Montana Western's rally falls short against the Skylights. (read more)
The Bulldog defense looks to get a big third-down stop on Saturday afternoon. (read more)
Callie Hanson earns Frontier recognition
Callie Hanson, a 5-foot-7 junior setter from Spokane, Wash. was named the Frontier Conference Setter of the Week following her performances last week.
Despite losing in three sets to Lewis-Clark State College and in five sets to Montana State-Northern, Hanson turned out two exceptional performances. She recorded 79 assists and 28 digs in two games, an average of 9.88 assists and 3.5 digs per set.
Hanson transferred to Montana Western after spending her first two seasons at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Wash.
Bulldog rodeo finishes fall rodeo season
DILLON, Mont., October 5th, 2015 – The University of Montana Western rodeo teams wrapped up their Fall rodeo season at home on a wet, cold and disappointing weekend.
The Montana Western men entered the weekend sitting atop the Big Sky Region, with a team total of 2,135.5 points and a small lead over second place Montana State University. By the end of the three-day rodeo, Montana State had taken over the top-spot in the Big Sky region and the Bulldogs had dropped to second in the region after finishing in third place, 20 points behind second place Miles City Community College.
For the women, they entered the weekend sitting second in the Big Sky Region, 600 points behind Montana State. After the Bulldogs were unable to score a single point in the rodeo, the Bobcat rodeo team stretched their lead to more than 1,200 points. Despite the setback, Montana Western still sits in second place, 400 points ahead of the University of Great Falls, who placed second in the weekends’ rodeo.
Bull rider Ruger Piva finished the Fall rodeo season as strong as he started it, by winning the average and scoring 170 points, adding to his Big Sky Region lead. Piva was the only competitor to have two qualifying rides on the weekend.
Tristan Hanser scored 160 team points and finished second in bareback, keeping pace with Big Sky leader Wyatt Bloom from Montana State. Hansen is also in second place in the region.
Dillon, Mont. native Holden Garrison scored 50 team points in steer wrestling and moved himself into the fifth position of the region heading into the spring.
College National Finals Rodeo competitor Tyler Friend continued his strong season as he won the saddle bronc and is sitting third in the Big Sky, behind the leader and fellow Bulldog, Phil Shields.
Other notable performances from the weekend came from Carson Clements (4th in bareback), Dakota Munns (3rd in saddle bronc), Jake Worthen and Colin Moore (4th in team roping) and Cleve Spang (3rd in bull riding).
Despite not scoring any points in the final fall rodeo, a few Montana Western women remain towards the top of their respective events in the Big Sky Region for the second place Bulldogs; Connlee Gray (3rd in barrels and 11th in breakaway), Darby Yaeger (3rd in breakaway and 11th in goat tying) and Tess Turk (4th in goat tying).
Bulldog volleyball drops a heartbreaker to Montana State-Northern
DILLON, Mont., October 2nd, 2015 – The University of Montana Western volleyball team fell to the Skylights of Montana State-Northern in a hard-fought come from behind five-set loss on Friday night.
The Bulldogs (4-12 overall, 0-5 Frontier) dropped the first two sets of the evening, 19-25 and 22-25 before rallying to win the third and fourth set, 25-22 and 25-19. The fifth and final set proved to be as exciting as the rest of the match, as it ended in favor of the Skylights (9-12, 1-4) 18-16. (STATS)
Montana Western was led offensively by sophomore Tessa Miller’s 19 kills and .390 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs saw three other players record double digit kills in the match, Bailey Wilson (12), Joanna Avery (10) and Mikayla Ness (10). Avery had a very efficient evening as well, with a hitting percentage of .321. The Bulldogs totaled a .149 hitting percentage on the night, their highest in the last eight games.
Junior setter Callie Hanson had her best outing of the season as she dished out 52 assists on 66 team kills. Hanson found her teammates early and often in one-on-one situations, allowing the attackers to gain an advantage and put the ball away.
Freshman Sierra Cahill notched three service aces.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were paced by sophomore libero Brianna DeCock, who recorded 24 digs. DeCock was followed by Cady Siemion (22), Hanson (17), Dylan Fowler (14) and Wilson (13).
Senior Mikayla Ness came away with two solo blocks, Wilson led the team with six block assists, as Miller and Avery recorded five and four block assists respectively to go along with their one solo block each.
Siemion also contributed with seven kills and a service ace in the match.
The Skylights saw a great performance from Cassie Krueger who tallied 28 kills, 19 digs and two solo blocks. The offensive attack was led by setter Emily Russell who matched her Western counterpart with 52 assists, Russell also recorded 13 digs in the match.
