The women’s volleyball team lost both of its matches this past weekend at the MWSU Fieldhouse. They played Emporia State Friday, Oct. 14 and then no. 14 Washburn University Saturday, Oct. 15. The two losses send the Griffons to 3-5 at home and 12-9 for the season.
Missouri Western lost its homecoming game to Emporia State in five sets (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 16-25, 15-10). Head coach Marian Carbin thought that her team underestimated their opponent on Friday night.
“I think Friday night was just, we came out slow, and maybe the girls were not as focused as they should have been,” Carbin said.
The Griffons, who lost the first two sets, won the third set thanks in large part to the strong play of junior Rachael Friedrich with six kills in the set. Western would then change the atmosphere as they took the fourth set of the match, thanks to an early 8-0 rally.
Despite the back-in-fourth contest in the fifth set, the Hornets would steal match five thanks to a late game rally.
“Had we not given up a couple of those runs, I think we would have won in three,” Carbin said. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Having one of her best performances of the season, the Griffons were led by Friedrich, who had 15 kills, three aces and two blocks while hitting .343 from the floor. Kelsey Olion also had a strong performance, adding 14 kills, 12 digs and an ace. Kayla Ruff led MWSU with 17 digs.
“Kelsey kinda got it going on Friday,” Carbin said.
Western lost its third game in a row to no. 14 Washburn University in three sets on Dig Pink night (25-21, 25-23, 25-17).
“We gave up a lot of points on serves that we weren’t getting back on our own serves,” Carbin said.
The Griffons’ offense struggled against the talented defense of Washburn.
“We just weren’t able to find offense on our own side of the ball,” Carbin said.
Ruff broke a school record for kills in a three-set match with 29 in the Griffons’ loss to the Ichabods.
“Kayla had a career-night and played really well, and she has played really well all year,”Carbin said.
Friedrich led the way with 10 kills and an ace. Olion added 14 digs and nine kills as well.
Next week, the Griffons play host to the 4-18 Missouri Southern on Friday, Oct. 21. The Lions have struggled on both offense and defense this season, ranking 11th in hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage. Western trounced Missouri Southern last month in Joplin, Missouri., (25-23, 25-11, 25-14). The Lions are also dead last in digs and opponent digs, giving the Griffons a real opportunity to get back on the right track.
“We just keep preaching to them to just stay the course,” Carbin said.
Southwest Baptist on will visit the MWSU Fieldhouse on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Griffons took care of SBU in Bolivar, Missouri last month in a 3-1 win. SBU is third in service aces and third in opponent service aces but last in the conference in hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage.
“We just gotta continue to get better and hopefully be peaking come conference tournament time,” Carbin said.