Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 03:10
Jaisee Starr | The Mirror
UNC junior outside hitter Alyssa Wilson swings for a kill at the net during Saturday’s loss to Idaho State.
The UNC volleyball team fell to Idaho State with a sweep Saturday at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
The University of Northern Colorado (16-8, 9-5 Big Sky) needed this win in order to be bumped up in the standings for second place, but now Idaho State (18-5, 12-2) has secured a spot in Big Sky Conference Championship tournament because of its win against UNC.
The Bengals’ offense is what brought them to the win over the Bears, hitting a .325 attack percentage, which resulted in the sweep (25-23, 25-21, 25-23).
It was in those last few points of each set that UNC was able to come close to winning. Whenever the Bears had the lead, the Bengals came right back up to eventually win the set. UNC head coach Lyndsey Oates recognized those lead changes and how Idaho State was able to come back.
“We definitely had a three or four point lead through most of that first game, and they went on one run that got us in serve-receive where we were struggling a little bit passing-wise,” Oates said. “That caught them right back up, and then it was a point-for-point game, and we just didn’t execute at the end.”
UNC senior outside hitter Kelley Arnold played strong in the match, recording 15 kills and a .367 attack percentage. Arnold said there was a lot of energy on the court throughout the match.
“Even though we lost, it still felt like almost like we won when we got a huge point,” Arnold said. “It was so much energy out there and so much fun and love from every teammate — whether I got the kill and someone was cheering for me or if someone else got the kill and I was cheering for them.”
Bears sophomore middle blocker Andrea Spaustat also had a strong match against the Bengals, tallying nine kills and a .533 attack percentage. During each set, there was a great amount of momentum from both teams, which resulted in long rallies throughout the match.
“We just did all-out defense and when we practice it in practice, that really fires our team up,” Spaustat said. “We just came together after the play was over and just talked to each other in the huddles, which also helped keep us energized.”
Oates said she was pleased with how UNC played against Idaho State. With less than a month left until the conference tournament, Oates talked about preparing for that to try to clinch a spot in the postseason tournament her team hosts this year.
“I like how we played tonight,” Oates said. “Idaho State played very well, and we’re not at the level yet, but we will be Thanksgiving weekend if we can make the tournament, and we will see this team again, chances are. I like where we are headed, and I like how we played tonight — and obviously disappointed with the outcome, but I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
The next match for the Bears will be 8 p.m. Thursday at Sacramento State. The Bears will return home for a match against North Dakota at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
Big Sky Conference Standings: (October 29)