Griz sweep rivalry match with MSU for first time in seven years
(Montana Sports Information) It took 31 years for Montana to break the all-time volleyball attendance record, setting a new high in a 3-1 win over Montana State last season. They wouldn't have to wait long to break it again.
For the second straight season, the Grizzlies had a record number of fans in the gym for the Brawl of the Wild. And for the second straight home match, and fourth time overall in the series, they defeated the Bobcats to bring home the Main Line Trophy.
Montana left no doubt, dominating the in-state rivals 25-20, 27-25, 25-11.
"I'm just so proud of the team. The way they prepared all week, their mentality point-for-point in the match, their execution of the scout," head coach Allison Lawrence said. "They were so poised throughout all the ups-and-downs in that match. They just did what they said they were going to do, and it was the coolest thing to watch."
It's the fourth straight win in the series for Montana, which evens up the all-time record at 61-61. It's also the first sweep over the Bobcats since 2016. The cherry on top of it all? The Grizzlies did it in front of 2,237 screaming fans.
Montana State entered the top team in the Big Sky Conference with a 9-3 overall record and a perfect mark in conference play. In fact, the Bobcats hadn't dropped a set through two league matches. Montana didn't care. The Grizzlies controlled the entire way and put together one of the more impressive final sets you will see in the sweep.
The Grizzlies had their best offensive night of the season, hitting .344 as a team with 46 kills and 15 errors. They did more than just play stellar offense, they outpaced the Bobcats in nearly every statistical category.
Montana had 14 more kills and hit .119 better than Montana State. They had six aces to MSU's two, and also committed four fewer errors from the service line. They won the defensive categories, outdigging Montana State 39-27 and outblocking them 6-5. Montana sided out nearly 60 percent of the time, a significantly higher number than Montana State's 43 percent.
Simply put, Montana dominated.
"I think we just really tried to focus on ways to hold consistent pressure. I think that looks like a lot of details being executed in a row, and I think you saw that tonight," Lawrence said. "Everybody stepped up and became a playmaker and all held their details individually so that the pressure we were able to exert was consistent and dominant. It felt in our control."