Nov. 2, 2013
Volleyball beats Missouri Southern, 3-0By David Boyce | Box Score
MARYVILLE, Mo. - As the volleyball matches become fewer, Northwest Missouri State volleyball team understands it needs to be near perfect to make a run for a spot in the MIAA Tournament.
Northwest played with that kind of urgency Saturday night at Bearcat Arena. Following up on Friday’s victory, the Bearcats won their second straight match in impressive fashion, beating Missouri Southern 25-18, 25-16, 25-19.
“It was huge because we kind of went through a dry spell with losing,” said sophomore hitter Shelby Duren, who finished with a team-high eight kills. “It makes your confidence go so much higher. It gets you ready to go out and finish the season strong.”
The Lions entered Saturday’s match searching for their first MIAA win. Northwest was not going take this team lightly. Southern beat the Bearcats in four sets in a nonconference match in Joplin, Mo., on Sept. 21.
Southern believed it could pull off the win. The Bearcats dashed those hopes in the latter stages of the first set and then never let up.
Clinging to a slim 19-18 lead, Northwest was at a spot in the first set that posed danger. A couple of errors by the Bearcats and they were looking at letting the first set slip away.
Instead, a kill by Abby Graves put the momentum entirely on the Bearcat side. Graves added another kill and that led the way to Mackie Keller serving out the first set.
“It is hard to play two nights in a row at a high level,” Northwest coach Amy Woerth said. “Last night was probably the best we have played in a long time. So I knew tonight would probably be more of a challenge to get into that mode again.”
Southern actually had five more kills, but errors doomed the Lions in the first set. They had seven errors on kill attempts and another three service errors.
The Bearcats played a much cleaner first set, recording only four errors and no service errors.
Northwest was more impressive in the second set, taking a 9-7 lead and extending it to 18-11. Brooke Bartosh was the big hitter in the second set, recording three kills.
“We have a lot of capable people who can put the ball away,” Woerth said. “A diverse offense is a good thing.”
Seven players had at least one kill for Northwest in the second set. In contrast, Southern only had three players record kills in the second set.
“It feels good because volleyball is a team effort so not one person can carry the team so when it is spread out, it feels more like an accomplishment,” Duren said.
Northwest was never threatened in the second set as it built a commanding a 24-13 lead.
The Bearcats came out strong again in the third set. They quickly took a 7-3 lead and slowly built it to 20-12.
“They are starting to understand when they need to push,” Woerth said. “Understanding when they need to push and actually getting it done are two different things.
“They are getting more mature and they are actually doing it. It is nice to see when the pressure is on, that we are able to push and put the pressure on them.”
Southern made a run late in the third set and closed to 21-17, forcing a timeout by Northwest. The Lions scored the next point to make it 21-18. The run ended on a thunderous kill by Duren.
A Keller kill ended the match.
“It is a great feeling,” said Keller, who finished with seven kills. “All the points before that matter, but it is awesome.”
It was an all around solid match for the Bearcats. Junior Bailey Vance finished with 18 digs. Junior Kirsten Hudgens and Senior Bridget Hanafin did a great job setting up the hitters, getting 15 and 14 assists respectively.
“Finish strong is our goal,” Keller said. “That’s what we tried to go with.”
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