Women’s volleyball off to slow start

The Missouri Southern women’s volleyball team got its 2015 season underway this past weekend in the Washburn Invitational in Topeka, Kan. The Lions would play non-conference opponents Drury, Black Hills State, South Dakota Miners and Agustana (S.D.).

Day one would be a day to forget for the Lions, as their opponents were Drury and Black Hills State. The Lions were swept in both matchups, being outscored by 32 points by Drury and 18 points by Black Hills State.

Head coach John Napier and junior middle hitter Monica White. They both agreed that the performance against Drury was the worst of all of their four matchups.

“We didn’t want to talk about day one. It was a hard day,” said White. “But when you look at day one and day two, it was really good to see how we were able to come back.”

“There’s no question we didn’t compete,” said Napier. “I need to find a way to get these guys ready to compete every match.”

In Southern’s second match of the day, the Lions fell three sets to none against Black Hill State. Individual set scores were 20-25, 17-25 and 20-25.

The Lions hit .150 in the opening set and hit under the .100 mark in the second set and couldn’t complete the late rally in the finale.

Bridgette Jaeger led the team with 10 kills and 15 digs, while Lauren Darby had six kills and Abby Finder dished out 21 assists. Katie Wiele added 13 digs.

The Lions performed much better compared to day one. Day two was a performance the Lions could live with as competitors. The Lions would faceoff against the S.D Mines and Agustana.

Match one against the S.D Mines was the most competitive game of the four. The match went all five sets. The Lions won a tough first set 30-28. Southern dropped the next two sets and then won a tough fourth set. The fifth and deciding set would belong to the Mines as the Lions scratched and clawed only to lose by two points.

“We never gave up. I saw so much heart in all the girls in that game,” said White. “We really competed, didn’t give up, and there was a lot of heart out there.”

Jaeger led the Lions with 17 kills and 15 digs, while Finder dished out 43 assists and added 12 digs. Wiele had a team-high 22 digs. Whetstone had nine kills and four blocks, while White and Alex Gepford had seven kills each.

Game two was much of the same story for the Lions as they battled and battled, falling short of a victory against Agustana. Agustana swept the Lions; the set scores were 23-25, 18-25 and 19-25.

Southern will be back in action tomorrow when the team travels to Russellville, Ark, to compete in the Arkansas Tech Tournament.