Montana State makes its final regular season road trip of the season when it faces Idaho State, Thursday, Nov. 9 in Pocatello (Reed Gym) at 7 p.m. The Bobcats close out the weekend at Weber State, Saturday, Nov. 11 in Ogden, Utah (Swenson Gym) at 6 p.m.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK:
With its win over Idaho State on Sept. 23, the Cats closed the all-time series in favor of ISU to 41-40. The series began between the two Big Sky rivals on Sept. 23, 1978.
THE WEEK THAT WAS:
Five Montana State players reached double-digit digs as MSU used a strong defensive performance en route to a 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday night in Shroyer Gym. Montana State held an 80-78 advantage in digs as Jourdain Kamps paced MSU with a career-high 21 digs, while Shayla Webber, Kira Thomsen, and Nellie Stevenson each tallied 15, and Lauren Lindseth 10. Thomsen led MSU with 22 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Madilyn Siebler added a career-high 16 kills. Kamps finished with eight kills, while Jordan Radick posted six kills with a .500 attack mark. For the match, MSU out-hit the Lumberjacks .213 to .147 and held advantages in kills (59-55) and blocks (10-6). At the net, Radick and Kamps led all players with six blocks apiece. Thomsen set the all-time MSU career kills record with her first swing of the match but the rest of the contest belonged to Northern Colorado as the Bears posted a 22-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-11 win over the Bobcats on Thursday night. UNC out hit Montana State .435 to .026 and held sizeable advantages in kills (59-29) and digs (55-30) over the four sets.
Northern Colorado (112) is the highest ranked Big Sky school in the most recent RPI listing. The Bears are followed by Weber State (135), Sacramento State (144), Montana State (187), Portland State (191), Montana (206), Northern Arizona (250), Idaho State (254), Eastern Washington (276), and Idaho (332).
SIMPLY THE BEST:
Kira Thomsen’s first kill against Northern Colorado last Thursday night was a hard swing that deflected off the block out-of-bounds. It gave the Parker, Colo., product 1,452 career kills and the all-time MSU career kills record, moving her ahead of Diane Terrall who had held the record since 1981.
Idaho State is 8-15 overall and 6-6 in Big Sky Conference play. Over the past month the Bengals have been one of the hottest teams in the Big Sky rattling off a 5-2 record since Oct. 12. Earlier this season, MSU handed ISU 25-18, 25-20, 25-15 setback in Shroyer Gym. The Bobcats were led in the win by Camryn Greenwald with nine kills and five blocks. As a team, Montana State outhit the Bengals .320 to .170. Idaho State was led by Jamie Streit and Sadie Bluth with nine kills apiece. On the season, the Bengals have been led by Streit and Bluth who average 3.31 and 2.70 kills per set, respectively. Weber State (16-7, 9-3) plays Montana on Thursday before meeting the Bobcats on Saturday.
Montana State senior Kira Thomsen ranks first in Montana State history with 4,299 total attacks since her freshman season in 2019. Former Ranchester, Wyo., native Stephanie Laya held the old mark of 3,774 swings from 1997-2000. Thomsen’s 4,299 total attacks also ranks 12th in Big Sky history. Lynda Johnson of Portland State ranks No. 1 with 5,183.
Montana State is fourth in the Big Sky Conference, averaging 1.63 aces per set. The number ranks 110th in the nation. Individually, Kira Thomsen is third in the league averaging .42 aces per set, which ranks 83rd nationally.
PACKING THE PLACE:
Montana State finished 39th in the nation averaging 1,292 fans per game, last fall. On Sept. 30, 2022, Montana State set a Big Sky Conference and State of Montana record when 6,457 fans jammed Worthington Arena. MSU’s average attendance was higher than notable programs such as UCLA, LSU, and Notre Dame. After seeing a season-high 4,187 fans in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Friday night, the Bobcats are averaging 1,174 fans, which ranks 62nd in the nation and ahead of notable programs like LSU, Oklahoma, Boise State, Oregon State and Duke.
AMONG THE NATION’S ELITE:
Bobcat senior outside hitter Kira Thomsen ranks first in the Big Sky Conference in attacks, averaging 11.65 swings per set. That number also ranks 12th in the nation. In addition, the product of Parker, Colorado is first in the Big Sky averaging 4.05 kills per set, which is the 32nd best average in the country. Thomen’s 4.60 points per set are tops in the Big Sky and rank 36th overall.
AMONG THE NATION’S ELITE x2:
As a unit, the Bobcats are third in the Big Sky averaging 36.01 swings per set, which ranks 54th in the nation.
