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Griffons Dominate GAC-MIAA Crossover

The Missouri Western State Griffons dominated their competition this weekend in Oklahoma.

The Griffons started Friday off with a splash going 3-0 against both Southeastern Oklahoma State (25-16, 25-23, 25-20) and Southern Nazarene (25-18, 26-24, 31-29).

In their first set against the Savage Storm, the Griffons built upon an early 8-3 lead and never looked back.

The second set saw a much different outcome, as Southeastern built an early lead. Outside-hitter Blair Russell then ignited a 7-1 run to win the set.

Southeastern held an early lead, but MWSU went on an 8-2 run to complete the sweep. Stephanie Doak led the Griffons with 12 kills and three aces, followed by Rachael Friedrichs who had nine kills, five blocks and one ace. Abby Jameson had nine kills and one block, while Julia Benford had six kills and two blocks to lead the way for the Savage Storm.

In their second match on Friday against the Southern Nazarene University, things were a little closer, but the results were still the same. The first set of the match, Western cruised to a 25-18 win over the Crimson Storm. The second set produced a 24-24 tie late in the match, but Rachael Losch’s kill and an SNU attack error paved a way for a 26-24 win for the Griffons. The third set proved to be the most intense set of the match. Going back and forth for most of the set, SNU jumped out to a 6-1 to lead over the Griffons. The Crimson Storm led 13-9 before a Rachael Friedrich kill gave the momentum back to Western. The Griffons led 28-27 and then Stephanie Doak’s kill started a 3-2 run to close out the set 31-29 for another sweep.

Rachael Friedrich had 11 kills and three blocks; Stephanie Doak added 10 kills and two aces for the Griffons. Courtney Bowie had 14 kills, complemented by Lexie Matthews with eight kills and four blocks for the Crimson Storm.

As the second day rolled around, Missouri Western challenged their two-match winning streak against the deflated (0-13) Northwestern State Rangers and the (2-8) Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs.

In first match against the Rangers, the Griffons dominated with both offensive and defensive prowess to gain the advantage, as Stephanie Doak, Blair Russell and Rachael Friedrich combined for a whopping 32 kills and seven blocks to cruise to a (25-19, 26-24, 25-22) sweep.

The second match of the day saw MWSU square off with the Bulldogs of Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Griffons suffered a shocking defeat in the first set (19-25), but went on to win three-straight sets with an amazing .394 hitting percentage.

Again, Fr. Stephanie Doak guided the way with 14 kills, two aces and a block. Supplementing with a Rachael Friedrichs performance that produced 16 kills, three aces and two blocks. Junior Kayla Ruff also added a season-high 26 kills.

Up next, the 8-4 Griffons start conference play against the 3-9 Lions of Missouri Southern State University on Friday Sept. 23 in Joplin, Mo. Western will travel to Bolivar, Mo. on Sept. 24 to battle the (3-9) Southern Baptist Bearcats.

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