Sept. 2, 2011
Balanced attack propels 'Cats in season opener
OMAHA, Neb. - The Northwest Missouri State volleyball team got off to a hot start on Friday sweeping a pair of games to kick-off the UNO Showcase and the 2011 season. The Bearcats opened the day with a, 3-1, win over Minnesota State-Moorhead and a, 3-1, victory in the nightcap over Northern State at Sapp Fieldhouse.
The Bearcats, who are coming off their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, opened the season with a pair of wins to improve to 2-0 on the young season. Northwest continues action on Saturday at the UNO Showcase against a pair of NSIC foes, Winona State and Augustana.
Northwest jumped out to early 2-0 leads in both matches on Friday. Freshman Brooke Bartosh paced the Bearcat defense in the opening set against the Dragons as she finished the match with seven blocks.
Offensively the Bearcats were even more stout hitting a solid .360 while holding MSU-Moorhead to a -.038 hitting percentage. After taking the first set convincingly, 25-15, the Bearcats would hold off the Dragons for a 25-22 advantage and a 2-0 lead.
The Bearcat defense would stand strong in the fourth set after falling, 25-20 in the third set. Holding the Dragons to a .062 hitting percentage in the fourth set sending the Bearcats to 3-1 victory.
Abby Graves and Bartosh each finished with 11 kills respectively, while Alex Hanna also finished with double digit kills adding 10.
The nightcap saw nearly an identical match, as the Bearcats raced out to a, 2-0 lead before dropping the third set. The Northwest defense would stand strong again in the fourth set holding Northern State to a, -.042 hitting percentage.
Bartosh and Hanna would lead the Bearcats in kills with 14 each while Bartosh added six kills on the defensive side of the net.
Graves and Bartosh would record the first double-doubles of the season for Northwest, as Graves finished with 10 kills with 14 digs. Bartosh would add 14 kills and 10 digs leading the Bearcats with a .355 hitting percentage.
Junior Tori Beckman was outstanding defensively as well for the Bearcats. Beckman added 20 digs against Northern State while opening the tournament with 16 digs against MSU-Moorhead.
Northwest continues action on Saturday at 10 a.m. against Augustana before closing out tournament action with Winona State at 2 p.m.
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