Oct. 5, 2015
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Missouri State dropped its first Missouri Valley Conference match of the season Monday evening at Southern Illinois, as the Salukis won in five sets by scores of 22-25, 25-9, 23-25, 25-23, 15-8.
Sophomore Lynsey Wright finished with a career-high 24 kills on .370 hitting, but the Bears (12-5, 3-1 MVC) committed a season-high 37 attack errors for a .138 team attack efficiency. SIU improved to 12-6 and 3-2 in league play.
Wright's night got off to a fast start with 10 points in the first set alone. The Illinois native had nine kills and two blocks without committing an error in the first period, with kills accounting for four consecutive MSU points to a 22-17 lead. The Salukis fought off a trio set points before Simone House's kill ended it for the Bears.
The second set was all Salukis as the home team had 12 kills and one error, while the Bears had 11 miscues against six kills. SIU continued that momentum to an 18-11 advantage in the third period before Missouri State mounted a furious comeback. MSU cut the deficit to one point on four occasions before Lily Johnson broke through with back-to-back kills for a 23-22 advantage, and Wright provided the winner shortly thereafter with her 17th kill of the match.
The fourth set featured 14 ties and eight lead changes, and neither team led by more than two points in the frame. After Wright notched a kill and paired up with Kinsey Batten for a block to lead 23-22, the Salukis scored the final three tallies on two kills and an MSU error for the 25-23 win.
The final period was not nearly as close as the Salukis led 4-2 after a 3-0 run and never looked back. SIU had eight kills against one error, and put the match out of reach with a 5-0 run to lead 13-5.
In addition to her kill total, Wright also tied a career-best with five blocks, as the Bears recorded 12 stuffs in the match compared to 15 for the Salukis. MSU owned a 61-55 advantage in kills, but SIU committed 19 fewer attack errors to hit .266 as a team.
Johnson added 14 kills for her 30th consecutive match in double figures, and House chipped in 10. Emily Butters led MSU with 15 digs, while Batten finished with 13 digs, 52 assists and six blocks.
MSU continues its road trip Friday at 7 p.m. at Drake (12-10, 3-2).