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It was déjà vu for Montana State as Arkansas rallied for a 21-25, 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 15-7 victory over MSU in the opening match of the Bobcat Classic on Thursday night in Shroyer Gym.

Montana State (2-2) and Arkansas (3-1) also met on Aug. 13, 2019 in Barnhill Arena, where the Razorbacks came back from a 2-0 deficit, winning 15-13 in the final frame.

“Our game fell apart in every facet in Sets 3, 4 and 5,” MSU head coach Daniel Jones said. “It was technical, tactical and mental. We backed off from the service line, and they started serving tough. Our passing broke down, and we weren’t able to get back to playing our style of ball.”

The Bobcats won the opening set, outhitting Arkansas .229 to .079. MSU held the Razorbacks to just .067 in the second frame, while establishing its block, owning a 12-6 advantage at the net.

Arkansas raced out to a 12-4 lead in the third set and never looked back. The Bobcats closed out the set on a 7-2 run, but it was too little, too late. The fourth and fifth sets mirrored the third as the Razorbacks closed out the contest on a service ace.

“When you have a solid SEC team on the ropes, the last thing you can do is take your foot off the gas,” Jones said. “The silver lining is that we will get better from this experience.”

Hannah Scott paced the Bobcats with 15 kills, while Emma Pence added 11. Three players reached double-digit digs, including Libby Christensen (16), Scott (12) and Kira Thomsen (11).

MSU scored a bevy of points at the net with true freshman Jordan Radick leading the way with a career-high 12 blocks. Jourdain Klein matched a career high with eight blocks assists and Pence posted six.

Arkansas was led by Ellease Crumpton with 15 kills, a .667 attack mark and nine blocks.

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Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

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