Bears Travel to Wichita State For Weekend's Lone Match
The Missouri State volleyball team (17-5, 8-3 Missouri Valley Conference) makes the trip westward Friday for a 7 p.m. match at Wichita State (15-5, 8-3) in its only contest this week. The Bears won the season’s first meeting 3-1 on Oct. 2 in Springfield, and 10 of the last 18 meetings between the schools have gone five sets.
Wichita State is 15-5 overall and tied with the Bears at 8-3 in Valley play. Junior transfer Camri Zwiesler leads the offense with a .277 hitting percentage and 4.04 kills per set. The Shockers also feature 2009 first-team all-MVC performers in setter Mary Elizabeth Hooper and middle blocker Sarah McGee. As a team, the Shockers hit .243 and average 14.06 kills, 17.41 digs, 1.03 aces and 2.73 blocks per set. WSU leads the MVC in both offensive and defensive hitting percentage as well as blocking.
Missouri State holds a 42-18 all-time series edge over Wichita State, though WSU has won 12 of the last 18 meetings. Of those 18 matches, 10 have gone the full five sets.
First Meeting This Season
Missouri State beat the Shockers 29-27, 28-30, 25-23 and 25-20 on Oct. 2 in Springfield. Christine McCartney had 19 kills to lead the Bears in a match where the teams failed on 16 of a combined 20 set point opportunities. Missouri State piled up 70 kills and hit .240 against the MVC’s top defense in the match as well.
Missouri State split a pair of road matches at Illinois State and Indiana State last week. Friday, the Bears were swept by the Redbirds by scores of 25-22, 25-23, 25-20. Christine McCartney had 15 kills but the rest of the offense provided limited help with only one other Bear landing as many as seven kills.
Saturday, Missouri State swept Indiana State by scores of 25-21, 25-16, 25-19. Calli Norman led the Bears with 11 kills, McCartney added 10 and Shayla Patrick had nine on .750 hitting as MSU hit .366 as a team, the second-best figure this season.
Coach Melissa Stokes
Missouri State head coach Melissa Stokes (San Diego State, 1991) is 331-150 (.688) in her 15th season at Missouri State. A native of El Cajon, Calif., Stokes has guided Missouri State to an overall record of 254-92 (.734) and 149-41 (.784) in the Missouri Valley Conference since 2000. In 2003, the Bears were the MVC regular-season champions and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. MSU made a return trip to the NCAAs in 2005 after winning the MVC Tournament, and advanced to the second round for the first time in program history in 2006, defeating Arkansas before falling to No. 13 Oklahoma in the second round, and made it four straight trips to the postseason with NCAA bids in 2007 and 2008.
Stokes came to Missouri State from the University of Idaho, where she helped the Vandals to four straight NCAA Tournament berths. As a setter at San Diego State, Stokes played four seasons and helped the Aztecs to two NCAA appearances. She coached the 300th victory of her Missouri State career against Delaware, Sept. 11, 2009. Stokes ranked 36th among active Division I coaches in win percentage entering 2010.
• Missouri State is 4-3 this season against members of the 2009 NCAA Tournament field and 6-3 against teams that have made the tournament at least once in the last two seasons.
• MSU’s 6-0 start this year was the best for a Bears’ volleyball squad in 33 years. Missouri State began the 1977 season 8-0.
• Missouri State’s 3-1 league start marked the 20th time in 28 seasons in the Gateway/MVC that the Bears have won at least three of their first four matches. Of the previous 19 times, Missouri State has gone on to finish second or better in the final standings on 16 occasions.
• The Bears reached the midway point of the conference season at 7-2, the 10th time in the 15 years of the MVC’s 18-match schedule that Missouri State has won at least seven matches in the first half.
• Head coach Melissa Stokes is climbing up the all-time MVC coaching lists in a number of categories. Listed below is the 15th-year coach’s ranking in those categories. Lists are compiled based on statistics at Valley schools only:
• Third in total victories with 331
• Second in MVC victories (189)
• Fifth in win percentage overall (.689) and third among active MVC coaches
• Seventh in win percentage in MVC matches only (.719)
• Stokes picked up her 300th career victory with MSU’s 3-1 win over Delaware on Sept. 11, 2009, and is eight league wins away from tying the MVC record for conference victories at 196 with UNI’s Iradge Ahrabi-Fard.
• Missouri State’s defense has allowed only three opponents to hit better than .226 in 22 matches and has held 15 opponents to a .189 or lower attack efficiency.
• Missouri State has defeated a ranked opponent in each of the last three seasons. The Bears beat No. 20 Wichita State in 2009, the ninth-ranked Shockers in 2008, and No. 25 Middle Tennessee in 2007.
