Volleyball Bears Split Matches at Utah Classic
Aug. 30, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY -- Missouri State split a pair of matches at the Utah Classic Saturday, falling in five sets to host Utah in the morning match and sweeping Montana State in the evening session to finish the weekend with a 1-2 record. Freshmen Lily Johnson and Lynsey Wright combined for 47 of Missouri State’s 98 kills on the day, and seniors Andrea Beaty and Maddy Hogan were selected to the all-tournament team.
The Bears host the University Plaza/Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational next weekend at Hammons Student Center. MSU opens tournament play with Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, with matches against Western Kentucky, Incarnate Word and Milwaukee also on the schedule. MSU will hold a jersey retirement ceremony for long-time coach Linda Dollar during Friday’s 7 p.m. match.
Utah Recap (Lost 25-21, 13-25, 25-23, 18-25, 10-15)
Wright hammered 15 kills and hit .267 against the Utes as the Bears were unable to hold a 2-1 lead. Missouri State never trailed in the first set and took the lead for good when Wright’s kill made it 7-6. The Bears went up 17-12 after a block and a kill from Simone House, and led 21-16 on the 1,000th kill of Andrea Beaty’s collegiate career. The Utes pulled to 21-20 before a service error stopped the run, and Wright landed back-to-back kills for a 24-21 margin.
Utah never trailed in the second set and hit .480 to even the match, and jumped ahead 12-6 in the third period before the Bears tied with a 6-0 run that included two aces from Kinsey McCarter. Another MSU run made it 22-17 in favor of the Bears, but five consecutive attack errors allowed the home team to tie the score at 22-apiece. Olivia Brand’s kill put Missouri State ahead 23-22, and kills from House and Brand closed out the two-point win.
The Utes took control of the fourth set with a 5-0 run to lead 17-11 and hit .424 with 16 kills as the Bears were unable to close the gap to less than three points. Then, in the fifth period, three consecutive Utah kills gave the Utes a 11-8 lead that was too much to overcome. Utah hit .391 in the final set and the Bears mustered only five kills.
Brand added 10 kills for the Bears and three Utes reached double figures as Utah hit .289 in the match compared to .116 for Missouri State. Senior Maddy Hogan led all players with 18 digs.
Montana State Recap (Won 25-21, 25-21, 25-17)
Johnson paced the Bears’ first win of the year with 19 kills and a .371 hitting percentage. Johnson’s kill total represented the most by an MSU freshman since Olivia Brand had 22 in 2011, and the most in a three-set match since Sara Staubach posted 23 at Creighton in 2007.
Johnson had seven kills in the first set and the Bears grabbed a comfortable lead with a 4-0 run to go ahead 17-13. Montana State closed to 20-19 but missed on a serve before Beaty and House combined for a block and a 22-19 lead. Beaty and Johnson kills finished it off as the Bears hit .303 in the period.
Missouri State hit .368 in the second set and Johnson landed nine more kills, including scores for leads of 17-8 and 18-9. The Bobcats clawed back for a 19-19 tie when Johnson stopped the rally for 20-19. Montana State tied twice more and Beaty answered each time with a kill, and Johnson scored again for 23-21 as the Bears closed on a 4-0 run.
House stuffed a pair of Montana State attacks during a 4-0 run that gave the Bears an 11-8 lead in the third set, and Wright’s kill for a 16-10 advantage gave the Bears plenty of cushion as they hit .406 in the final set.
Missouri State piled up 51 kills in the match and hit .359. McCarter handed out a career-high 46 assists and Hogan scooped 15 digs as the Bears led 51-32 in that category.