Vikings get their first Big Sky win

Portland State volleyball will have a chance to improve its overall season record tonight when it takes on crosstown rival University of Portland at the Peter W. Stott Center.

The match is one of the last two non -Big Sky contests left this season and begins a five-game home stand that ends Nov. 1 against Weber State. The stand will provide PSU with a chance to build on the success it had on its weekend road trip to Montana.

The Vikings grabbed their first Big Sky win of the season over the weekend, finally snapping a 0-6 skid that began in the preseason. The win came against the Montana Grizzlies on Friday night in a four-game match.

PSU took the first game of the match, 30-28. The team registered 19 kills with only three errors and a .444 hitting percentage. The Viks also took the second match, 30 – 25, with 17 kills, five errors and a .308 percentage.

After the break, PSU lost the third game 28-30. The team scored one more kill than the Grizzlies and out-hit them .243 to .216. Both teams had seven errors. But despite the Grizzlies pushing the match to four games, the Vikings came back on strong in the final game to win 30-23.

In total, PSU hit .338 and had 10 team blocks. The Viks kept their errors down, committing 11 less than the Grizzlies, and had stellar performances from many players, confirming coach Mozzochi’s claims that the only way for this program to win is through multiple contributions from his players.

Sarah Leenders claimed a double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs. Richell Wilson hit .367 with 22 kills in the match, and also had eight digs. Jessica Vanzant also made a major contribution, hitting .440 with 14 kills and two solo blocks.

Stephanie Lavigne had a double-double, with 46 assists and 11 digs. Kristin Ratzlaff led the Viks in digs with 16.

In the second match of the road trip, the Vikings took on the Montana State Bobcats. Unfortunately, the Vikings weren’t able to carry the momentum from Missoula to Bozeman.

PSU lost the first two games of the match, 21-30 and 18-30. The team registered 14 kills and a .121 hitting percentage in the first game, but only eight kills and a .114 percentage in the second.

After the break, the Vikings took the third game 30-27. They rang up 18 kills and a .286 percentage. But they lost the fourth game 19-30, with 12 kills and a .083 hitting percentage.

The Viks were lead offensively by Wilson, who had 17 kills, a .213 average and nine digs. Leenders also made a significant contribution to the offense with 12 kills and eight digs. Lavigne had 44 assists in the match and seven digs.

Kathy Garbacz played all four games and had 11 kills and a .308 average. And contributing on defense was Ratzlaff with 18 digs.

Once again, errors killed the Viks. They committed 20 more than the Bobcats. As a team, PSU hit only .109 and had 10 less kills than Montana State. As of the end of the road trip, the Vikings are 1-7 in Big Sky matches.