Western defeats Emporia in five, loses to No. 15 Washburn

The Griffons began their three-week road journey with a win over the Emporia State Hornets and a loss to the No. 15 Washburn Ichabods. Head coach Marian Carbin believes that this particular road trip is one of the toughest of the season. “That trip to Emporia and Washburn is always hard in terms of traveling partners around the league, it’s probably the toughest back to back [matches] that we could go play,” Carbin said. Western and Emporia fought back and fourth Friday through their entire match. In set one, the Griffons were playing from behind while the Hornets held a 13-6 lead. Western climbed back with a seven-point run to take a 14-13 lead. Both teams played fairly even, tying the match at 18. The Griffons went on a quick three-point run to take a 21-18 lead and they never looked back. Although Emporia continued to play tough, Western kept them at bay to take a set one victory. Carbin was proud that her team fought hard during the set and the match. “I liked the way that we competed, that we stayed in the match and gave ourselves opportunities,” Carbin said. Sets two, three and four followed the same neck and neck story as the first set. Both teams would counter the other point for point and scoring run for scoring. The Hornets claimed sets two and four while the Griffons took set three forcing a match deciding fifth set. In the beginning of set five Western rattled off a four point run, with the help of two Jessie Thorup kills an a kill from Rachel Friedrichs, to take an early 4-0 lead. Emporia came back with a 5-1 score streak and tied up the match at 5-5. From there again both teams would match each other point for point, with the Griffons gaining a one point lead and then the Hornets immediately tying the set until it was 10 all. Western broke the tie and piled on a five-point run, three points from Thorup kills and two coming from errors to take the set 15-10 and win the match 3-2. Getting a road win such as this is always important according to Carbin. “We felt good about closing things out and getting the win,” Carbin said. “Anytime you can win on the road you always feel good.” After their victory the Griffons traveled to Topeka, Kan. to face the No. 15 Ichabods on Saturday. Western came out fired up in the first set and controlled the entire first set. Other than Washburn’s initial 1-0 lead, Western held the lead through the whole set. The Griffons when on multiple scoring runs against their nationally ranked opponent and claimed victory in the first set with a 25-16 score. The Griffons were dominant in the first set, but from there on the Ichabods would seize control of the match. “We came out on fire in the first set Saturday and played great,” Carbin said. “We had a great performance from Blair Russell in the first set, she had seven kills alone so that was really promising. From there on I think our offense just kind of stalled a little bit.” Western would hold a single lead in the second and third sets, losing 25-20 and 25-17 and giving Washburn a 2-1-match lead. In the fourth set the Griffons would own a 16-14 lead before the Ichabods would go on a 7-1 run to retake the lead at 21-17. Western would not recover and would fall the Wasburn 25-21 and lose the match 3-1. Although the Griffons suffered a loss, Carbin knows they will get another shot at the Ichabods. “[It was] disappointing but we have them back at our place in two weeks so we’ll see them again here shortly, that’s the silver-lining there,” Carbin said. Splitting the weekend gave Western an overall 15-5 record and a 7-2 conference mark. Their MIAA record ties Central Missouri, putting them in a tie for third in the conference behind Washburn and first place Central Oklahoma. They continue their road trip against a struggling Missouri Southern, who Western has already defeated, on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in Jopin, Mo.

