Nov. 2, 2013
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Missouri State extended its volleyball winning streak to four matches Saturday evening with a 26-24, 25-8, 25-22 victory at Evansville to improve to 17-9 overall and 8-5 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Evansville (8-16, 3-10) jumped ahead 9-4 in the first set before the Bears charged back thanks to seven kills on eight swings from Kayla Walton and four critical kills from Karen Rivatto, all coming after the Purple Aces held a 23-20 lead. Rivatto hit back-to-back kills at that point to force an Evansville timeout, and then spoiled consecutive UE set point chances with kills for a 24-24 tie. Carly Thomas followed that with a block and the Aces missed an attack to hand the Bears a 26-24 win.
The second set was all Missouri State as the Bears rolled up a .522 team hitting percentage and recorded four blocks. Walton had four more kills, Amber Doolittle played a part in three of MSU's blocks, and Evansville managed only three kills against eight errors.
Evansville's 7-0 run early in the third set negated all of MSU's 10-5 lead and put the Aces ahead 12-10. Olivia Brand evened the set at 12-all with two of her seven kills in the period, adding scores for Missouri State's 20th, 22nd, 24th and 25th points of the set. The Bears never trailed after Elise Munroe's ace gave them an 18-17 advantage.
Offensively, the Bears hit .328 as a team with Brand's 13 kills on .355 hitting leading the way. Walton finished with 11 kills and hit .500, and Rivatto added 11 kills while making just one error. Thomas had 39 assists and six kills.
Ashley Mason finished with 27 digs, a career high for a three-set match, while surpassing Susan Ruch for second place on MSU's career digs list. The Bears held a 67-49 advantage in total digs and limited UE to a .139 attack efficiency. Each team had eight blocks.
Missouri State returns to Hammons Student Center Nov. 8 for a 7 p.m. match against Illinois State.