Nov. 2, 2011
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Opponents: Drake (9-18, 5-8), Friday, November 4, 7 p.m.
Creighton (15-10, 10-3), Saturday, November 5, 6 p.m.
Site: Friday - Knapp Center
Saturday - Sokol Arena
Location: Friday - Des Moines, Iowa
Saturday - Omaha, Neb.
Radio: Saturday - 1180 AM in Omaha
Live Audio: Saturday - www.KOIL1180AM.com
Live Stats: Drake -- Creighton
Live Video: Drake -- Creighton
The Missouri State volleyball team (16-7, 9-3 Missouri Valley Conference) returns to the Valley road this week after playing its last three matches at home with visits to Drake (9-18, 5-8) at 7 p.m. Friday and Creighton (15-10, 10-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday. The weekend will go a long way in determining the seeds for the State Farm MVC Tournament in three weeks as second-place Creighton takes on fourth-place Wichita State and third-place MSU on back-to-back nights. Those three clubs are separated by one-and-a-half matches in the standings.
Drake is 9-18 overall and 5-8 in the league under first-year head coach Tony Sunga. The Bulldogs hit .134 as a team and opponents hit .201. Drake averages 11.78 kills, 0.91 aces, 16.31 digs and 2.08 blocks per set.
Creighton is 15-10 overall and 10-3 in MVC play following a 2-6 start to the season. The Bluejays hit .210 as a team compared to .175 for opponents and average 12.94 kills, 1.22 aces, 17.11 digs and 2.52 blocks per set. Five players in the regular rotation average better than two kills per set.
Missouri State is a combined 77-16 all-time against this week's opponents. Missouri State is 48-9 against Drake after the Bulldogs ended the Bears' 22-match winning streak in Springfield in 2010.
MSU is 29-7 against Creighton, winning four of the last five meetings after CU snapped MSU's 19-match winning streak in the series in 2007 with a three-match streak of its own.
Missouri State split with UNI and Bradley at home, pushing the 12th-ranked Panthers to five sets on Friday and sweeping Bradley on Saturday.
Against UNI, the Bears won the first two sets and eventually fell 15-12 in the fifth despite 18 kills from Olivia Brand and 16 from Karen Rivatto, while Carly Thomas handed out a career-high 58 assists.
Saturday, Rivatto had 16 kills and 14 digs while hitting .714 as Missouri State hit a season-best .394 against the Braves.
First Meetings This Season
Missouri State defeated each of this week's opponents in Springfield in October. On Oct. 7, Carly Thomas had seven kills, 51 assists and 10 digs and Ashley Mason had 28 digs as MSU held Creighton to .108 hitting in a 3-1 win.
The next night, Olivia Brand had 13 kills and the Bears hit .275 as a team in a sweep of Drake. Those three players each won weekly awards from the MVC for their performances.