JOPLIN – The Missouri Southern volleyball team won sets three and four to force the fifth set, but couldn’t complete the comeback as the Lions fell three sets to two against Missouri Western on Senior Night inside Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium. Individual set scores were 30-32, 20-25, 27-25, 27-25 and 12-15.
Morgan Nash led the way for the Lions (13-13, 6-10 MIAA) as she recorded her sixth triple-double of the season, with 20 kills 13 assists and 12 digs. Janelle Brehm had 14 kills and a match-high 24 digs, while Shaylon Sharp had 11 kills. CC Pollard had 12 digs, while Brooklynn McCain added 11 digs of her own. Makenzie Fa’amausili-Cacoulidis had 35 assists in the match, while Alicia Pickett added seven blocks.
Western (13-10, 7-8 MIAA) had three players with double-figure kills, led by 23 from Ali Tauchen.
In a match that saw 43 tied scores and 14 lead changes, three of the five sets went to extra points.
Southern led set one 13-9 and 22-20 forcing Western timeouts at each point, but the Griffons fought back and tied the set at 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 before scoring the final two points.
The Lions led 10-7 in set two before three straight points for the Griffons tied it up. The Lions then scored three of the next four points to lead 13-11, but a 7-3 run from Western gave the Griffons an 18-16 lead and forced a Southern timeout. The Lions got within four (24-20), but Western finished it off.
Set three saw 12 ties and five lead changes. The Lions trailed 18-16 late in the set and trailed again 23-22, but score two-straight points to lead 24-23 and force a Western timeout. The Griffons tied it up at 25, but back-to-back kills from Nash and Kierson Maydew gave the Lions the set win.
The Lions forced Western to timeouts twice in set four, leading 17-11 before the second timeout. Western came back, however, and tied the set at 21 and again at 23, 24 and 25 before Southern scored two-straight points to take the set.
Set five saw the two team jockey for position until the Griffons posted some separation, leading 5-3. Western led 8-5 at the turn to force a Lions’ timeout. The Griffons led again 12-6 to force a Lions’ timeout, but Southern came right back and got within three (12-9) to force a Western timeout. The Lions got within two (14-12), but a kill from Tauchen finished off the match.
Southern will be back in action next week when the Lions travel to Emporia State and Washburn.