Sept. 30, 2011
Bearcats split on day 1 of challenge
PITTSBURG, Kan. - The Northwest Missouri State University volleyball team split a pair of games to kick-off weekend play at Pittsburg State's Regional Challenge Friday falling 3-1 to Midwestern State but bouncing back to beat St. Mary's 3-1 in their second game of the day.
The Bearcats are now 5-9, 1-2 MIAA on the season after losing a heartbreaker to Rockhurst University, 3-0, Tuesday night at Bearcat Arena.
Northwest bounced back after falling 18-25 in the first set against Midwestern State to take the second set 28-26 but Midwestern State would prove to be too much and the Bearcats would fall 15-25 and 20-25 in the last two sets.
The Bearcats played strong defensively in the match with a trio of players recording double figures in digs as they were led by Tori Beckman with 20. Laira Akin and Bailey Vance recorded 13 and 12 digs respectively while Akin also contributed 32 assists in the match.
Abby Graves contributed 9 kills in the loss.
In their second match of the day the Bearcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead taking the first set 25-16 but allowed St. Mary's to come back and take the second set at 18-25. Northwest quickly rebounded and took the finally two sets at 25-13 and 25-22 for the 3-1 victory, ending their three-game losing streak.
Northwest's offense was led by Whitney Mason and Abby Graves who each recorded double figures in kills as they were led by Mason with 12 with Graves contributing 11 respectively. Akin added 36 assists in the match.
Vance was again outstanding defensively for the Bearcats. Along with her 12 digs from Northwest's first match of the day, she would add 11 in the win against St. Mary's.
Northwest continues action on Saturday against Newman at 11 a.m. before closing out tournament action with St. Edward's at 3 p.m.
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