Nov. 11, 2011
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State’s defense held Evansville to an .085 hitting percentage and freshman Kaitlin Jaeger set career highs for kills in a three-set match (11), digs (6) and blocks (5) as the Bears swept the visiting Purple Aces by scores of 25-23, 25-15, 25-22 in Missouri Valley Conference volleyball action Friday at Hammons Student Center.
The Bears improved to 19-7 overall and 12-3 in MVC play and now sit two games ahead in the loss column of Creighton and Wichita State for second place in the league. Evansville dropped to 13-17 and 3-12 in conference play.
Missouri State trailed 15-13 in the first set when it used a 6-0 run to gain the lead for good. The Aces closed to 24-23 when Calli Norman and Amber Doolittle combined for the ending block. Karen Rivatto had six kills in the period on the way to 11 on the night along with a team-high 13 digs for her 12th double-double of the season.
The Bears held Evansville to -.056 hitting and seven kills in the second set thanks to four blocks in the period and runs of 6-1 and 9-2 to turn an early 4-2 deficit into an 18-9 lead. MSU led by as many as 10 at 21-11 and the teams traded 4-0 runs to end with a 25-15 score.
Consecutive Ashley Mason aces made for a 3-1 MSU lead in the third that Evansville responded to with a 5-0 run. A Jaeger kill gave the Bears a 9-8 lead and two from Olivia Brand made the score 11-9 before UE tied at 14-14. Rivatto’s 10th kill was followed by three straight by Jaeger for a 19-15 advantage, but Evansville continued to fight and closed the gap to one point at 21-20. Norman answered that with a kill, and added two more for scores of 23-21 and 24-21 before Rivatto finished the match with another kill.
Carly Thomas had 38 assists and 11 digs for her 18th double-double of the season, while Shelby Strang (11) and Anna Burgess (12) reached double figures as well. Brand had nine kills and Norman added seven along with four blocks.
Missouri State closes its home schedule against Southern Illinois at 7 p.m. Saturday. Seniors Kelley Michnowicz, Tiffany Moe and Norman will be honored as the Bears shoot for a 13th consecutive 20-win season.