Sept. 14, 2013
Alabama A&M Boxscore | Oklahoma Boxscore
SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State split its two matches in the annual Dr. Mary Jo Wynn/University Plaza Invitational Saturday at Hammons Student Center, sweeping Alabama A&M by scores of 25-7, 25-11 and 25-15 before falling to Oklahoma 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-19) the championship match.
The Bears moved to 8-3 on the season, while OU, which sat three spots outside the AVCA Top 25 poll this week, improved to 9-1. Alabama A&M fell to 0-10. The all-tournament team included MVP Sallie McLaurin of OU along with teammates Kierra Holst and Keila Rodriguez, Missouri State seniors Amber Doolittle and Carly Thomas, and Middle Tennessee’s Chelsea Ross.
The Bears begin Missouri Valley Conference play at league favorite Wichita State (9-1) with a 6 p.m. match on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Alabama A&M Recap (W 25-7, 25-11, 25-15)
A total of 15 Bears saw time on the court against the Bulldogs in the sweep, with several seeing the first significant playing time of their careers. Simone House and Natalie Catani recorded the first kills of their careers, while Hannah Steinbeck played in her first match as well.
House finished the match with four kills in seven swings without an error to go with seven blocks. Kayln Vlasin joined her on several of those blocks, stuffing a career-high eight attacks in three sets.
Missouri State out-scored Alabama A&M 25-5 in the first set after the visitors scored the first two points of the match. House took over during a 5-0 MSU run, accounting for two kills and three blocks, all with Vlasin. The Bears had six blocks in the set and hit .462 compared to -.409 for the opposition.
The Bears used an early 6-0 run to lead 10-3 in the second set and cruised from there to the 25-11 win. Olivia Brand notched five of her match-high seven kills in the period. A pair of 4-0 MSU runs for leads of 10-6 and 17-10 proved to be the difference in the third set.
Missouri State finished the match with 12 blocks and eight service aces while holding the Lady Bulldogs to a -.183 (14-29-82) team hitting efficiency, the lowest for an opponent on file, with match-by-match records dating to 1987.
Oklahoma Recap (L 12-25, 18-25, 19-25)
Oklahoma played a flawless first set and were solid offensively all night to the tune of .407 hitting in the championship match. The Sooners tallied 20 kills on 33 attempts without an error in the first set, and used a 6-0 run to extend a lead from 7-6 to 13-6 in the second set. Missouri State was unable to pull closer than five points from there in falling behind 2-0.
Neither team led by more than two points in the third period until OU’s 3-0 run put the visitors ahead 16-13. Kayln Vlasin’s killed pulled the Bears within two at 17-15, but the Sooners answered with a 5-0 run, including two of their 14 blocks in the match, to lead 22-15.
The Sooners became the first team this season to record more digs in a match than the Bears, leading 44-34 in that category.
Christine McCartney led Missouri State with 10 kills and Tatum Marshall had nine digs.