Sept. 19, 2013
WICHITA, Kan. -- Missouri State’s volleyball team began Missouri Valley Conference play Thursday with a 3-0 (20-25, 19-25, 23-25) loss at preseason favorite Wichita State at Koch Arena in Wichita.
The Shockers (10-1, 1-0 MVC) gained the upper hand in a close first set with a 3-0 run to turn a 14-12 lead into a 17-12 advantage, and pushed the margin to as many as six points before Kaitlin Jaeger and Kayla Walton scored kills around a WSU attack error to pull the Bears within 19-16. The teams exchanged points to a 22-18 Shocker lead when Karen Rivatto responded with back-to-back kills to force a Wichita State timeout at 22-20, but it was all Shockers after that as the home team closed on a 3-0 run.
Missouri State (8-4, 0-1) again fell behind early in the second set as the Shockers doubled-up the Bears at 12-6. MSU closed to 14-11 on a Walton kill and setting error by Wichita State, but the home team answered with a 3-0 run to get its lead back to six points at 17-11. The Bears cut WSU’s lead to four points at 18-14 and 23-19 but got no closer as the Shockers finished the set with 16 kills and just one error for a .577 hitting percentage.
The Bears came out on the offensive in the third set and used two kills and a block from Jaeger during a 4-1 run to lead 13-10. After Christine McCartney’s kill made the score 17-14 in favor of MSU, the Shockers tied it with a 3-0 run before McCartney landed another kill for 18-17. The teams traded points to 19-18 when the Shockers ripped off a 6-1 run to gain match point at 24-20. Two WSU errors and a Rivatto kill extended the match to 24-23 before the Shockers converted on their fourth match-point try.
Rivatto led the offensive charge with 10 kills on .258 hitting in her first extended action of the season, though the Bears hit just .198 as a team compared to .330 for the Shockers.
The Bears step out of league play Sunday when they host Kansas State (9-1) in a 1 p.m. match at Hammons Student Center.