The Missouri Western volleyball team lost to 6th ranked Central Missouri last Saturday 3-0 (25-17, 25-17 and 25-19). This was a disappointment to the team and fans, considering the team’s upset win against 20th ranked Nebraska-Omaha on the night before. With this loss, Missouri Western’s record comes to 10-21 overall and 3-15 in the MIAA.
Missouri Western had high hopes against Central Missouri, but fell short. Alex Behnke attributes the loss to Western’s own faults.
“We didn’t play up to our potential tonight and I think we could and should have played a lot better,” Behnke said. “Key players played well tonight, but as a team we didn’t. Volleyball is a team sport and when we are all on the same page we are great, but unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight.”
The Griffons seemed to come out flat against the Jennies and they were never able to take control of the game, losing 25-17 in the first two sets. The hitting percentage for the Griffons during the first two sets were not good: -.022 and .143. Western did manage to turn it around in the third set. Unfortunately, hitting .310 with 16 kills was not enough to offset UCM .366 hitting percentage.
That’s not to say that they didn’t play hard; they managed to rally from a 5-point deficit in each game to tie, but were unable to keep the momentum, and ended up losing in all three sets. Central Missouri was a tough team, controlling the match, and the Griffons struggled under the pressure.
Setter Madison Benton thought that the team played too safe and were not aggressive enough.
“We were confident Friday (UNO), but today we didn’t play up to our potential and we play way too safe,” Benton said. “We were not the team we usually are; it was disappointing. They (Central Missouri) are a good team and we lost our confidence. It was a tough match.”
Head coach Cory Frederick agreed with Benton.
“Central is a very good team,” Frederick said. “They don’t make mistakes and they play great defense. We also didn’t play up to our potential. We came out sloppy and slow. We just weren’t playing well. We also tried several strategies by switching blockers onto the outside hitters, but every time we switched our blockers the other hitter would light up the scoreboard. We couldn’t get many stops, and when we did, we faltered on offense. It was a letdown considering how well we played against 20th ranked UNO on Friday.”
For the match, the Griffons hit .140 with 36 kills on 129 attacks. Madison Benton finished with 30 set assists and as a team the Griffons had 60 digs. Britny Pearl managed a match high record with 18 digs.
The Griffons next two matches will be a home game against heated rival Northwest Missouri State on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Truman State University on the Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2:00 p.m.