Volleyball: Richardson Named Big Sky Player of the Week

By JOEL CARLSON for GoGriz.com

After leading the Montana volleyball team to a pair of important home-court victories last weekend, redshirt junior Capri Richardson was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week Monday.

The middle blocker averaged 3.44 kills on .411 hitting and 1.33 blocks as Montana defeated Portland State and Sacramento State to improve to 5-5 in league play.

“This is a well-deserved award for Capri. She’s been steady for us all year, but she really stepped up on a big weekend for us,” said UM coach Jerry Wagner, who won his 100th match at Montana Friday night.

Richardson, of Aurora, Colo., had 11 kills on .400 hitting and four blocks in Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Vikings. It was Montana’s first victory over Portland State since 2004 and snapped a 21-match losing streak to PSU.

Capri Richardson bio

Capri Richardson

In Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Sacramento State, Richardson had a career-high 20 kills on .417 hitting and a match-high eight blocks.

The home sweep allowed Montana to move into a tie for fourth in the Big Sky North Division and a tie for sixth overall in a season when the top eight teams, regardless of division, will make the postseason tournament.

Through 10 league matches, Richardson ranks fifth in the Big Sky in hitting percentage (.345) and fifth in blocks (1.24/s).

It’s been a breakout season for the middle blocker, who redshirted in 2011 and then played in just 23 matches in 2012 and ’13 while waiting and training for the opportunity this fall has afforded.

Capri Richardson 2

Redshirt Jurnior Capri Richardson. Photo by  ©William Munoz for Make it Missoula.

“I think everybody who’s been involved in the program has had every confidence that Capri would one day be an outstanding player in this conference,” said Wagner.

“Her experiences actually worked in her favor, because she’s been able to learn the finer points of the game behind some really good middles.”

Montana, with just six regular-season matches remaining, will host another pair of important home matches this week. The Grizzlies will face Eastern Washington (9-14, 5-5 BSC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Idaho (11-11, 7-3 BSC) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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Redshirt Jurnior Capri Richardson. Photo by ©William Munoz for Make it Missoula.

The Eagles are tied with the Grizzlies in the North Division. The Vandals are one of three teams, along with North Dakota and Northern Colorado, tied atop the North Division at 7-3. Both teams defeated Montana in 3-0 sweeps two weeks ago.

Montana Sports Information