CHENEY, Wash. — For the second time in eight days, Montana was on the losing end of a five-set heartbreaker. The Grizzlies lost to Eastern Washington on Sunday afternoon, 25-14, 12-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-7.
After dropping the first set, Montana put together its best set of the season, hitting .435 and winning 25-12. The Grizzlies then won the third set, 25-21, and were on their way toward a four-set win, taking a 16-14 lead in Set 4.
Eastern Washington, however, scored the next six points to set up a 25-22 win in the fourth set, and carried that momentum over to the fifth set, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and never trailing.
"When you're down by multiple points in the fifth set, because it's so short, it feels even more drastic," UM coach Allison Lawrence said. "They proved in the fifth set that they were comfortable in their own gym and they felt in control."
Freshman Sophia Meyers led Montana on offense with 11 kills, followed by sophomore Amethyst Harper, with 10. Both attackers recorded double-doubles, totaling 12 and 13 digs, respectively.
In addition to Meyers' kills, the freshman also served up four aces. As a team, Montana totaled 12 service aces, a figure that has been reached just one other time in the past 12 seasons. Five different Grizzlies had an ace, led by four apiece for Meyers and sophomore outside hitter Elsa Godwin. Freshman libero Sarah Ashley added two, while freshman setter Carly Anderson and sophomore defensive specialist Kelsey Nestegard each recorded one.
Anderson nearly had her first career double-double with 39 assists and a career-high nine digs, plus four kills.
As a team, Montana out-dug and out-blocked Eastern Washington, but the Eagles were able to deliver nine more kills than Montana.
Montana will now try to clean up a few of its inefficiencies before the two teams meet again Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.
"We need to rest tonight in a way that allows us to replicate the same level of energy as today, but also learn what went wrong in key moments," Lawrence said. "I think we're ready for a breakout moment in the second match."
—UM sports information