Staubach's 21 Kills Power Bears Past Southern Illinois in Five
Missouri State’s volleyball team had a season-high 76 kills, hit .290 as a team and needed every bit of that offense to pull out a 3-2 Missouri Valley Conference win over Southern Illinois Friday at Davies Gym in Carbondale, Ill.
The Bears improved to 12-6 overall and 4-2 in the MVC after winning by scores of 25-17, 23-25, 25-13, 15-25 and 15-9. SIU fell to 11-5 and 2-4 in the league.
The Bears and Salukis alternated the first four sets and Sara Staubach began the fifth set with her 20th kill of the match to set the tone for Missouri State. She added a solo block after that and two SIU errors gave the Bears an early 4-1 advantage. MSU kept the pressure on, going ahead 8-3 and forcing an SIU timeout. With the Bears leading 9-5, the teams traded points to a 12-9 score, and Addie Foley finished things off with three straight kills for a 15-9 MSU win.
A very offensive match early, neither team made an error of any kind until the Bears sent an attack out of bounds to tie it at 7-7. The teams continued to trade kills with neither gaining the upper hand until a 3-0 run by the Bears made it 16-13. Cara Hackmann’s sixth kill of the first set earned MSU a four-point lead at 19-15 and the Bears continued to pour it on, getting to the 25-17 final with a combination of 23 kills (on .417 hitting) and two Saluki attack errors. Five Bears had at least three kills in the opening set and Ashley Kell dished out 17 assists.
After losing the second set by two points and committing 10 attack errors in the period, Missouri State won the first six points of the third set and never looked back, hitting .367 compared to SIU’s -.031 figure for the 25-13 win. Staubach led the way with seven kills and Foley added another four.
Southern Illinois used a 5-0 run early in the fourth set to force an MSU timeout with the Bears trailing 8-6. SIU kept the momentum, extending their lead to 17-8 before two more Staubach kills briefly slowed the Salukis, but the Bears got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Staubach ended the match with an MSU season-high 21 kills, and four Bears reached double figures. Foley had a career-high 19 kills, Kelley Michnowicz had 15, another career high, and added Hackmann 11. All four players in double figures hit over .300 as well. Kell set a new career high with 63 assists
Terri Del Conte scooped 23 digs, topping the 20-dig mark for the fourth time in the last five matches, and Nikki Vandepopulier added a season-high 18, passing Joleen Meservy for 18th on the MSU career list in the process. Hackmann chipped in 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, freshman Christina Buckner had 11 as well and Kell had 10.
The Bears play at Evansville (9-10, 3-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. The Purple Aces were swept by Wichita State on Friday.