Dec. 1, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. -- Missouri State's volleyball team lost at 18th-ranked and 15th-seeded Pepperdine Thursday night by scores of 25-22, 25-21, 25-16 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Malibu, Calif.
The Bears end their season with a seventh NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003, going 22-9 for a 13th consecutive 20-win season. Pepperdine moved to 23-6.
Missouri State quickly found itself in a 7-2 hole in the first set but climbed back for a 10-10 tie thanks to two kills from Calli Norman, another from Christine McCartney and a Pepperdine attack error. The teams traded points before the Waves went on a 7-1 run to lead 18-12. Norman and Karen Rivatto hit consecutive kills to pull to 20-16, and a Carly Thomas kill followed by her and Amber Doolittle teaming up for a block made it 22-19. The Bears closed to 23-21, and a Doolittle kill spoiled Pepperdine's first set point before the Waves ended the set with a kill to hit .310 for the period.
The Bears fell behind 4-0 to begin the second set and saw the deficit grow to six points at 13-7 following a 4-1 Pepperdine run. Two Thomas kills and a Pepperdine attack error cut the Waves' lead to four points on three occasions before the home team scored three straight to lead 18-11. Missouri State scored the next two points and consecutive McCartney kills followed by Ashley Mason's service ace pulled the Bears to 19-16. The Waves slammed to kills to answer and led 24-19 when MSU fought off two set points before the Waves finished it with a kill.
Norman had a block and two kills to help the Bears to a 3-1 lead in the third, and the set was tied at points 3-7 before two Pepperdine kills and three MSU attack errors made up a 5-0 run for the Waves that resulted in an 11-7 score. Then from 13-10, Pepperdine used five kills, three blocks and two aces to extend its advantage to 23-12. The Bears fended off three more set points but the double-digit deficit proved too much to overcome.
Norman led MSU with eight kills on .353 hitting, while Thomas had seven with 24 assists. Ashley Mason led the MSU defense with 17 digs and Rivatto added 12. Freshman Maddy Hogan scooped a career-best seven digs.
Pepperdine hit .302 as a team compared to .139 for the Bears and had 10.5 blocks to MSU's three.