-- Missouri State closed out its non-conference schedule Saturday with losses to a pair of teams receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll, falling to Iowa State in straight sets in the morning match before suffering a 3-1 loss to Marquette in the evening contest.
The Bears (9-5), who played seven teams that qualified for the 2015 NCAA Tournament and picked up top-15 wins over Illinois and Ohio State during the non-league slate, open the Missouri Valley Conference season at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against preseason favorite Wichita State.
MSU senior Simone House
was selected to the Marquette Invitational all-tournament team.
Iowa State Recap (Lost 12-25, 21-25, 22-25)
The Bears led for just one point in the first set, and Iowa State used a 6-0 run to take control with a 12-5 lead. The Cyclones (7-4) continued to pull away from there, hitting .407 in the set compared to .029 for MSU.
The second set was close throughout with the final score being the largest lead for either team. The video replay system at the Al McGuire Center came into play twice, benefiting the Cyclones each time, with the second review showing an MSU shot hit the antenna. That play put ISU ahead 23-21 rather than leaving the score tied at 22-all, and the Cyclones scored the next two points to take a 2-0 lead.
The Cyclones had another strong finish in the third set. The score was tied 12 times to a 19-19 score, and neither team led by more than two points until ISU used a 3-0 run to go ahead 22-19. The Bears closed to 22-21 on a block by Lynsey Wright
and Cambree Villarreal
, but Iowa State scored the next two points and the teams sided out to the final score.
Iowa State hit .307 in the match compared to .132 for the Bears. Lily Johnson
led MSU with 10 kills and nine digs, while Wright added four blocks.
Marquette Recap (Lost 25-21, 18-25, 13-25, 23-25)
The Bears could do no wrong early in the match, jumping ahead 18-9 after three consecutive Johnson aces put the finishing touches on a 7-0 run. MSU remained error-free with 11 kills on 18 swings after Mikaela Mosquera
's kill made it 20-10. Marquette (10-2) countered with a 5-0 run, and cut the gap to three points on two occasions before Johnson's fifth kill secured the win.
MSU jumped ahead 5-1 in the second set, but Marquette out-scored the Bears 49-26 over the course of the next two periods to take a 2-1 match lead. The Golden Eagles hit .286 over that span compared to .072 for MSU.
Johnson had four kills during a 6-0 run that put the Bears ahead 12-8 in the third set, and Missouri State was in position to extend the match with a 22-19 lead on Johnson's eighth kill of the period. The Golden Eagles tied the score at 22-all, House made it 23-22 Bears with a kill, but MU scored the final three tallies as Taylor Louis fired her 28th kill of the match for the winner.
The Golden Eagles hit .269 in the match compared to .146 for the Bears, and held leads of 62-49 in kills and 12-5 in blocking. Johnson led MSU with 17 kills and 21 digs, while House added 14 kills with just one hitting error.