Montana State takes first 2021 "Brawl of the Wild" matchup over Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Montana State Bobcats notched a win over their archrivals to open Big Sky Conference play, taking down Montana 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) on Tuesday night at Dahlberg Arena.

Montana State relied on a big performance from true freshman and Bozeman native Jordan Radick, who tied for the team lead with 8 kills, while hitting at a .467 rate. Tuesday marked the fourth straight win for the Bobcats in Missoula, and their seventh win in the last nine matchups.

Montana hit .052 as a team, its lowest team hitting percentage since September 2019, per U-M Athletics. None of the Grizzlies' eight attackers hit better than .125, and none had more than six kills.

Their best opportunity came in the second set, when Montana jumped out to a 5-1 advantage and led 7-3 moments later.

MSU, though, used a 9-0 scoring run to take a 12-7 lead it would never let go of. Still, Montana made the set interesting, using a 3-0 run to force a Bobcats timeout at 21-18, and then getting within a point at 24-23, before falling on the next point.

Both teams will travel to Northern Colorado for their next matches. The Griz will tangle with the Bears at 6 p.m. MT on Thursday, while the Cats battle at 7 p.m. on Saturday.