Griffons claim second in MIAA

Seniors Jessie Thorup, Lindsay Partridge, Jordan Chohon and sophmore Kayla Ruff celebrate a point. Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor
[caption id="attachment_25612" align="alignnone" width="300"]Seniors Jessie Thorup, Lindsay Partridge, Jordan Chohon and sophmore Kayla Ruff celebrate a point. Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor Seniors Jessie Thorup, Lindsay Partridge, Jordan Chohon and sophmore Kayla Ruff celebrate a point. Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor[/caption] Western toppled the No. 11 Central Missouri Jennies for the first time since 2005 on Friday, followed by a home win against the Lindenwood University Lions on Saturday. Western 3, UCM 2 The Griffons traveled to Warrensburg, Missouri to face their second nationally ranked opponent in just a week, but this time, they found success in the close match. This match was another chance to prove that Western could play with any team in the MIAA head coach Marian Carbin believes. “Friday we knew was going to be a big one,” Carbin said. “We have thought for the last couple of years that we are talented and could play point for point with Central Missouri, and we’re slowly working over the hump with various teams in the conference, last year with Washburn and this year with Central Missouri.” In set one, the Griffons found themselves down early by an 11-6 score after the Jennies piled on a four-point run. Western battled back, rattling off an 8-1 run and taking the lead 15-12. Central Missouri would never see the lead again, as Western would take set one with a 25-22 score. Western kept Central Missouri at bay again in the second set, going on two four-point runs to take an early 10-8 lead. The Griffons kept on the gas to take a comfortable 25-19 victory and taking a 2-0-match lead. Although Western was able to take an early 2-0 lead, set three proved to be disastrous for the Griffons. The Jennies began the match with a 4-0 run before they were halted with two scores by the Griffons. Central Missouri kept rolling, allowing Western to get within four with a score of 12-8. The biggest lead of the set came from a 6-0 run by the Jennies to take a 10-point 18-8 lead. The Griffons would not be able to recover, and would fall in the third set by a score of 25-14, cutting their match lead to 2-1. Match-ups were the key to the set three loss, according to Carbin. “We just got in a bad match-up situation,” Carbin said. “We rotated thinking that [Central Missouri head coach Flip Piontek] was going to rotate looking for a different match-up, but he didn’t and we did, and so it ended up that our match-ups weren’t very good for the third [set] and the scored definitely reflected that.” In set four, an early 5-1 run for the Griffons gave them the lead, but the Jennies would fight back, making it a neck and neck match. A late 5-0 run for Central Missouri would give them a 24-21 lead. Although Western scored two quick points to bring the score to 24-23, the Jennies would score their final point winning the set 25-23 and forcing a deciding fifth set. Even with the match tied, the Griffons were able to stay calm going into the fifth set. “They clearly had some momentum, but we just talked about it, just get back to the basics,” Carbin said. “We talked about [it] in our huddle, to trust our training, trust our preparation and get back to the basics of our scouting report. Do things well that we did in the first and second [sets] that got us to this point, and the girls got back out there and did it.” Western never gave up the lead in the deciding set. They piled on two four-point runs and defeated Central Missouri 15-8, beating the team for the first time in 19 matches. The Griffons’ Jessie Thorup led both teams in kills with 21, while Jordan Chohon racked up 50 assists to lead Western and Kayla Ruff led the team with 29 digs. Western 3, Lindenwood 1 Western traveled back to the MWSU Fieldhouse to face a bottom of the conference team in Lindenwood. The opening set was kept tight through its entirety. The lead went back and forth through most of the match, but the Lions came out on top with a 25-23 first set win and claimed a 1-0 match lead. Errors are what set the Griffons back in the first set, explains Carbin. “I think in the first set, we had seven hitting errors and three serving errors, so we gave them 10 of their 25 points on our errors,” Carbin said. “That’s far too many, and in conference play, that’s going to hurt you.” Western found themselves down again in the second set with Lindenwood up 15-10. After a timeout called by the Griffons, they were able to rally back to take the set 25-22 and tie the match 1-1. The Griffons went on to dominate the Lions in set three 25-13, with the help of two five-point runs and a set ending four-point run, taking the lead 2-1. They closed out the match in the fourth set with a 25-18 win to defeat Lindenwood 3-1. Thorup led both teams in kills again with 18, while Chohon again led Western in assists with 42 and tied with Audrey Keim for the team lead in digs with 12. The powerful weekend performances of both Thorup and Chohon earned them MIAA Althlete of the Week honors. Thorup was named Hitter of the Week and Chohon was named Co-Specialist of the Week. Western’s defeat of No. 11 Central Missouri and their win against Lindenwood put them in sole possession of second place in the MIAA conference behind Central Oklahoma. The Griffons also more than doubled their votes for national ranking with 14. The Griffons' continual success has given Carbin and the team confidence that they are no longer the underdog. “The tide is certainly shifting and I think that we just have to continue to play night after night like we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Carbin said. “[We] cannot fall back into that mindset of we’re still the underdogs because I don’t think we are anymore.” For the next three weeks, Western will hit the road with four out of their five matches being MIAA play. They start their road trip in Emporia, Kansas against the Emporia State Hornets on Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

