Lions defeat Gorillas, 3-2

Megan Norman, freshman libero, bumps the ball off to a teammate during the PSU game.

Megan Norman, freshman libero, bumps the ball off to a teammate during the PSU game.

T.J. Gerlach

Coming from a win over Southwest Baptist Oct. 11, the Missouri Southern volleyball team played two home games this week.

Pittsburg State University came to Joplin Oct. 14 and lost to the Lions 3-2.

“The win against Pitt was really nice,” said Chris Willis, head volleyball coach. “I thought we played really well as a team and showed we have the ability.”

Against PSU, Ashley Mehrer, junior middle hitter, led the team in both points, with 22, and kills, with 19. She was followed by Sarah Hoffmeister, junior outside hitter, who had 18 points and 17 kills.

Ashley Wright, sophomore middle hitter, had 13 kills, and Ashley Hill, freshman outside hitter, had 12. Both Wright and Hill earned 15.5 points.

Hill also led the team in defensive digs with 27. She was followed by Hoffmeister with 24.

Megan Norman, junior libero, earned 18 digs.

On Oct. 19, the Lions’ two-game win streak was cut short with a 3-1 loss to Washburn University.

Willis said the women have been playing better defense, but they have been making too many offensive errors.

“I thought we struggled a little bit in terminating balls,” he said. “We need to start attacking the ball more effectively.”

He said having too many errors shows what the Lions are doing with the ball, not what their opponents are doing on the other side of the net.

“Overall, I think we’re back on the upslope of getting better,” Willis said. “[Against WU], we got the tiger by the tail, and the tiger turned around and bit us.”

In the WU match, Cherie Baugh, freshman outside hitter, and Hoffmeister both led in kills with 10 each. Mehrer was next with nine kills.

Mehrer and Hoffmeister both earned 11.5 points in the game, while Baugh was close behind with 11.

Freshman outside hitter Katie Gage followed closely behind them with eight kills and 9.5 points.

Amy Barnicle, sophomore libero, led in digs, with 23. Norman followed her with 15 digs.

Sarah Joles, freshman setter, and Hoffmeister had 13 digs each.

The Lions have seven matches remaining in their season, and Willis said the team’s objective is to make it to the conference tournament.

“We have to beat the teams below us, and we need to surprise somebody above us as well,” he said.

The Lions’ record now stands at 10-16 overall and 3-7 in the MIAA. Their next match is away at Emporia State University on Friday.

Saturday, they travel to Warrensburg to play Central Missouri State University, and Wednesday, they are on the road again in St. Joseph to play Missouri Western State University.