BUTTE – It had been 38 days since the No. 19 The Montana Tech Orediggers volleyball team had hosted a game on Kelvin Sampson Court.
On Wednesday evening, the Orediggers hosted the Carroll College Fighting Saints in a Frontier Conference matchup at HPER Center in Butte.
It was a matchup that was back and forth over the course of the contest.
When the dust settled on the court, Tech outlasted Carroll in five games.
The scores were 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, 19-25, and 15-11.
In the opening game, Carroll jumped out to a seven-point lead, 14-7. Hannah Schweikert set up kills by Maddie Bowles, Elizabeth Heuiser, and Katherine McEuen during the early stages of the match.
The Orediggers battled back with a 14-7 stretch of their own to tie the game at 21-21. McKenna Kaelber set Kinnidi Willmore, Maureen Jessop, and Taylor Henley on kills to bring Tech back into the game.
Carroll scored four of the last five points in the game to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Henley’s kill to start the second game set the Orediggers on an opening 5-1 run.
The Saints chipped away to within a point before a pair of blocks by Olivia LaBeau extended Tech’s lead.
The Orediggers ended the second game on an 11-6 clip to tie the match at a game apiece.
In the third game, Carroll scored the first three points of the game before Henley’s kill put the Orediggers on the board.
The Saints attempted to pull away with strong hitting during the latter stretch of the game. However, Tech recovered to take the third game by four points and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Carroll bounced back in the fourth game, as they led the majority of the set. The Saints logged 14 kills in the game to win the game by six points and tie the match at 2-2.
In the fifth and deciding game, Tech grabbed a 2-0 advantage before a block by Boles put the Saints on the board.
Both teams scratched and clawed for each point, with Tech’s Olivia Cady (26 digs) and Carroll’s Julia Carr (40 digs) saving multiple points.
The front lines on each side were delivering thunderous kills, attacks, and point-earning blocks. When the teams shifted sides of the court, the Orediggers led 8-5.
Carroll fought back from three points down to tie the game at 9-9.
The teams went point-for-point in the latter stretch of the match, with the Orediggers having outscored the Saints late, 6-2.
Tech had four players in double-digit digs with Cady, Jessop (ten), Sarah Hopcroft (17) and Emma Carvo (13).
Jessop also registered 14 kills and Willmore added ten. Kaelber had 50 assists for Tech.
Heuiser had 21 kills and McEuen added 14 for Carroll. The Saints also received 54 assists and 10 digs from Schweikert.
Carroll will host Rocky Mountain College in Helena on Friday night. Tech hosts Rocky Mountain College at HPER on Saturday at 6 pm