Nov. 4, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa -
The Missouri State volleyball team got a scare at Drake Friday evening but finished the fourth set strong and left the Knapp Center with a 25-20, 29-27, 24-26, 25-19 Missouri Valley Conference victory over the Bulldogs.
The Bears improved to 17-7 overall and 10-3 in MVC play to set up a showdown with Creighton for second place in the league Saturday at 6 p.m. CU defeated Wichita State in five sets Friday to up its conference record to 11-3. Drake fell to 9-19 and 5-9 in Valley matches.
Sophomore setter Carly Thomas had a career-high 21 digs and handed out 53 assists to help four Bears reach double figures in kills. Freshman Olivia Brand paced the Bears with 13 kills, Christine McCartney and Karen Rivatto added 11 apiece and Amber Doolittle chipped in 10 as the Bears hit .170 as a team compared to .109 for the Bulldogs.
The Bears finished the first set strong after trailing 16-13, tying at 19 and closing on a 6-0 run after the Bulldogs led 20-19. Drake nearly reversed that run on Missouri State in the second, ripping off five straight points after trailing 24-20 to earn a set point chance. Rivatto spoiled that and the next with kills for a 26-all tie, and Drake closed with two attack errors and a bad set to hand MSU the 29-27 victory.
Missouri State fell behind 9-4 in the third set and trailed until a McCartney kill knotted the score at 18-18. Drake answered with a 3-0 run and the Bears tied again at 24 only to surrender two kills for the 26-24 loss.
The Bears hit .438 as a team in the fourth, piling up 18 kills against four errors in 32 attempts. Brand pounded home seven kills as Missouri State never trailed. McCartney’s block and two kills accounted for three consecutive MSU scores and an 18-13 lead, and Drake got no closer than four points from there.