The Missouri State volleyball team headed north this past weekend as the regular season schedule winds down.
The Bears faced off against Drake and Northern Iowa from Nov. 1-2 and split those two games.
On Friday, Missouri State grabbed its first victory on the road this season with a 3-1 triumph over Drake.
The Bears piled up 69 kills, led by sophomore Amelia Flynn’s 19-kill, 20-dig effort and 16 kills from junior Laynie Dake.
Missouri State rallied from a 21-14 deficit to earn three separate set points in the first period before the Bulldogs closed on a 3-0 run for the win.
The Bears then fell behind 6-0 in the second, took the lead at 15-14 and used Dake’s 500th career kill for a 16-15 advantage. Another Dake kill broke the tie at 21 and the teams sided out to a Missouri State win as the Bears finished with 16 kills and held the Bulldogs to .027 hitting.
Missouri State fell behind 18-12 in the third set and did not gain its first lead until 25-24. Freshman Azyah Green teamed with junior Emelie Orlando for one of her six blocks before following with the winning kill.
The fourth set was another nail-biter. The Bears used a 7-1 run to turn a 13-10 deficit into a 17-14 lead then closed on a 4-0 run to seal the match. Dake and freshman Brooklyn Cink came up big in the end, teaming up for a block between kills from each player for the final three points.
Northern Iowa halted Missouri State’s three-game win streak by winning in straight sets on Saturday.
The Bears played the Panthers tough for significant stretches each set, but Northern Iowa hit .274 in the contest compared to .110 for Missouri State.
Cink, Dake and sophomore Chloe Rear led the Bears with seven kills each.
Missouri State returns to Hammons Student Center on Nov. 8-9 to take on Loyola and Valparaiso, respectively.
Around the Valley
Northern Iowa sits atop the Missouri Valley Conference with a 12-1 record in conference play. Loyola is right behind in second with a 10-2 record while Bradley is third with a 7-4 record.
In fourth, Illinois State has a 6-5 record against conference opponents. Despite the rough season, the Bears still have a shot at reaching the MVC postseason but are tied with Southern Illinois for the sixth and final spot in the Valley with a record of 5-8.
If the teams were to tie, the following five tie-breaking procedures will be used, according to volleymob.com.