DES MOINES, Iowa
-- The Missouri State volleyball team secured a winning Missouri Valley Conference record for the 16th consecutive season Saturday after defeating Drake by a 25-15, 25-16, 25-18 final at the Knapp Center.
Missouri State improved to 17-8 overall and 10-3 in league matches with the win, while Drake is 9-14 and 1-11 in Valley play.
The Bears broke the first set open with an 11-0 run to lead 16-6. Freshman Lily Johnson
served three aces and classmate Lynsey Wright
had four kills during the spurt, as Missouri State did not commit an attack error until its 24th attempt of the period while hitting .406 as a team with 17 kills. Olivia Brand
finished the second set with more kills than Drake by a 10-8 margin as the senior had six during MSU's 8-0 start and put MSU ahead 12-3 with her eighth kill of the period. The Bears led by at least six points the rest of the way, finishing with 19 kills as a team.
Missouri State spotted the Bulldogs two points in the third set before going on a 7-0 run to lead 7-2. The Bears never led by less than four points after that, and a block by Andrea Beaty
and Simone House
made the score 19-10. Drake answered with a 4-0 run, but Beaty answered with a kill as the Bears coasted to the victory.
The Bears dominated the match in nearly every category, finishing with leads of .318-.136 in hitting percentage, 51-26 in kills, 60-35 in digs and 5-1 in aces.
Brand hit .520 with a match-high 15 kills and Johnson narrowly missed a double-double with 10 kills and nine digs. Maddy Hogan
had 14 digs, while House and Beaty had four blocks each.
Missouri State completes its three-match road trip on Friday, Nov. 7, with a 7 p.m. contest at Wichita State.