Volleyball falls short against UCO in 5 sets

[caption id="attachment_12756" align="alignleft" width="199"] Sarah Faubel goes for a spike in Saturday's game against UCO on Oct. 13.[/caption] Central Oklahoma -- 3 Missouri Western -- 2 (25-20, 26-24, 17-25, 18-25, 15-8) In an effort to avoid being swept by the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, the Griffons had a comeback run, pushing the game to five sets to ultimately take a loss in the end on Oct. 13. The Griffons hoped to show a spark of life during a disappointing Homecoming week; after a loss earlier in the day for soccer and the football team taking its first loss of the season, the last thing the Griffons wanted was to be swept around the board on Homecoming. The Bronchos seemed to beat the Griffons mentally more than physically, especially in the first two sets. Although the Griffons looked more athletic, the Bronchos were always in the right place at the right time. There were obvious communication problems on the Griffons side as too many balls hit the floor. The Griffons have been very inconsistent defensively this season. At times they are defending all over the court; getting blocks, digs and anything to keep the ball in the air. Other times, they seem to be out of place, standing too long and not adapting to what the other team is doing offensively. Unfortunately the first two sets were the worse of the two. The Bronchos had two girls who continued to find openings in the Griffons' defense and made them pay for it with 38 kills between them. The team has been changing the lineup around all season, but recently there have been bigger changes more often. Sarah Faubel, who in the past played libero, has been up at the net getting more kills as an outside. She has seen a lot of different positions and seems to handle them all with confidence. “It just kind of depends on what our team needs every week,” Faubel said. “Sometimes someone will be hurt and I’ll go outside, and sometimes things just aren’t connecting so I’ll go to other spots, but I’m totally OK with going anywhere.” Faubel had a great night with 11 kills and nine digs. Freshman power hitter Melissa Cairns has been dynamic at the net all season. Although she is still recovering from a torn labrum in her hip, it hasn’t seemed to affect her game. Lately she has been transitioning more to the outside as well as playing back row -- a big change for her that she still is trying to get used to. “For me, personally, I think it does affect [my focus] because I’m not the most comfortable passer,” Cairns said. “So that carries around with me the whole way but it’s one of those things you just have to get past it.” Cairns finished with eight kills and seven digs. With a combination of lineup changes and unexpected injuries, the Griffons are still working to find what works best for the team. The Griffons have a tough schedule ahead of them as they play the 19-2 Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at MWSU Fieldhouse followed by the 21-1 Washburn Lady Blues at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 in Topeka, Kan.

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