Volleyball team sweeps road trip

Get out the brooms because for the second weekend in a row the Portland State volleyball team swept up the competition. The Viking’s reeled off another weekend of superb volleyball, beating Big Sky Conference foes Montana and Montana State. Most notable is the fact that the sweep transpired thousands of miles from the friendly confines of the Stott Center.


The Viks continued their impressive play of late by beating Montana in three successive games on Friday night and Montana State in the fifth and deciding frame late Saturday, improving their overall record to 14-5 and 4-2 in the conference. These wins should prove to be significant in the Vik’s pursuit for the conference title, especially since Saturday’s victory over the Bobcats propelled them into a second-place tie with reigning Big Sky champion the Eastern Washington.


The Vikings came into the weekend with momentum from last weekend’s victories over conference teams Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. This was apparent on Friday night when they were victorious over Montana in a three game match. Scoring was extremely close in each frame, 30-24, 30-28 and 30-28, though the Viks persevered in each and edged the Grizzlies for a win in just three games.


“A sweep on the road is not easy in the Big Sky Conference,” head coach Jeff Mozzochi said. “Montana and Montana State are two very good teams. Back-to-back wins in this conference are very difficult. I am very proud of the team.”


Viking notables for Friday’s game include Jessica Brodie, who played a well-rounded contest with a game-high 16 kills, 11 digs and .314 hitting percentage. Jessica Vanzant added 14 kills and accumulated a hitting percentage of .333 and Stephanie Lavigne tallied 49 assists, also a game high.


In the weekend’s second match against MSU the Vikings won the first two games 30-25, 30-22 and the fifth game 15-13. With the win the Vikings completed their second five-game victory in as many weeks.


“This was the first time we had ever beat Montana State in the Big Sky,” Mozzochi said. “I am very happy with the way the team bounced back and won the fifth game against Montana State on the road. It was also a very difficult environment to win in because of their home winning streak which had just been snapped by Eastern Washington a few days earlier.”


Brodie made her remarkable but usual contribution of 18 kills, Lavigne had a superb match compiling 61 assists and Michelle Robertson concluded the game with a hitting percentage of .389.


When asked about PSU’s prospect of a conference title Mozzochi said, “It is a little too early. In the conference things can change very quickly because the teams are so evenly matched. There are just too many competitive teams.”


Portland State will continue its charge for the Big Sky regular season title at the Stott Center this Saturday in a pivotal match against Eastern Washington.