Nov. 18, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Missouri State freshman Kaitlin Jaeger had 15 kills and hit .636 to lead the volleyball Bears to a 25-19, 25-19, 28-26 victory at Indiana State Friday.
The Bears (21-7, 14-3 Missouri Valley Conference) clinched second place in the league with the win and close the regular season Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at Illinois State. The Bears earned a bye into the semifinals at next week’s State Farm MVC Tournament with the No. 2 seed and will open play at the event at 5 p.m. Friday (Nov. 25) against the winner of the third and sixth seed matchup.
The Bears hit a blistering .355 in the first set and took control for good with a 4-0 run midway through that made the score 14-9. The Sycamores (14-15, 6-11) closed to within three points on three occasions, the last at 22-19, before Karen Rivatto scored a kill, Carly Thomas added an ace and an ISU attack error ended the set.
Missouri State continued its strong offense in the second, leading for the duration after a 3-0 run to start and hitting .306 in the period. A 6-1 run made it 11-5, and the Bears cruised to an 18-11 lead when the Sycamores began to threaten. ISU closed to four points with a 3-0 run, but could get no closer as the Bears held for the six-point win.
The Bears got off to another fast start in the third with a 4-0 run after ISU scored the first point, but the Sycamores responded and took a 9-7 lead. The momentum swings continued a to a 15-15 tie, when the Bears went on a 3-0 run and ISU answered with an 8-1 spurt to lead 23-19. Indiana State gained set point at 24-21 and the Bears successfully fended off five Sycamore set points to a 26-26 deadlock, including two Calli Norman kills and a block from the senior. Jaeger then hit her 14th and 15th kills of the match to cap off a .636 hitting percentage.
Norman hit .467 with seven kills and Kelley Michnowicz hit .385 as MSU hit .273 as a team compared to .203 for the Sycamores. Thomas had 33 assists and 11 digs for her 20th double-double of the season, matching Ashley Warren’s 2005 campaign as the most for an MSU setter since 1990.