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Montana State volleyball falls in 4 sets to Fresno State in final match before Big Sky slate

Montana State volleyball falls in 4 sets to Fresno State in final match before Big Sky slate

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SEATTLE — Fresno State’s Desiree Sukhov recorded a triple-double with 14 kills, 10 aces and 13 digs to lift the Bulldogs 25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 25-13 victory over Montana State on Friday afternoon in Alaska Airlines Arena.

Sukhov, a 5-foot-11 senior outside hitter, posted a career-high from behind the service line, rendering Montana State (4-7) vulnerable in the passing line and getting Fresno State (4-4) out to big advantages in sets one, two and four. In set three, MSU tallied a 65% to 60% side-out margin, winning its only frame as Hannah Scott produced three kills down the stretch for the win.

“Obviously, we had a break-down in serve-receive,” MSU head coach Daniel Jones said. “Now, we have to see what our identity is when it comes to our response. We’ll watch the video, and see it in its ugliness, and we’ll use it as a building block for things we need to improve upon.”

Avery Turnage paced the Bobcats with a career-high 11 kills and three blocks. Scott and Kira Thomsen each finished with nine kills. Allie Lynch and Audrey Hofer dished out 17 and 15 assists.

Defensively, freshman Maci Abshier recorded a match-high 15 digs. Emma Pence led the Bobcats at the net with five blocks.

Montana State will open Big Sky Conference play at Montana on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Dahlberg Arena as the two rivals play for the Main Line Trophy. The Bobcats defeated the Griz in both matches during spring play and have captured four of the last five meetings.

“It’s conference season, and starting with Cat-Griz, should bring out the best in both teams,” Jones said. “Learning about ourselves is an on-going process, but we know from non-conference play that we can be really good when we choose to be.”

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