Oct. 19, 2012
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The Missouri State volleyball team dropped each set at Evansville by the minimum two points Friday with two going extra time in a 27-25, 25-23, 27-25 sweep at the hands of the Purple Aces in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Carson Center. The Bears (11-11, 5-5) held a set point in two of the three periods but were unable to close out the Aces (8-15, 3-7) in their first loss to UE since 2008.
Missouri State held the lead to 8-7 in the first set before a 3-0 Evansville run gave the Purple Aces momentum to grow their advantage to as many as six points at 20-14 before a late MSU charge. The Bears fought back to tie the set at 22-all on a Carly Thomas ace and then took a 24-23 advantage on back-to-back Amber Doolittle kills. Christine McCartney’s kill gave the Bears another set point at 25-24 before UE reeled off three consecutive kills for the win.
The Bears held a 14-11 lead around the midway point of the second period before succumbing to a 10-1 Evansville run that made it 21-15 in favor of the home team. Like the first set, MSU battled back to force ties at 22 and 23, only to again see the Aces score the final points in another narrow loss.
Evansville raced to a 9-4 lead in the third period and pushed the gap to as many as seven points at 15-8 before the Bears rallied with a 6-0 run to pull within a point at 15-14. Missouri State took an 18-16 lead on two kills and a Kinsey McCarter ace, and the set was tied at each point from 18 to 21 before UE scored two points to go ahead 23-21. Evansville reached a match point at 24-22, but the Bears got two kills from McCarter and another from Doolittle to gain their own set point at 25-24, only to see Evansville rattle off three straight points to complete the sweep.
Doolittle paced the Bears with 13 kills and a .357 hitting percentage. Thomas had 34 assists and a team-high 15 digs while adding five kills without an error.
Missouri State hit .187 as a team compared to .217 for UE while trailing 49-45 in total kills. Evansville had 11 blocks against MSU’s six.
The Bears travel to Southern Illinois (16-5, 6-4) Saturday for a 7 p.m. match. Missouri State defeated the Salukis 3-1 on Sept. 21. SIU lost 3-1 to Wichita State Friday.