Libero Jacy Vining collected 33 digs to slow down the attack of the Bulldogs. Cydney Auzenne totaled 22 digs in the match.
Montana State- Northern was able to out-hit the Bulldogs on the night, .202-.149, and have less hitting errors, 25-31, that proved to be the difference of this Frontier Conference battle.
Montana Western will return to action next weekend as they travel to Denver, Colo. for a non-conference tournament hosted by Johnson & Wales University.
Bulldog volleyball falls to Lewis-Clark State
DILLON, Mont., October 1st, 2015 – The University of Montana Western volleyball team fell to the Warriors of Lewis-Clark State College in three sets on Thursday night, the 23rd consecutive loss to LC State.
The Bulldogs (4-11 overall, 0-4 Frontier) started slow by falling into a 10-5 hole in the first set, and were never able to cut the deficit to less than four. Montana Western was unable to overcome a .290 hitting percentage from the Warriors (10-8, 3-2), dropping the first set 20-25.
The second set started slowly for the Bulldogs again, as Coach Lisa Griffiths called a timeout with her team trailing 5-1. Following the timeout, Montana Western scored 11 of the next 15 points to take a 12-9 lead, forcing the Warriors to take a timeout. A back-and-forth finish that saw four lead changes and seven ties finished with a score of 25-23 in favor of LC State. The Bulldogs had a hitting percentage of .152 in the second set, but could not keep pace with the .200 hit by Warriors.
In the third and final set, the Bulldogs struck first and took a 4-3 lead before the Warriors scored eight straight points behind the tough serving of Stephanie Ovitz to take an 11-4 advantage. The young Bulldogs could not overcome the seven-point deficit, which remained throughout as LC State took the third set 25-18.
Montana Western was led by freshman Kylie McCree’s eight kills, and followed by Bailey Wilson and Cady Siemion who each tallied seven. Callie Hanson dished out 26 assists on 33 kills for the Bulldogs as she took on full setting duties. Jami Flink and Siemion each had two service aces.
Sophomore Brianna DeCock making her first appearance as the libero this season gathered 13 digs, Hanson added 12, as Siemion tacked on eight more. Siemion and Kyla Paulsen each recorded solo block in the contest.
Montana Western will return to action at 7 p.m. on Friday as they will play host to Montana State-Northern (8-12, 0-4).
Bulldog volleyball looks to bounce back
After falling to (RV) Carroll College, (RV) Great Falls and No. 6 Rocky Mountain College to open their 2015 conference campaign, the Bulldogs will play hosts to Lewis-Clark State College and Montana State-Northern this week.
Montana Western has had a balanced offensive attack all season, they are led by freshman Cady Siemion’s 94 kills and 2.04 kills/set. Junior outside hitter Bailey Wilson is close on Siemion’s heels, recording 86 kills and 1.76 kills/set. Sophomore middle blockers Tessa Miller and Joanna Avery follow close behind Wilson, tallying 84 and 80 kills respectively.
Junior setter Callie Hanson leads the team in assists (262) and service aces (11). Hanson has split setting duties with freshman Sierra Cahill who has tallied 150 assists. Sophomore Brianna DeCock has served tough this season, notching 10 service aces.
Defensively, freshman Dylan Fowler has led the charge by collecting 235 digs and 4.8 digs/set, followed by Siemion with 131 digs and Hanson with 118. Miller and Avery have combined for 13 solo blocks and 68 block assists on the season to lead the Bulldogs at the net.
Montana Western will look to put an end to a couple of long winless streaks against familiar conference foes when they take the court on Thursday and Friday evening.
The Bulldogs (4-10 overall, 0-3 Frontier) will open with Lewis-Clark State (9-8, 2-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Straugh gymnasium. The Warriors split their conference match-ups last week by falling to Carroll College and defeating Great Falls, both games were decided in four sets.
LC State took both contests from Montana Western last season and have defeated the Bulldogs 22 consecutive times dating back to the 2005 season.
Just 24 hours later, the Bulldog spikers will return to the court to face the Montana State-Northern Skylights (8-12, 0-4) at 7 p.m. The Skylights fell to Montana Tech and Carroll College in straight sets last week, both matches were at home.
The Skylights took both match-ups from Montana Western a year ago and 16 consecutive since the 2006 season.
Mason garners Frontier Conference Honors
Seth Mason, a 6-foot-2, 200 lbs, junior kicker from Hamilton, Mont. was named the Frontier Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against No. 6 Carroll College.
