Tough weekend for Southern Volleyball

The Missouri Southern volleyball team was back in action last weekend following their big win over rival Pittsburg State University on Oct. 10. The Lions swept the Gorillas 3-0. That was the first matchup between both schools in any sport this year.

“That’s the one thing I have learned since I’ve been down here and that’s beat Pitt State,” said freshman outside hitter Bridgette Jaeger.

Southern saw some stiff competition last weekend as the Lions hit the road to face No. 13 ranked Central Missouri and Lindenwood (Mo.).

Up first was a date with the third ranked team in the MIAA conference, UCM.

The first set was the most competitive. Southern got the early lead at 7-3 before the Jennies tied it up at 11. Southern trailed 21-17 after a Southern timeout. The Lions would get within one at 22-21 but the Jennies scored three of the next four points to take the opening set, 25-22.

The next two sets were all Jennies and the Lions were swept. Individual scores, 25-22, 25-14, 25-13. Southern has lost their last seven games at UCM (21-0).

Jaeger and Payton Graves had five kills each. Callie Whetstone had four kills, hit .500 and added five blocks. Abby Finder dished out 17 assists, while Katie Wiele had 20 digs.

The final road matchup would be against Lindenwood. Lindenwood came into the matchup winners of their last two after dropping seven straight.

Both teams traded set victories in the first two sets.

The third set was all Lions and Lindenwood never trailed in the fourth set as they forced a winner take all fifth set.

Lindenwood got off to a hot start in the fifth set going up 8-3. Lindenwood would hold on to that lead and finish the Lions, 15-7 for the match victory.

The Lions (2-18, 1-8 MIAA) were led by Jaeger’s 18 kills, a career-high, while she added 12 digs and two blocks for a double-double. Monica White and Graves had nine kills each. Alyx Gepford had eight kills of her own. Finder dished out 42 assists and added 13 digs, while Wiele had a match-high 19 digs.

Southern will be back in action tonight, as the Lions host Missouri Western. First serve from Young Gymnasium is slated for 7 p.m.