Idaho Begins Big Sky Play With Home Match Against Montana State

  0 volleymob | September 20th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Press Release courtesy of Idaho Athletics.

The Vandals (5-6) open the 2017 Big Sky season with its first match of the season on Thursday. The Vandals return to Memorial Gym against Montana State (4-5), having played the previous 11 matches on the road.

Idaho will continue at home on Saturday against Montana (5-8).

The Vandals swept the season series last year against the Bobcats. Idaho has won the last eight straight matches with Montana State, dating back to 2010.

Idaho has won 10 of the last 11 matches with Montana under Coach Buchanan. The Vandals are perfect (5-0) at home against the Lady Griz since 2000.

Quotable: “Our biggest goal was can we get better every week and can we not settle for where we are at? Even after we swept the Grand Canyon Tournament the girls were like ‘we want more.’ It was a great weekend for us but we want a lot more from our season. The biggest thing for us is we can’t have it all in the beginning. You have to be able to continue to rise and grow as a team. I think we are still seeing growth and I think we are going to continue to see that for a while. That is going to put us in a great position in the end of the season.” – Head coach Debbie Buchanan.

Fast Facts
•    Ranked 26th in the NCAA with 2.70 blocks per set
•    Ranked 44th in the NCAA (1st Big Sky) with 1.62 aces per set
•    Idaho ranks 30th in strength of schedule with past opponents having a .610 win percent
•    Three consecutive sweeps at the GCU Tournament, marking the first time Idaho has matched the feat since a streak of four in 2014
•    1-0 in 5-set matches this season. Played eight 5-set matches in 2016, the most since 2012 (10)

TOP GUNS: Idaho is second the Big Sky in hitting percentage with a .232 mark
NO PRESSURE: The Vandals came within points of taking No. 9 Kansas to five sets. Idaho outhit the Jayhawks, .272-.252 percent and outblocked them 10-6
NETMINDERS: The Vandals are second in the conference (26th NCAA) with 2.70 blocks per set after finishing 2016 ranked 10th (1.85)
BLOCK GAME: Idaho used 16.0 team blocks in its 3-0 win over SJSU. It was the most blocks by a Vandal team since 19.0 at Portland State in 2014
RISE UP: The Vandals totaled 32 total blocks at the Santa Clara/San Jose State Tournament,outblocking opponents 32-21.

ABOUT Montana State: The Bobcats lost three straight matches to close their non-conference season. MSU won two sets in the UC Irvine/Long Beach State Classic finale against Long Beach State. Kiana Black totaled 13 kills and a .458 hitting percentage against the 49ers. Sydney Mathison finished with a double-double (38 ast., 10 digs) in the losing effort. Previously, the Bobcats had won four straight, including three matches at the Utah State Tournament. MSU and Idaho shared Gonzaga as a common opponent. The Bobcats beat the Zags in five sets. Montana State is ranked in the Big Sky’s top five in blocks (5th, 2.32/set) and aces (3rd, 1.46/set). All-Time Series: Idaho, 35-9; Last Meeting: Idaho, W, 3-2

ABOUT Montana: The Lady Griz have five wins this season, matching all of last seasons total. Montana enters Big Sky play losers of its last four matches. Montana is 0-3 against common opponents, falling to Kansas and San Jose State in three sets and Illinois-Chicago in four sets. Mykaela Hammer ranks fourth in the conference with 3.53 kills per set. Shannon Casale enters the weekend second in the conference with 4.46 digs per set. All-Time Series: Idaho, 31-25; Last Meeting: Idaho, W, 3-0

FOLLOW: Links to the live stats can be found All Big Sky matches are streamed online or on Pluto TV (Ch. 231). Fans can also follow along live on Twitter, @IdahoVolleyball.

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