Oct. 5, 2012
SPRINGFIELD-- In a match that saw Missouri State and Indiana State separated by just four points over five sets, it was the Bears coming away with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13) victory over the visiting Sycamores Friday evening to keep pace in the Missouri Valley Conference volleyball race.
The Bears (10-8, 5-2 MVC) are among five conference teams with five victories nearing the halfway mark, and outscored the Sycamores (3-13, 1-5) by a total margin of 110-106 in the match.
Sophomore Kaitlin Jaeger notched her first double-double for the Bears, finishing with career highs in both kills (18) and digs (11) while hitting .359. Her performance was a notable one in a match where six Bears recorded at least 10 digs, while the Sycamores had two players break the 20-kill barrier with Christie Fullenkamp notching 26 and Shea Doran adding 21.
The fifth set was everything one would expect from a match this tight, with neither team holding an advantage until the Bears went on a 3-0 run from an 11-11 tie. Jaeger, Christine McCartney and Carly Thomas scored consecutive kills for match point, and the Sycamores answered with a pair of blocks for a 14-13 score before McCartney finished the match with a kill for four in the set along with two solo blocks for six total points in the period.
Indiana State took the first and third sets in strikingly similar fashion, going on a 6-0 run from an 18-16 deficit in the first and a 5-0 run after trailing 17-15 in the third to win each time.
Missouri State won an offensive showcase in the second as each team had 17 kills with the Bears holding a .351-.325 leading in hitting percentage, and held a 17-11 lead in the fourth before the Sycamores closed to 21-20. Olivia Brand stopped the run with a kill and Shelby Strang’s ace sent the match to a fifth set.
Amber Doolittle hit .296 with 14 kills and six blocks, and McCartney tallied a double-double with 13 kills, 13 digs and three solo blocks. Thomas led MSU with 15 digs and 60 assists.
The Bears led the Sycamores in kills (70-66), hitting percentage (.235-.203) and digs (83-74), while each team had four aces and Indiana State edged MSU 12-11 in blocking.
Missouri State plays Illinois State (9-7, 3-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. The Redbirds lost 3-1 at Wichita State Friday.