Senior outside hitter Kira Thomsen, a three-time all-Big Sky Conference selection, currently leads the league in kills per set (4.05) and points (4.60). Thomsen’s 2.49 digs per set is second on the Bobcat squad, while her .216 attack mark ranks third. This season, Thomsen has been in double-digit kills in 19 of 22 matches, including a season-high 28 kills against St. Thomas (MN). She had a 19-match streak of double-figure kills dating back to Oct. 22, 2022, snapped after recording four against Cal on Sept. 15. Last season, Thomsen recorded a career-high 32 kills in MSU’s 3-2 win over Portland State. Her 1,486 career kills rank first on MSU’s all-time kills chart. Thomsen’s 4,299 total career attacks is the most all-time. Thomsen went over the 1,000-career digs mark against Nevada making her the tenth member of MSU’s 1,000-Dig Club. She is now just one of four players in Montana State history to record 1,000 kills/digs – joining Meggie Malyurek, Stephanie Laya, and Mindy Nowak. On Nov. 18, 2022, Thomsen was named the GameChanger/AVCA Division National Player of the Week (the first in MSU history) after averaging 6.0 kills and 6.4 points per set as MSU knocked off Portland State and Sacramento State. Last week, she totaled 35 kills, a .112 attack mark, two service aces, and 24 digs as MSU split with Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona.
GOTTA DIG IT:
MSU libero Lauren Lindseth ranks seventh in the Big Sky averaging 3.89 saves per game. Last week she totaled 18 (2.3) saves per set. On Aug. 31, Lindseth recorded a career-high 34 digs against St. Thomas (MN). She has recorded 18 matches in double-digit digs this fall. Last season, Lindseth was in double-digit digs in 22 matches, including a streak of 13 consecutive matches in double-figures. In addition, she went over the 20-dig plateau on nine occasions. Her 475 digs last fall ranks fifth in a single season at MSU. Lindseth earned All-Big Sky Tourney honors after averaging 3.56 digs in two matches, which included 24 digs in MSU’s quarterfinal upset over Weber State.
THE MENACE FROM ENNIS:
Jourdain (Klein) Kamps is another Bobcat enjoying an outstanding season to date. She is averaging 2.70 kills per set, while hitting a team-best .266 from the floor. In addition, she is averaging 1.76 digs and 1.00 blocks per contest and has chipped in 14 aces. The product of Ennis, Mont., has been in double-figure kills in 14 of 22 matches, including a season-best 18 kills at Northern Arizona. Last week against Northern Arizona she recorded eight kills, a .259 attack mark, one assist, one ace, a career-high 21 digs and six blocks. Kamps moved into sixth on MSU’s all-time block assists chart two weeks ago with 320, while her 336 total career blocks rank eighth all-time. Kamps was a Second Team All-Big Sky pick in the spring of 2021 after averaging 1.49 kills and .97 blocks per set in the shortened 15-match season. Last year, she totaled 242 kills (1.98 kps). Kamps recorded a career-high 23 kills at Eastern Washington and had six matches hitting .300 or better. Kamps also posted 100 blocks, averaging .82 per contest.
Sophomore libero Lauren Lindseth is part of Bobcat history as one-half of the first mother/daughter duo to play volleyball at MSU. Lindseth’s mother – Kelly Modrow (MOD-row) – played at MSU from 1992-1996. The native of Minnetonka, Minn., (Hopkins HS) played in 110 matches and 359 sets. In all, Modrow’s career totals include: 889 kills, 733 digs, 128 blocks and 87 service aces wearing the No. 2 jersey, as well.
YOU’RE KILLIN’ ME SMALLS:
As a team, the Cats rank fourth in the Big Sky averaging 12.80 kps. Sacramento State leads the league averaging 13.20 kps.
HARD BLOCK CAFE`:
Montana State averaged 15 blocks in its matches with Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona, last week. Jourdain Kamps led the way with eight total blocks. On the season, Jordan Radick and Jourdain Kamps rank first and second, respectively on the team, averaging 1.13 and 1.00 blocks per set. As a team, the Bobcats rank fourth in the Big Sky Conference averaging 2.16 blocks per set.
LENDING A HAND:
Junior college transfer Nellie Stevenson is averaging 8.12 assists per set, which is fourth in the Big Sky. Last week, the transfer from Feather River (CA) College dished out a season-best 51 assists in MSU’s win over Northern Arizona. Junior Audrey Hofer played in five sets last week and notched seven assists. As a team, the Bobcat setters rank third in the Big Sky dishing out 11.83 aps.
Sophomore middle blocker Jordan Radick paces the Cats at the net averaging 1.13 blocks per set.
A PARTING NOTE:
Kira Thomsen’s 1,486 career kills rank 11th all-time on the Big Sky Conference kills’ chart.