In a 10-9 conference loss, Mason was 3 for 4 on field goals, scoring all of No. 16 Montana Western's points. Mason booted his season and career long on a 44-yarder in the second quarter.
Mason is now 4 out of 5 on the season and boasts a 49.8 yard punting average in five attempts this season.
Bulldog rodeo continues hot start
Glendive, Mont., September 28th, 2015 – The University of Montana Western rodeo team found large amounts of success in Glendive, Mont. at the Dawson County Community College rodeo this past weekend.
In the first rodeo of the weekend, the men’s team won the rodeo with a total of 640 points and the women’s team placed third with 210 points.
The men’s team was paced by 13 participants who scored points en route the victory and 640 team points.
Senior Phil Shields won the saddle bronc event and scored 121 points for the Bulldogs in the first competition.
Tristan Hansen, a sophomore from Victor, Idaho, won the bareback and earned 145 team points for his efforts.
Freshman Riley Savage scored 42 team points in bull riding, placing him 7th in the rodeo.
There were four duos of Bulldogs that scored points and placed in the team roping event. Holden Garrison and Jade Gardner led the way by finishing in second place, followed by Lawrence Lesofski and Shay Wacker in fourth, Tess Turk and Dane Andreasen placed fifth and Brady Gulde and Mike Vines finished in the sixth position.
Paul Partner and Cyris Robertson scored 34 and 29.9 points respectively to finish in the second and third positions in the tie down roping event. Robertson has scored points in the tie down roping in both events this season.
Steer wrestler Jake Worthen also scored for the Bulldogs by placing fourth with a time of 26 seconds flat.
The third place finish for the women’s team was led by Connlee Gray, Tess Turk and Darby Yaeger.
Team captain Tess Turk placed fifth in the team roping event with teammate Dane Andreasen, setting up a huge second rodeo for Tess.
Freshman Darby Yaeger finished tied for fourth place in goat tying with a time of 16.2 seconds, Yaeger has been another young bright spot the Bulldog rodeo team.
Connlee Gray continued her stellar season by winning barrel racing to pace the Bulldogs.
The second rodeo of the weekend saw the men’s team finish in second place, just 13 points behind Montana State University. The women’s team improved on their third place finish by finishing in second place, also right behind Montana State University.
For the men, Cree Minkoff finished first, Phil Shields placed third and fourth place belonged to Jeret Angell to claim three of the top four places in saddle bronc riding.
Tristan Hansen continued to score points in the bareback by finishing in second place and scoring 71 team points in the event. Carson Clements also scored finishing in the seventh position scoring 39 points on the day.
Bull rider Ruger Piva, got back on track with a ride of 73 to win the event and score 145 team points. The second time this season that the national champion wrestler has won bull riding.
Tie down ropers Jade Gardner and Paul Partner finished fourth and fifth respectively. Gardner tallied 88 team points on the day.
Holden Garrison also scored 88 team points with his fourth place finish in steer wrestling, with a time of 7.7 seconds.
Team ropers Skeeter Steed and Ty Schofield finished sixth with a time of 9.7 seconds.
On the women’s end of the second rodeo, team captain Tess Turk scored all 204.5 points to finish second in the all-around.
Turk finished second in goat tying with a time of 7.5 seconds to score 107 team points and she placed tied for third in breakaway roping with a time of 4.1 seconds, good enough to score 97.5 team points.
Jamie Riley also placed for the women’s team, although she did not score any team points, she finished fourth in barrel racing with a time of 17.59 seconds.
With the team performances this weekend the Montana Western men’s team has taken over first place in the Big Sky Region with 2,135 points, just 13 points ahead of second place Montana State.
The women continue to have firm control of the second position, where they trail Montana State, 1,864-1,151.5, but have a huge lead over third place University of Great Falls.
Both teams will look to continue their strong start to the fall rodeo season when they compete again on October 2nd-4th in Dillon, Mont. for their home rodeo. The rodeo will take place at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds.
Bulldog spikers drop two conference games
DILLON, Mont., September 28th, 2015 – The University of Montana Western volleyball team dropped two conference games over the week to (RV) University of Great Falls and No. 6 Rocky Mountain College.
The young Bulldogs fell in their home opener to the Argos of Great Falls in straight sets, 18-25, 17-25 and 19-25.
In the first set Montana Western fell behind early, 10-5, and were unable to get the score closer than five points throughout the rest of the first set, falling 18-25.
