As the Missouri Valley Conference season nears its midpoint, the Missouri State volleyball team’s rough season continues.
Through Oct. 4-12, Missouri State dropped three of four games as they faced Northern Iowa and Drake at home and Valparaiso and Loyola on the road, respectively.
The tough stretch moved the Bears to a disappointing 4-16 overall on the year and 1-5 in MVC play. The team is on pace to finish with one of their worst seasons in program history.
Missouri State has not ended a season below .500 since 1998. The Bears have never finished a season 10 or more games below .500 since records started being kept in 1972.
On Oct. 4-5, Missouri State split two games, falling to Northern Iowa in straight sets before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Drake.
In a match with 30 ties and 11 lead changes, the Panthers came up with key runs in all three sets for a 25-23, 25-22 and 25-20 victory over the Bears.
Junior Laynie Dake hit .529 with 11 kills to lead Missouri State’s offense. Sophomore Amelia Flynn had a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs, but the Northern Iowa used a .261 attack efficiency and seven aces to grab the win.
The Bears served 12 aces, including six from sophomore Chloe Rear to pull away from Drake the next night.
Missouri State ended a nine-match losing streak with their highest ace total in five years, while Rear’s aces were the most for a Bears player since Daniele Messa in 2016.
Flynn notched her second straight double-double with a season-high 16 digs and 11 kills, Dake swatted a match-high 15 kills and senior Gerri Idos lifted a season-best 15 digs in the win as well.
The Bears hit the road this past weekend and lost to Valporaiso and Loyola in straight sets.
Against Valpo, Flynn led the offense with nine kills, while Idos scooped a career-high 18 digs, including the 500th of her career.
Missouri State had 10 blocks on the night but hit .068 as a team with 24 errors.
On Saturday, Loyola hit .363 and held the Bears to a .084 attack efficiency to help them secure the win.
Sophomore Leah Vokolek recorded her 500th career dig in the contest, Flynn paced the offense with eight kills and freshman Azyah Green had three blocks.
The Bears return to Hammons Student Center from Oct. 18-19 to host Indiana State and Evansville.
Around the Valley
Loyola is the only unbeaten team remaining in MVC play, sitting atop the conference. They are a perfect 6-0 against Valley opponents so far this season. Northern Iowa is right behind in second with a 6-1 record. The Panthers lone loss was to Illinois State Oct. 12.
Illinois State and Bradley are tied for third place with 4-2 records while Evansville and Valparaiso are 3-3 in conference play. Southern Illinois owns a 2-4 record.
Missouri State, Drake and Indiana State have just one win in the Valley.