Montana's abbreviated volleyball season came to a close on Monday night with a home loss to Sacramento State, 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15.
After the first two sets saw 20 ties and tight scores throughout, Sacramento State ran away with the third and fourth sets.
Montana (2-14) held a 9-6 lead in the third set before a 7-0 run for the Hornets flipped the momentum and led to a 25-16 Hornets victory. The two sides were tied at 9-9 in the fourth set, but Sacramento State scored 10 of the next 11 points, including eight in a row at one point, to open up a commanding 19-10 advantage.
After hitting .238 through the first two sets, Montana unraveled over the final two frames with 13 kills compared to 18 errors.
"Sacramento State does such a good job at the service line, and we got rattled a little passing, and had to set more pin to pin, out of system," UM coach Allison Lawrence said of the change. "That forced our hitters to swing even more aggressively, in even worse situations, and it kind of compiled."
As a team, Montana was led by freshman Sophia Meyers, who tied a career high with 18 kills. Junior libero Sarina Moreno totaled a season-high 25 digs – including 10 in the first set alone – as Montana once again out-dug Sacramento State, a team that ranks second in the Big Sky Conference for the category. In five matches after returning from an ankle injury, Moreno averaged 4.48 digs per set.
Senior middle blocker Peyten Boutwell had four blocks in addition to her five kills, while freshman setter Carly Anderson added four blocks, eight digs, three kills and a service ace to her 36 assists.
The loss ended a challenging spring season for the Grizzlies, who earned victories over Idaho State and Idaho but missed the Big Sky Conference tournament after qualifying in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019.