Volleyball visits “Middle of Everywhere,” then splits

Sports Volleyball

The Missouri Western volleyball team traveled to Rolla, Missouri this past weekend to compete in the “Middle of Everywhere” classic against Upper Iowa, Missouri S&T, Drury, and Chadron State.

The 2-2 Griffons started off the weekend matching up against the Drury Panthers. Western won the first set 25-21, with 12 kills to help seal the win.

The second and third sets were a different story as Drury only allowed 18 combined kills in both sets and defeated the Griffons 25-14 and 25-18.Western came back with a vengeance as they won the fourth set with 14 kills, winning 25-19 and forcing a fifth set.

The story of the fifth set was a cat and mouse race to 15. Western got to a slow start falling behind immediately 4-0. The Griffons wouldn’t surrender, and fought back to gain a 9-8 lead. The tides turned when Drury won the side out and took control of the game winning 15-13.

At one point, the score was 13-9 and the Griffons only needed two points to end the game and win the match.

“This is the second time this season that this exact same thing has happened to us, and it was because of communication errors,” Sicner said.

Head Coach Cory Frederick saw panic in his players as they only needed the two more points, and knows his team needs to finish strong and play the way they know how to play.

“Finishing matches and games is a weak point for us right now and something that hopefully will get better in the near future,” Frederick said.

The match against Chadron State was much easier for the Griffons as they swept them 3-0. Westerns’ Sicner led the attack with 11 kills and was very consistent the whole tournament.

“I got a good amount of kills every game because I always kept switching up my hits and kept their defense on their toes by them never knowing where I’m going to hit the ball or if I’m going to tip,” Sicner said.

“When anyone gets kills I always get excited and I do think the team feeds off of it.”

There were 42 kills total in the three set sweep with an outstanding 16 kills in set one, and a .545 kill percentage in set two.

The third set didn’t come as easily as the first two sets as the Griffons only won 27-25. They pulled out the win and finished the day sitting at 1-1.

On Sept. 11 Western took on the Upper Iowa Peacocks and split the first four sets and alternated wins.

The fifth set was an exciting one as outside hitter Meghan Voelz and Sicner helped boost the Griffons to a 15-12 win against the Peacocks. Voelz had two big ace serves to put the Griffons ahead by two.

“We played really well together as a team,” Voelz said.

The first two sets were pretty close as Western lost 25-22, and won 25-22. Western lost all momentum as the third set was a 25-11 loss.

“We just kept piling on our mistakes. It was nothing special that Upper Iowa did,” Voelz said.

The Saturday in Rolla was going well for the Griffons as they put another notch under the win column. The next match-up was against the host school of the tournament, Missouri S&T.

This match wasn’t going to go the way the Griffons wanted it to. Missouri S&T swept the Griffons, winning 3-0.

“We let our mistakes beat us more than they beat us,” Voelz said.

The Rolla tournament allowed the volleyball team to learn from the mistakes that they did make during the match-ups and can use that to get better. Many positives came out of the tournament, despite the Griffons going 2-2.

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