• Calli Norman currently ranks third in Missouri State history in career hitting percentage at .311 and has turned 46.1 percent of her career attacks into kills. The two players in front of her on that list are Linette White (.352/48.3) and Sabrina Apker (.338/47.4).
Norman’s 2010 totals of .293 hitting and 46.9 percent kills also challenge White’s school record 2003 season of .392 hitting and 52.9 percent.
• Speaking of Linette White’s school record of .392, Kelley Michnowicz passed that Oct. 8 against Creighton and is hitting .400 to date this season.
• Freshman Christine McCartney’s 3.32 kills per set average ranks second all-time among freshmen, trailing only Vanessa Wouters’ average of 3.89 in 1994.
McCartney’s 256 total kills this year rank ninth in school history among freshmen, and her 21 kills Oct. 9 at Drake was the highest freshman total since Erin Murphy in 2000 and has not been exceeded since Wouters had 26 in 1994.
• Missouri State is 16-9 in five-set matches since the beginning of the 2007 season.
• Missouri State has finished in the top four of the MVC standings 11 years in a row. Only UNI can match that streak among league schools.
• MSU is 94-10 the last five seasons when winning set two.
• Missouri State has won at least 20 matches in 11 consecutive seasons, a streak that is currently longer than all but six others nationally.
Senior Cara Hackmann has truly been a do-it-all player in her Missouri State career. She currently holds six school records, including hitting percentage in a match (.882, 15-0-17) in a 2008 contest, digs in a match (46, Oct. 10, 2009 vs. Evansville), total digs and dig average in a season (671 and 5.74 in 2009), career digs (1,757) and career double-figure dig matches (92).
Hackmann is also MSU’s career leader in dig average at 3.90 per set.
Six is the Magic Number
The number six has been a milestone number the last 10 years in terms of winning streaks, as the Bears have strung together at least six consecutive wins a total of 16 times since the beginning of the 1999 season.
Missouri State started 6-0 in 2010 to knock out the streak early this season.
Missouri State has been dominant at home since 2000, compiling a home record of 134-23 for an .854 winning percentage at Hammons Student Center.
The Bears are 10-2 in 2010 and have completed 10 consecutive seasons with four or fewer home losses.
Players of the Week
Christine McCartney was Missouri State’s first weekly award winner as the MVC Freshman of the Week on Sept. 13. McCartney averaged 3.27 kills per set and had 17 kills and 15 digs against Utah and 16 kills versus Oklahoma.
McCartney won the award again Oct. 4, putting up 4.12 kills in wins over SIUE and Wichita State. She had 14 kills at SIUE and 19 against the Shockers, hitting .209 against the league’s top defense.
Kelley Michnowicz was the league’s player of the week Oct. 11 after she averaged 3.00 kills and hit .414 at Creighton and Drake. Michnowicz had a season-high 17 kills and hit .536 at CU, then had 13 kills in the win at Drake.
McCartney won her third Freshman of the Week award Oct. 18 after averaging 5.00 kills and 3.33 digs in wins over Evansville and SIU. She hit .338 for the week, including .500 with 18 kills against the Purple Aces.
Abby Padlock was MSU’s first Defensive Player of the Week honoree Oct. 18 after she averaged 6.33 digs per set, was a perfect 45-for-45 in service receptions and directed a Bears’ defense that held the opposition to .095 hitting in two matches.
Bears on TV
Missouri State will have two televised matches on Mediacom cable channel 22 in the Springfield area this season. TV games for the Bears will be Sept. 17 at UNI and Nov. 20 vs. UNI. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
Bears Live, Missouri State’s premium broadband video channel that is your online destination for exclusive live and on-demand Missouri State streaming video and audio brought straight to your computer, will broadcast a minimum of six home matches this season on a subscription basis at www.MissouriStateBears.com.
The 2010 streaming schedule currently includes North Carolina (Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.), Oklahoma (Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.), Illinois State (Sept. 25, 7 p.m.), Wichita State (Oct. 2, 7 p.m.), Southern Illinois (Oct. 16, 7 p.m.) and Creighton (Nov. 6, 7 p.m.).
Seven over-the-air volleyball broadcasts can be heard on KBFL 1060 AM in Springfield this season, while the remainder of MSU’s home contests will be internet-only broadcasts at TheGrowl.MissouriState.edu.
The KBFL schedule includes all Saturday evening home matches (Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20), with match times at 7 p.m. with the exception of Sept. 4 and 11, which start at 7:30 p.m.
Those matches can also be heard online at www.RadioSpringfield.com.