Volleyball anticipates arrival of Southern to the Fieldhouse

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After last week’s loss to the Washburn Ichabods, Western prepares to welcome the Missouri Southern Lions to the MWSU Fieldhouse.

Southern seems to be struggling this season, and have an overall record of 4-19, having no victories in the MIAA conference so far.

Despite the circumstances, Western does not underestimate the opposition.

“Missouri Southern has struggled some this season, but they played us very close the last time we faced them. So, we’ll expect nothing short of that this time around. We will prepare the same way this time around as we always do,” head coach Marian Carbin said.

Last time the Griffons and the Lions played, they played an extremely close match, ultimately resulting in a Western victory, but it was a little too close for their liking. Western won 3-2.

“I think last time we let them play around with us too much, and I think this time our goal is to go out there and show them that we are a better team than that,” middle blocker Amanda Boender said.

Southern has a cumulative 935 kills, with Katie Polittle leading their charts with 284 kills of her own. Not far behind her is Payton Graves, who has claimed 188.

Graves tops the defensive chart for blocks solo. Out of the teams cumulative 50 solo blocks, Graves claims 20 of them.

Western recently fell to Washburn University 3-1, which dropped their winning average to .455. But the Griffons rebounded on Tuesday, Oct. 29 with a 3-1 win over Northwest.

They hope to walk off of the court with a win to bring the average above .500.

The Griffons have had a slight line-up change with right setter Jessie Thorup being out for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury. But, even though they have gone through some rough patches, Western is prepared to give every game the same amount of heart as always.

Outside hitter Erica Rottinghaus has made a noticeable difference in the team’s recent games. Since she began the season, she has stepped up to the plate and racked up 333 kills for the Griffons, and also plays a very good defensive game.

Rottinghaus is not the only player bringing something new to the table.

Kelsey Olion, a freshman from Champaign, Ill., is also making a name for herself among Griffon athletes. Since she began the semester here at Western, she has put up 226 kills, and is not afraid to take on the competition head on.

“We have to play to our level and our standard and we should take care of them,” right setter/libero Olion said.

After the Southern game, Western will finish off the regular season with three home games.

The Griffons are excited to welcome the UCM Jennies to the MWSU Fieldhouse. The game is to be played on Nov.  8 and is set to begin at 7 p.m.

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