The Griffon volleyball team gave a valiant effort, Friday, Oct. 23, but was overpowered by the seventh ranked team in the nation, the Emporia State Hornets, by a score of 25-19 in three straight sets.
This was a very unusual occurrence. Head coach Cory Frederick said he had never seen a game like this before.
Frederick said Emporia is a very tough team to compete against because of their discipline. They were champions of the MIAA last season and ranked as high as number three in the nation but lost to number nine Central Missouri and dropped to number seven.
“Emporia is a very good team,” Frederick said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes.”
There were a few highlights for the Griffons as Kelly Sicner and Hannah Zimmerman led the team with ten kills each. Madison Benton also had a great game with 31 assists.
Sicner leads the team with 314 kills for the season. She is a strong force on the net.
“We could have improved on coverage and hitting,” Sicner said. “We just didn’t do it.”
Western made several runs at the Hornets but could never quite over take them. Zimmerman, who is third on the team in kills with 169, said with a little improvement they could have competed with a team of this caliber.
“We need to work on our mental game; it is just as important as our serves,” Zimmerman said.
There are several things that are in need of improvement, especially blocking.
“It is very important to have set block, it is the whole key to our defense,” Zimmerman said.
Frederick thought they didn’t execute very well but still has high hopes for the team and said he has seen great improvement over last season.
“They just need to play better as a group; we need to work better as a whole,” Frederick said.
The game might not have been a win, but over $700 was raised during Pink Out night in support of breast cancer awareness. There was also a large, enthusiastic crowd and was the second most attended home game with 247 fans.
The next night another ranked team rolled into the Looney Complex. The number nine Washburn Lady Blues defeated the Griffons in three sets, 25-13, 25-20, and 25-18.
Missouri Western ended the week with an 8-18 overall record and 1- 12 MIAA. The next opponent for the Griffons is Pittsburg State at home on Oct. 28, at 7:00 p.m.