By: Avery Booth
Missouri Western Volleyball Splits 2-2 at the Drury Invitational behind a defensive stand by senior Tiana Butler.
Over two days Butler averaged 15 digs a game. Over the same games Ali tauchen had 49 kills which puts her fourth in the MIAA in that category.
The Griffons started off the tournament by playing the host of the tournament, the Drury Panthers.The Griffons swept the Panthers 3-0.
With scores of 25-13, 25-23 and 26-24, Missouri Western rallied behind senior Lauren Murphys record setting day.
Murphy joined the 3,000 club which puts her seventh all-time in assists at Missouri Western, but she has no intentions of stopping any time soon.
“I’m not done yet,” Murphy said.
Missouri western then went head to head with Truman state dropping all three games 21-25, 23-25, 24-26.
Tauchen had a career high 16 kills, but wasn’t enough to steal a win from the Bulldogs. Hailey Burrows also had a career high night with six kills.
The Griffons hit a season low of .177, the only sub .200 average of the season.
Day two for the Drury Invitational started off with a matchup against Colorado Mesa. Missouri Western swept Colorado Mesa Mavericks 3-0 winning 25-23, 25-16 and 25-19.
Sam Duncan led the team with 10 kills. Murphy had 36 assists on the night.
Through seven games, Missouri Western volleyball has won six, the best start in 13 seasons.
The final match of the weekend against No. 7 Northern State was a tough matchup for the Griffons losing all four sets, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 and 25-22.
The Northern State Wolves were the first team to hit better than .197 against the Griffons this season.
Three Griffons – Kerns, Tauchen and Recio finished with double-digit kills, totaling 47 of the team’s 49 kills.
MWSU tallied six aces, the most since Sept. 7 where they put up 12 aces against Midwestern State.
Murphy has higher expectations for this year after falling off last year.
“Last year didn’t go as we planned, and we have an expectation of getting back to how we played two years ago,” Murphy said.
Two years ago the Griffons went 16-2 in the MIAA and were regular season co-champions.
Missouri Western makes a visit to No.15 Northwest who is 7-1 to start the season after beating three ranked teams: No. 7 Northern State; No. 18 Drury and No. 23 Central Washington.
The Griffons home opener is scheduled for Sept. 20 against Central Missouri. The Mules hold the all-time series lead at 16-3.