The Missouri Western volleyball team went 4-0 during the Eastern New Mexico University Tournament and 2-2 at the Rockhurst
Tournament. The Griffons have already nearly doubled their win total from last year in three weeks showing they are a tougher team than last year.
During the ENMU Tournament on the weekend of September 4th in Portales, NM, the Griffons defeated Oklahoma Panhandle State 3 – 0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-11), Eastern New Mexico 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-23), New Mexico Highlands 3-0 (25-9, 26-24, 25-16) and CSU-Pueblo 3-1 (25-16, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20).
The Griffons played tremendously well, garnering three players to the ENMU Tournament Team. Namely, outside hitter Kelli Sicner, middle blocker Allison Smith and right side Hannah Zimmerman. Kelli Sicner led the Griffons in kills with 52 and 29 digs, while Allison Smith recorded 8 blocks and 23 kills and Hannah Zimmerman managed 22 tournament kills and 5 service aces.
Following their performance at ENMU, the Griffons won their next two games, (extending their win streak to six), on Friday September 11th in Kansas City at Rockhurst. They defeated the University of Illinois at Springfield 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-13) and Midwestern State University 3-2 (16-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-23, and 15-8).
On Saturday, their six game winning streak came to an end against Wayne State College, losing 0-3 (9-25, 19-25, and 19-25). The Griffons’ bad luck continued into the afternoon with a loss against Upper Iowa University 1-3 (25-21, 30-32, 14-25, and 22-25). While only splitting the four games, Kelli Sicner was once again named to the All-Tournament Team, leading the Griffons with 53 kills.
Inconsistency has been a problem for the Griffons so far this season. At times, they play extremely well and others they make strings of simple mistakes.
“We keep showing glimpses of how awesome we can play,” Smith said. “We’re currently working on playing to our ability consistently. We expect more from ourselves.”
Meghan Voelz echoed this.
“I feel like we played really well together, but it was a letdown this tournament because we stopped playing like a team,” Voelz said. “The first tournament (ENMU) we played very well together, but we let down each other this tournament.”
Head coach Cory Frederick agreed.
“We definitely should have been able to go 1-1 on Saturday,” Frederick said. “Our main problem was inconsistency and communication, just some fundamental things. We played some good competition no doubt; the difference was those teams took advantage of our mistakes and when the other teams made mistakes we didn’t take advantage and in the long run that cost us two matches Saturday.”
The Griffons record now stands at 7-5, bringing the season average up from .333 to .583. The next game the Griffons play will be their first home game against Fort Hays State University. The game will be played on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m.
“We enter conference play this week, and when we have practice Monday hopefully we can fix those little things that hurt us during the tournament,” Frederick said. “I think we’ll be in good shape against Fort Hays this Wednesday.