the Bengals in the final set, with one kill, six assists, two digs, a solo block and a block assist. With the set tied 12-all, the Bobcats committed a hitting error to give ISU the 13-12 lead and force the MSU timeout. Coming out of the break, the Bengals closed with two kills, one from Garrity and another from senior Marissa Dance, to claim the 15-12 set win and 3-2 match win.

“We train for the fifth set,” Garrity said. “We run drills in practice and we know what we’re doing. We attack in the fifth set.”

Montana State was led by Natalie Passeck with 17 kills and eight digs while Sydney Mathison finished with 45 assists. Allyssa Rizzo added a team-high 30 digs.

Idaho State hits the road next week for a Thursday-night match at Eastern Washington before returning to Pocatello to host Weber State in Reed Gym on Saturday, Oct. 14.

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