CHENEY, Wash. — (EDITOR'S NOTE: MSU PRESS RELEASE)
Montana State outside hitters Kira Thomsen and Hannah Scott each posted double-doubles to lift the Bobcats to a 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20 win over Eastern Washington on Thursday night at Reese Court.
Thomsen knocked down a match-high 16 kills and added 14 digs, while Scott added 11 kills and 11 digs to help Montana State (7-9, 3-2) outhit Eastern Washington (5-8, 1-4) .242 to .168.
“It was a pin heavy offense, and our outside hitters did a really nice job,” said MSU head coach Daniel Jones. “We still need to tidy things up on our side of the net, and we need to do a better job with our serve-receive when we face Idaho in Saturday night.”
MSU got out to a big start, taking a 17-9 lead in the opening set, before the Eagles settled in with a 15-7 stretch to even the contest at 24-all. The Bobcats closed out the set on back-to-back kills by Avery Turnage and Scott.
The Bobcats cruised to the second set win, outhitting EWU .364 to .216. Thomsen led MSU with eight kills and a .467 attack mark in the frame.
Looking to close out the match in three sets, Montana State held a 17-14 advantage in the third stanza following a Turnage kill, but the Eagles rallied with a 5-1 run, taking a 19-18 lead. The set was tied three times, before a Jordan Radick kill gave the Bobcats a 22-21 advantage. EWU closed out the game with four consecutive points to force a fourth set.
Freshman Audrey Hofer gave MSU an 18-12 cushion midway through the fourth set with a kill, but once again, Eastern Washington closed the gap pulling within 22-20 down the stretch. The Bobcats closed out the match with kills by Turnage and Scott.
Turnage finished with eight kills and a .389 attack mark. Thomsen completed one of her best all-around performances of the season with a career-matching five blocks and two aces, while hitting .268. Scott added a .250 attack mark, three aces and two blocks.
“Our outsides did a nice job reaching their goals,” Jones stated. “Our middles were able to hold their middles, which allowed us to take advantage on the outside.”
Defensively, Maci Abshier also hit double-digit digs with 13 saves, and Emma Pence led all players with seven blocks.
“EWU ran a fast offense, probably the fastest we’ve seen this season,” Jones said. “It took us a while to settle in and get accustomed to it, but once we got dialed in, I thought we did a nice job with our block in the final three sets. I’m proud of the way our kids stayed with the game plan, until we were able to get settled.”
MSU will play at Idaho on Saturday night in Moscow.