GREELEY, Colo. — Montana's return to the Big Sky Conference volleyball tournament was a short one.
Second-seeded Idaho handed the seventh-seeded Griz a 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 defeat Thursday at tournament host Northern Colorado.
The Griz, playing in the postseason for the first time since 2014, finished the season at 10-21 overall. Idaho, which will face the winner of Thursday's late match between Weber State and Northern Colorado in Friday's semifinals, improved to 22-9 overall.
Mykaela Hammer, named to the league's all-conference first team earlier this week, did what she could to keep the Griz alive. She finished with 16 kills on .353 hitting. Cassie Laramee chipped in six kills — on .263 hitting — and 10 digs, but it wasn't enough.
Sarah Sharp led the Vandals at the net with 12 kills with just one error. Idaho hit .222 as a team, compared to .136 for the Griz. Kaela Straw added eight kills and Reece Carman had seven.
Sarina Moreno contributed 16 digs for the Griz and Ashley Watkins dished out 31 assists.
"Being in the tournament for the first time in a long time, it's kind of hard to put into words," Montana's second-year coach Allison Lawrence said before the tournament began. "I'm incredibly proud of the kids for pulling through and really responding to every situation we were in."
In the first-two matches of the tournament, No. 1 Northern Arizona and No. 5 Idaho State advanced to the semifinals.
Idaho State faced off against No. 4 Sacramento State. The Hornets powered past the Bengals in the first set, 25-20. After regrouping, the Bengals won three straight sets, 27-25, 25-12, 25-15 to win, 3-1.
Abby Garrity, the co-Big Sky MVP, led Idaho State with a double-double of 14 kills and 12 digs. Brooke Pehrson added 11 kills, while Taylor Meeks had an impressive eight blocked shots.
The top-seeded Lumberjacks defeated No. 8 Montana State in three straight sets, 25-21, 25-13, 25-16. It was the third win over the Bobcats this season and the 11th consecutive win for the Lumberjacks.
The first set was all tied up at 20-20 before four attack errors by MSU gave NAU the points they needed down the stretch to take the set.
NAU produced 20 kills in the second set and 14 in the third to average .398 over the course of the three sets, while holding the Bobcats to .071.
Heaven Harris (13) and Abby Akin (11) led the Lumberjacks in kills, both hitting over .500. Hannah Scott had eight kills for Montana State and Carin Lehto had 23 assists and eight digs.
Idaho State and Northern Arizona face off in the semifinals Friday at 4:35 p.m. The match will air on Eleven Sports, Pluto TV and WatchBigSky.com.