Missouri Western volleyball had an eventful double header weekend against the Pitt State Gorillas and University of Central Oklahoma. The Griffons split the games, sweeping Pitt State 3-0, while losing to UCO 2-3. This has been the story for the Griffons the past few weeks each time they’ve had back-to-back games. They dominate one of their opponents, but seem to be unable to pull off the win for the other. The Griffons record improves to 11-10 on the season.
Friday, the Griffons took on the Pitt State Gorillas and swept them in three exciting sets. The Griffons came out on top of their game beating the Gorillas in three sets with a score of 25-12, 25-20 and 25-21. The Griffons’ defense was a major key in this game. At times when it seemed the Gorillas would begin to catch momentum, the defensive communication and awareness on the court for the Griffons was right there.
“It’s definitely an important thing for us especially because it’s one of our weaknesses,” Doak said. “So, finally seeing some cohesion with our blocking and backrow was really good to see tonight.”
A new leader in blocks appeared on the stat sheet for the Griffons. Junior Rachael Losch rallied up seven blocks, while also adding on nine kills behind junior Stephanie Doak. This game the Griffons came out with a different confidence level that we haven’t seen before. The communication and team chemistry that the Griffons have been working on all season finally seemed to be present.
“You know it’s all the same players. It’s all the same people. It’s all the same pieces. It’s just about staying the course,” coach Carbin said. “We don’t have to do anything spectacular on one given play and play our hardest and play with intensity, and it will all fall in place.”
Saturday the Griffons hosted the University of Central Oklahoma in an exciting back-and-forth five set game. The Griffons won the second and fourth sets 25-21 and 25-23. They tied the game up 2-2, but couldn’t finish out the game losing the last set 15-5. UCO outplayed the Griffons as a team, leading in every team stat and individual player stat.
The Griffons’ defensive momentum from Friday carried over into Saturday’s game, but the communication and chemistry didn’t. The Griffons couldn’t get it going on offense, and that’s what ultimately cost them the game. Griffons leader in kills was the usual Shellby Taylor with 16 kills, and Ali Tauchen right behind her with 13. Sophomore Liv Winker rallied up an astonishing season high 45 assists for the game, while also contributing 12 digs. The Griffons host their last home game before heading back on the road Tuesday, Oct. 9 against William Jewell College at 7 p.m.