SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Five-set thrillers are becoming routine for the Montana Tech volleyball team.
Ten days after rallying past Bushnell at home in the opening round, the No. 15 Orediggers delivered another comeback in their first national tournament pool play match, rallying past No. 7 Marian University in five sets (16-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-13, 15-4) at the Tyson Events Center on Tuesday.
Marian (33-2) was the highest-seeded team in Pool G and had lost just one match this season.
Senior Karina Mickelson led all players with 21 Kills, Olivia Muir had 17 and Maureen Jessop added nine. Tech's passing game was also stellar with McKenna Kaelber providing 58 assists. On defense, Sarah Hopcroft supplied 14 digs and Hannah Oggerino had 13.
The Knights rolled to wins in the first two sets and appeared headed for a quick sweep. But the Orediggers dug in their heels in the third set, building a 23-18 lead and then weathering a 3-point run from Marian to hold on for a fourth set.
Tech (23-9) surged to an 18-10 lead in that set and eventually forced the deciding fifth set where the Orediggers surged to a 13-3 lead and won the match three plays later.
MIDLAND 3, TECH 1
Taliyah Flores delivered a match-high 18 kills and Cortlyn Schaefer had 17 as the No. 9 Warriors topped Tech 3-1 (26-25, 26-28, 25-16, 25-22) in the Orediggers' second pool play match.
Mickelson had a team-high 17 kills for Tech, Olivia Muir had 11 and Maureen Jessop had nine. Kaelber provided 41 assists and six blocks.
Midland will take on Marian tomorrow in the match in Pool G. If Marian wins, a playoff would be held to determine who advances to the single-elimination braket.