Sept. 27, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Missouri State volleyball team used a solid all-around effort to defeat Drake by a 3-0 final Friday evening in Des Moines, improving to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Bears won by set scores of 25-14, 25-21, 25-17 en route to dropping the Bulldogs to 2-13 overall and 0-3 in MVC matches.
Missouri State took the lead for good in the first set with a 4-0 run to go ahead 8-6. Olivia Brand and Kayla Walton accounted for MSU's next five kills to a 13-10 score, while Karen Rivatto had two kills and Amber Doolittle added two blocks during a 7-0 run for a 20-11 advantage. Those two seniors added back-to-back kills for a 10-point lead at 22-12, and the Bears finished the set with 15 kills and just one error for a .467 hitting percentage.
Another early 4-0 run gave Missouri State a 7-6 lead in the second set, and Drake was only able to tie at 7-7 and 9-9 before the Bears scored the next four points to lead 13-9. Walton landed a kill for a 21-15 advantage and then answered with kills as Drake pulled to 22-19 and 23-21 before Doolittle and Carly Thomas stuffed a DU attack for the 25-21 win. It was a milestone set for Thomas as MSU's senior setter became the 21st player in school history with 1,000 career digs during the period.
The Bears used yet another early run to gain the upper hand in the third set, this time at 5-0 for an 8-3 lead. Drake cut the gap to 11-8 when Walton responded with consecutive kills, and pulled to 14-11 before Doolittle, Thomas and Elise Munroe hit three straight scores for a 17-11 lead. Missouri State led by at least four points from there and finished the set with 20 kills compared to six for the home team.
Missouri State hit .333 as a team while the defense held Drake to a .126 attack efficiency. MSU led the Bulldogs 51-29 in kills and 60-42 in digs.
Walton led all players with 13 kills on .478 hitting, Olivia Brand added 10 kills and Amber Doolittle had seven on eight swings.
Ashley Mason scooped 22 digs to eclipse the 20-mark for a second consecutive match, and Thomas finished with 11 to go with 40 assists.
The Bears visit UNI (8-4, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Panthers hosted Wichita State Friday evening.