Volleyball streak continues

Lindsey Partridge and Jordan Chohon form the block for Western in their win over Southern at MWSU Fieldhouse on Friday.
Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor
[caption id="attachment_25232" align="alignnone" width="300"]Lindsey Partridge and Jordan Chohon form the block for Western in their win over Southern at MWSU Fieldhouse on Friday. Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor Lindsey Partridge and Jordan Chohon form the block for Western in their win over Southern at MWSU Fieldhouse on Friday.
Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor[/caption] Before the non-conference season started, Griffon coach Marian Carbin thought that the Griffons would be able to get off to a good start to the season, thanks to the way the schedule was set up. Well the Griffons have definitely fulfilled those expectations and then some. After dropping the first two matches of the season, Missouri Western has rattled off 10-straight wins including winning the first two games of their conference season on season over the weekend. Western swept both Missouri Southern and Southwest Baptist this weekend. Over this ten-match streak, the Griffons have only dropped four sets total. On Friday, they got rolling against Southern. “I feel like our scouting report going in was pretty solid,” Carbin said. “I feel overall we did a pretty good job. I told the girls I was proud of the way they executed.” The first set saw Southern jump out to a quick 5-2 lead. A Blair Russell kill and a couple errors from Southern knotted the game at five soon after though. Western would make just enough plays to come away with a narrow 25-21 set win as Rachel Friedrichs ended the set with a kill. Southern got the first point in the second set as well, but Western was quickly able to extinguish any hope Southern had in that match and went on a four-point run. From there Western stayed comfortably in the lead the rest of the set and won 25-15. The Lions once again opened the scoring in the third set and had it tied at 11 before Jordan Chohon got the serve and helped the Griffons score six-straight points. “I was pleased with the way we served in the second and third set,” Carbin said. “I thought we served tougher.” Chohon finished with 42 assists in the match. “Jordan Chohon made a lot of really good decisions and made our hitters look really good,” Carbin said. “There is a lot of times when the hitter gets the credit but Jordan is the one that sets them up for success.” A Jessie Thorup kill ended the set and the match, with Western winning 25-21. Thorup finished with a match-high 12 kills. Saturday’s contest with Southwest Baptist looked like it may be another one where Western would have to win close sets to win as they were only able to win the first set 25-21. The key kill came off the hand of Lindsey Partridge to make it 24-21 and end the scare for Western, as Southwest Baptist was on a three-point streak and threatening the lead. The Bearcats kept it close early in the second set but the Griffons had a nine-point run with Thorup serving to help seal the victory at 25-11. The Griffons rolled in the third set 25-8. Western gets back to conference play on Friday when they host Central Oklahoma at MWSU Fieldhouse.

