Volleyball falls short against Shockers despite triple-double from Thomas
Missouri State’s Sara Thomas recorded the 10th kill-block-dig triple-double in school history Friday but it was not enough as the Bears dropped a 3-1 (30-32, 22-30, 30-28, 26-30) decision to Missouri Valley Conference rival Wichita State at Hammons Student Center.
The loss ended MSU’s 11-match overall win streak and nine-match home win streak and dropped the Bears to 16-3 overall and 6-1 in the Valley. The Shockers improved to 14-4 and 6-1 in the league with their 23rd straight MVC road victory.
With 11 kills, 11 blocks and 19 digs, Thomas became the first Bear since Rese McNatt in 2001 to reach double figures in all three categories. It was the second triple-double of her career after the senior had 11 kills, 11 assists and 17 digs versus WSU in the MVC Tournament last season.
The MSU defense totaled 18 blocks on the night, including five in a game one that nearly saw the Bears make a dramatic comeback. Missouri State trailed 27-22 before a 6-1 run tied the game at 28-apiece. The Bears then fought off three match points before the Shockers got the 32-30 win, with three of WSU’s final four kills coming from reigning MVC Player of the Year Sara Lungren.
After the Shockers won game two by a convincing margin, Missouri State came out after intermission and jumped out to a five-point lead in game three at 19-14. WSU rallied to tie it at 27-27, but Missouri State took advantage of a pair of WSU attack errors to avoid the sweep and claim the victory.
The Bears were in an early 6-2 hole in game four but responded to take three-point leads at 21-18 and 25-22 on the strength of seven blocks in the frame. The Shockers ended the game on an 8-1 run that was broken up only by a Jamie Adams kill, one of her six in the game and 19 in the contest to tie for match-high honors with WSU’s Emily Stockman.
MSU hit .169 for the match and dug 95 WSU attacks. The Shockers hit .225 with 80 kills.
Missouri State steps out of conference for the final time this season when South Dakota State (15-5) comes to Springfield Sunday for a 2 p.m. match.