Volleyball Lions find success on the road

Sophomore Abby Finder tips the ball over the net while playing Missouri Western State University on Oct. 4, 2103. The Lions fell three sets to two. 

Samantha Zoltanski | The Chart

Sophomore Abby Finder tips the ball over the net while playing Missouri Western State University on Oct. 4, 2103. The Lions fell three sets to two. 

Trying to avoid their third five game losing streak this season the Lions hit the road to take on conference opponents Missouri Western and the Northwest Missouri State for a weekend series. Friday’s matchup was against conference powerhouse Missouri Western. Since last playing on October 18th, the Lions headed into last Friday’s matchup versus the Griffons with a whole week of preparation. So did the Griffons as they swept the Lions handily. It was a 24 point difference for the Lions in the first two sets.

“I think our overall mentality that game was off,” said Callie Whetstone. “Our team chemistry was not there like it usually is and the energy was very subdued.”

The third set saw the Lions show no quit. They gave the Griffons everything they could handle, but to no avail. The Lions would lose the third set by three points (22-25).

Leading the charge offensively was Callie Whetstone with six kills and a .500 attack average. Payton Graves had four kills while Abby Finder provided 18 assists and six digs. Cheyanne Crandall added six digs and Katie Wiele added eight more.

Next up was Northwest Missouri State who got the best of the Lions in a late September matchup (3-1) earlier this season. On Saturday the Lions would return the favor and beat the Bearcats in a gritty five-set battle.

The Lions put their previous performance against Missouri Western behind them and focused on beating a team they’re supposed to beat.

The first set told a much different story, though, as the Lions dropped the first set 16-25.

But these ladies showed continuous fight and came back with a vengeance.

The Lions trailed the whole second set before finally taking a late lead at 23-22.

From there the Lions finished the set and had all momentum going into the third set.

The third set was back and forth before the Lions hit the 19-point mark, leading by one.

They never looked back from there, winning the set 25-23. The Lions lost the fourth set convincingly which forced a winner-take-all fifth set. The fifth set was tied 11-11 before the Lions roared ahead and won the set 15-12.

“We made it harder on ourselves at times with unforced errors, but we made up for it by consistently working hard and out-hustling them,” said Whetstone.

“We’re improving in all areas,” said head coach John Napier. “These guys are working hard and wins are going to be a result of just working hard.”

Katie Politte led on offense with 21 kills and 12 digs. Alyx Gepford had ten kills, seven blocks and 16 digs for her first career double-double. Abby Finder dished out 40 assists, added nine digs and had four blocks. Monica White added eight blocks.

The Lions are back in action today against Emporia State in Young Gymnasium.