Volleyball’s win streak stays alive at home

Lindsey Partridge tips ball against Henderson State Friday at MWSU Fieldhouse.
[caption id="attachment_25060" align="alignnone" width="169"]Senior Jessie Thorup goes up high for a kill against Henderson State on Saturday at MWSU Fieldhouse. - Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor Senior Jessie Thorup goes up high for a kill against Henderson State on Saturday at MWSU Fieldhouse. - Zack Papenberg | Photo Editor[/caption] The wins keep coming for Griffon volleyball as they roll through the non-conference season. They defeated Oklahoma Baptist 3-1 and swept Henderson State in route to their seventh and eighth wins of the season. Western has now won eight-straight after dropping their first two games of the season. “The winning streak is important because it came off the two losses right away,” Griffon coach Marian Carbin said. “To start off 0-2 and then to go on a big streak, it just gives our young team some confidence and with a lot of young players it just reinforces the fact that they came into a winning program and we are going to continue to win.” In their first appearance in the MWSU Fieldhouse this season, Coach Carbin’s squad came out a little flat early against a very game Oklahoma Baptist team. Although the Griffons won the first set 25-22, they were far from perfect. “We didn’t pass very well,” Carbin said. “We didn’t run our offense very effectively because we couldn’t get that first pass to get us in system.” The Griffons continued to struggle in the second set, dropping it 23-25 and giving the Lady Bison plenty of confidence going into the third set. “We knew it was a team that was going to have some players that was going to challenge us in ways we haven’t seen yet,” Carbin said. Oklahoma Baptist jumped out to a 9-6 advantage in the pivotal set. The Griffons responded with a three-point run to tie it at nine. Then after the Lady Bison regained the lead a 11-9, the Griffons responded with another 3-point run with Blair Russell serving. “I was very pleased (with Russell),” Carbin said. “She was very creative in the way she was able to get kills.” Oklahoma Baptist would not manage another lead for the rest of the set and the Griffons netted a 25-21 win. “Once we started (passing) a little more consistently in the the third and fourth sets, then we were able to run our offense the way we want to and in the tempo we want to and we were able to take care of business,” Carbin said. Heading into the third set, Western was firing on all cylinders and it showed. They cruised to a 25-10 win to take the set and the match. Jordan Chohon dished out 50 assists in the match and nearly half of those were to senior classmate Jessie Thorup, who finished with 24 kills. The Griffons other senior Lindsey Partridge led the team with 8 blocks, while Kayla Ruff finished with 16 digs. Western carried their momentum into their second match of the day against Henderson State. They swept the Reddies 25-17, 25-11 and 25-16. “We knew this was a winnable match for us,” Carbin said. “We knew it was a team that was going to give us a lot of opportunities and if we were able to take advantage of them, we would win.” Chohon was strong yet again with 32 assists and Ruff led the squad in digs once more with 15. Freshman Shelby Taylor joined Thorup atop the kill chart as each netted ten. “Shelby Taylor had a really great match,” Carbin said. “To get a spark from a freshman was nice to see.” The Griffons open conference play on Friday against Missouri Southern. Western finishes the non-conference with the fourth best winning percentage in non-league play in the MIAA with their 8-2 mark. Southern has failed to win a match this season and sits at 0-9, while Western’s opponent next Saturday, Southwest Baptist, is 1-7.

Griffons fall in first two matches

Ferris State Western struggled offensively against No. 18 Ferris State in game two of the Ferris State Invitational, leading to a 1-3 loss. The Griffons kept the first set close and scored three points in a row to take the first set 26-24. They continued to play aggressively in the second set, taking a quick 8-3 lead, but Ferris State went on a seven point run to take the lead at 8-10. Western continued to fight, tying up the score at 22-22, but the Bulldogs scored three points in a row to win set two 22-25. Sets three and four were all Ferris State who won set three 17-25 and set four 13-25, winning the match three sets to one. The Griffons' attacks stumbled against Ferris State, hitting only .067 as a team. Jessie Thorup again led the team in kills with 11, while Kayla Ruff led in digs with 21 and Jordan Chohon led in assists with 21. Saginaw Valley The Griffons dropped their season opener during a back and forth match against the Saginaw Valley Cardinals on Friday morning. Western was able to claim the first set 25-18 but dropped the second 16-25. They bounced back in the third set with a 25-22 win, but Saginaw Valley would not back down as they won the fourth set 26-24, forcing a match-deciding fifth set. The teams were neck and neck during the final set, keeping within two points of each other. In the end, the Cardinals would go on a 5-1 point run to defeat the Griffons 15-10. Western recorded 56 total kills in the match, led by Jessie Thorup and Shelby Taylor with 14 each, but only hit .203 as a team. The Griffons also gathered 74 digs, led by Kayla Ruff with 19, and Jordan Chohon racked up 47 of the 50 total assists.