After the first set, the Bulldogs were able to calm themselves in front of a large crowd in the Straugh gymnasium. They battled their way to a 15-all tie in the second set behind a balanced offensive attack. Great Falls then went on to score 10 of the final 12 points in the set, winning 25-17.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair that saw 13 ties and four lead changes, again the Bulldogs tied the game at 15-all before giving up eight straight points and eventually falling, 19-25.
Montana Western was led by Kylie McCree’s seven kills in the match. Dylan Fowler recorded 15 digs, Callie Hanson dished out 11 assists and Tessa Miller added two solo blocks for the Bulldogs on the night.
Just 24 short hours later the Bulldogs would take on No. 6 Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. For the second time in as many days, Montana Western fell is three sets to a conference foe by a score of 11-25, 13-25 and 15-25.
Callie Hanson led the way with 14 assists on the evening, and five of those assists went to sophomore Joanna Avery who led the team with six kills. Hanson also recorded six digs and a solo block.
Fowler and Brianna DeCock combined for 18 digs and two service aces in the match.
The Bulldogs were unable to overcome 24 attacking errors and a .009 hitting percentage, where Rocky only committed seven hitting errors and hit a .300 on the night.
With the losses the Bulldogs dropped to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in conference play. They will return to the floor on October 1st and 2nd as they will play host to Lewis-Clark State College and Montana State-Northern. Both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
No. 6 Carroll College tops No. 16 Montana Western in defensive slugfest
DILLON, Mont., September 26th, 2015 – The University of Montana Western football team saw its seven-game win streak and four-game home winning streak come to an end on a hot and windy Saturday in Dillon, Mont. in front of a maximum capacity crowd at Vigilante Stadium. (STATS)
There was standing room only at Vigilante Stadium.
The No. 16 Bulldogs (3-1, 3-1) who have not lost since October 11th, 2014 to eventual NAIA National Champions Southern Oregon ran into the pre-season pick to win the Frontier Conference, the No. 6 Carroll College Fighting Saints (3-1, 3-1). In a defensive battle, Carroll emerged victorious with a final score of 10-9.
This game is one that refutes the saying, “numbers never lie,” because at times, they sure can be deceiving. The Bulldogs outgained the Saints 390 to 208 in total offense and outrushed the Saints 297 to 22. The second time in three games that Carroll has been held to less than 25 rushing yards. Montana Western also gained 23 first downs in the game, more than doubling Carroll’s 11.
Montana Western also won the time of possession battle by controlling the ball for 34 minutes and 43 seconds in comparison to Carroll’s 25 minutes and 17 seconds. Turnovers and penalties did not sway the numbers game either, as each team turned the ball over one time and was called for five penalties for approximately 50 yards.
The difference in the game was a 35-yard hook-up from Mac Roche to Connor Fohn with 10:44 remaining in the third quarter. The aerial assault put the Saints ahead for good, and ended the scoring in a knockdown, drag-out Frontier Conference football contest.
Roche’s touchdown pass was the only touchdown of the contest that saw four field goals split the uprights.
Junior Bulldog kick Seth Mason connected on three of his four attempts in the game, hitting from 44, 19 and 30-yards and missing from 38-yards.
Carroll’s junior kicker, Colter Hamel, connected on his only attempt, a 21-yarder in the third quarter.
In a game of this magnitude, the defensive stars for both teams came to play.
Two-time all-conference selection and second team All-American James Dowgin was a force from his free safety position in the Saints defensive backfield. Dowgin recorded 10 total tackles and came up with an interception of freshman quarterback J.D. Ferris.
On the opposing side of the field, Bulldog defensive end Reno Ward extended his conference leading four sacks by bringing down Roche for an eight-yard loss, moving him to five sacks on the season. Ward also moved himself to the top of the Frontier Conference leaderboard for tackles for loss, he collected 1.5 tackles for loss and now has eight on the season.
AJ Wilson continued his stellar senior campaign by adding in five total tackles, .5 tackles for loss and picked off his fourth pass of the season, which ranks first in the Frontier and fourth in the NAIA.
All-conference selection Joe Coker, added six tackles for the Bulldogs and now has 24 tackles on the season.
Dawson Osborne and Beaugh Meyer each recorded 12 total tackles in the game for the Saints. Meyer also tallied two tackles for loss for the Saints who had six in the game as a team.
Gus Somerfeld, who tallied nine total tackles, and Kyle Smith each had quarterback sacks for the Saints.
