Aug. 30, 2012
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State volleyball team grabbed its first win of the 2012 season in dramatic fashion Thursday, beating Oral Roberts 3-2 (25-17, 26-28, 19-25, 25-16, 16-14) in the first match of the University Plaza Invitational at Hammons Student Center in Springfield.
The Bears (1-3) used career performances from several players to dispatch the Golden Eagles (2-2), including 18 kills on .438 hitting from Amber Doolittle.
It was Doolittle and her fellow junior and high school teammate Christine McCartney sharing match-high honors in kills in a contest that was evenly-played across the board.
Missouri State held ORU to .031 hitting in the first period, scoring six blocks as a team, including four of Kaitlin Jaeger’s career-high nine. The Bears were poised to lead the match 2-0 with a 24-20 lead in the second period, but let it slip away after losing five set points.
The Golden Eagles put together an efficient third set with 16 kills and a .333 hitting figure, and the MSU defense reverted back to first-set form in the fourth, holding ORU to .025 hitting along with seven McCartney kills.
The Bears rolled to a 5-1 start in the fifth but quickly found themselves in a battle when ORU tied at 7-7. The Golden Eagles tied at each point from 10 to 14 but never took the lead, as Doolittle and Jaeger continually answered, capped by Jaeger’s emphatic putaway of an ORU over pass to end the match. The pair combined for seven kills on eight swings in the final period.
Carly Thomas dished out a career-best 61 assists, the most by a Bear since 2008, guiding the offense to a .237 hitting percentage and a 67-64 advantage in kills. ORU hit .160, out-dug Missouri State 72-71 and held a 17-15 blocking advantage.
Four tournament matches take place Friday, concluding with Missouri State facing 11th-ranked Dayton (3-0) in the 7 p.m. nightcap.