On a day where the defenses controlled and dominated the game, Bulldog running backs Sam Rutherford and Dylan Kramer combined for 255 rushing yards on 41 carries in the game. Rutherford picked up 185 yards on 29 carries and Kramer added 70 on 12 carries. Kramer also caught one pass for 19-yards to tally 89 total yards in the game.
Despite the job the Bulldog offensive line did, Carroll’s defense lived the bend-but-don’t-break style of play, by not allowing a touchdown in the game despite the Bulldogs reaching the Saints red-zone five times.
Carroll College senior quarterback Mac Roche tallied 176 passing yards and one touchdown that proved to be the game-winner early in the third quarter.
Dakota Wainwright delivers a hit on Mac Roche.
Roche’s touchdown pass went to freshman Connor Fohn, Fohn was a bright spot for Carroll’s offense as he caught 6 passes for 129 yards.
True freshman quarterback J.D. Ferris, had a long-day under center for Montana Western, completing just 9 of 26 attempts for 93 yards and one interception on the day. Ferris faced constant pressure from the Saints swarming defense, who regularly brought six players on a pass rush.
Montana Western started the day as the final remaining undefeated Frontier Conference team and finished the day in four-way tie atop the conference with Carroll, Southern Oregon and Montana Tech. All four teams are now 3-1 overall and in conference.
The Bulldogs will get a week off and try to get back on track for a match-up with No. 4 Southern Oregon on September 10th. The game will be played at Vigilante Stadium in Dillon, Mont., kick-off will be at 1 p.m.
Bulldog volleyball excited for home opener
DILLON, Mont., Sept. 22nd, 2015 – The University of Montana Western volleyball team will play their first home game of the 2015 season on Thursday, September 24th at 7 p.m., as they take on the visiting (RV) University of Great Falls Argonauts (13-5, 0-1).
The Bulldogs (4-8, 0-1) finally get to play at home after traveling more than 4,000 miles during the first month of the season. They traveled to La Grande, Ore., Lewiston, Idaho, Hastings, Neb, and Helena, Mont. to open the season.
“The girls are so excited to play at home in front of our home fans,” stated fifth-year head coach Lisa Griffiths, “the road has definitely tested us and prepared us for the competitive nature of the Frontier Conference, but we are going to make the most of our opportunity to play at home.”
Despite their record, the young Bulldogs competed with some of the top competition in the NAIA, including No. 4 Midland University (Neb.), No. 7 Eastern Oregon, No. 18 Concordia (Neb.) and No. 23 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
“The preseason schedule was tough, but so is every night in the Frontier,” said Griffiths.
The experience is great for a young squad who is preparing for the gauntlet that is the Frontier Conference, which currently has two top-25 squads and two others who are receiving significant votes in the national polls.
“We have such a young group, it was important to get them up to speed and make sure they know what it is like every night in this conference,” stated Griffiths about the Frontier.
“Our preseason scheduled definitely did that,” she continued.
Montana Western has eight underclassmen who have seen significant playing time this season, four freshmen and four sophomores, and a junior college transfer at setter. Despite the new players for the Bulldogs, juniors Bailey Wilson, Jami Flink and Brittany Erickson are making large impacts for the team, to go along with lone Bulldog senior Mikayla Ness.
Freshman hitter Cady Siemion from Huntley, Mont. has been a force at the net, recording 88 kills and 2.15 kills/set to lead the Bulldogs. Siemion has also recorded 127 digs on the season, which ranks second on the team.
Dylan Fowler, a freshman libero from Belgrade, Mont. leads the team’s floor defense with 207 digs, 4.81 digs/set.
Junior setter Callie Hanson, a transfer from Columbia Basin College, leads the Bulldogs with 397 assists and 10 service aces. Hanson, who also has 106 digs on the season has split time at the setter position with freshman Sierra Cahill from Trabuco Canyon, Calif. Cahill has added 275 assists and 63 digs.
The front row has been steady, led by sophomores Joanna Avery and Tessa Miller. Avery has tallied seven solo blocks and 22 block assists to go with Miller’s four solo blocks and team-high 29 block assists.
Junior captain Bailey Wilson from Burley, Idaho has been an all-around player for the Bulldogs in 2015. In her third-year as a starter, Wilson has recorded 78 kills, 58 digs, one solo block and 14 block assists.
Montana Western will look to get back on track after dropping three of their last four matches, including their conference opener against Carroll College last Friday.
The Bulldogs split with Great Falls last season, each team winning on the others home court.
For live video streaming of the game, go to http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs.