- (RV) Missouri State def. #25 Northern Iowa, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-21)
- Missouri State improves to 23-5, 15-0 MVC; Northern Iowa drops to 23-7, 13-3 MVC
- Springfield, Missouri
- Attendance: 1858
- Box score
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – (RV) Missouri State matched their best Missouri Valley Conference start in school history with 15 wins in 15 matches and have now won 31 straight MVC matches in a sweep of #25 Northern Iowa Saturday afternoon (25-23, 25-23, 25-21). The 31 straight wins in MVC play for Missouri State is the fifth-longest streak in Missouri Valley history. A win against Drake Sunday afternoon would give the Bears the outright regular season title. This was also Missouri State’s fifth-straight win against UNI.
Missouri State was led by reigning MVC Player of the Week senior outside hitter Lily Johnson who earned a double-double on Saturday. Johnson finished with a match-high 14 kills and added 13 digs and 2 blocks on defense. Fellow senior Lynsey Wright was the only other Bear in double-digit kills with 10. Wright hit .333 with 4 blocks and an ace. Aubrey Cheffey had a match-high 6 blocks to help keep the UNI offense hitting .149 (nearly 100 points below their .242 average). Libero Emily Butters had a match-high 24 digs. Setter Daniele Messa had the Bears’ only other double-double with 16 assists and 13 digs, splitting time with Emelie Orlando who had 15 assists while MSU ran a 6-2 offense.
Northern Iowa was led offensively by junior middle blocker Piper Thomas with 13 kills, hitting .423, with 3 blocks and 3 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Karlie Taylor had UNI’s only double-double with 12 kills and 22 digs. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Kate Busswitz, in only two sets of play, set a career-high and led the Panthers with 5 blocks. UNI’s lone senior, setter Heather Hook, had 43 assists and dug 9 balls for UNI. Junior libero Kendyl Sorge added 18 digs for the floor defense.
Johnson and Butters of Missouri State continue to march up the MVC, MSU and NCAA record books. Lily Johnson is now 34th all-time in career kills in the NCAA. The 2017 season also has Johnson in the top 10 again for Missouri State in single-season kills. She also became the 15th player ever in the NCAA to play in 500 consecutive sets. Libero Emily Butters became the fourth Bear in school history with 600 digs in a single season.
Courtesy of Missouri State Athletics
SPRINGFIELD — The Missouri State volleyball team earned at least a share of its second consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championship Saturday afternoon with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 sweep of UNI in front of a season-high 1,858 fans at Hammons Student Center.
The Bears (23-5, 15-0) matched their best MVC start in school history, winning their 16th consecutive match overall and 31st straight in the league to move three games clear of UNI (23-7, 13-3) and Drake (23-6, 12-3) in the standings with three to play. MSU hosts Drake at 2 p.m. Sunday for Senior Day.
The opening period set the tone for a match that was tightly-contested throughout, with nine ties on the way to a 21-21 score, with the largest lead for either side being a 17-13 MSU advantage. MacKenzie Irwin broke the tie with a kill and a UNI error made it 23-21 Bears, which was enough cushion for the MSU to side out for the win.
Missouri State bolted to a 10-5 lead in the second set on a Lynsey Wright kill, but a pair of 5-0 runs by the visitors flipped the score to 15-12 UNI. The Panthers pushed the margin to 20-15 before the Bears countered with two blocks on either side of an Emily Butters ace for 20-18, and Lily Johnson later fired a kill from the back row for a 22-21 MSU lead. The set ended identical to the first, with a UNI error making it 23-21 and side outs to the two-point MSU win.
The Bears got off to another fast start in the third, lead 9-4 on a Johnson ace before the Panthers battled back for a 20-18 lead. MSU responded with a 5-0 run on two kills, two errors and block to lead 23-20, and a block by Wright and Aubrey Cheffey put the finishing touch on the sweep.
Johnson led all players with 14 kills and Wright added 10, and the Bears hit .217 as a team compared to .149 for UNI, overcoming deficits of 48-41 in kills and 79-63 in digs. Butters had 24 digs, and Cheffey added a career-high six blocks.
Several Bears moved up MSU, MVC and NCAA statistical lists during the match. Johnson climbed to 34th in NCAA history in career kills, and joined MSU’s single-season top 10 for kills for the fourth time in her career. She also became the 15th player in NCAA history to play in 500 consecutive sets. Wright moved past Mary Beck for eighth in school history in career kills, and Butters became the fourth player in school history with 600 digs in a season.
Courtesy of Northern Iowa Athletics
SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – The Missouri State Bears clinched a share of the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference volleyball regular season championship with a 3-0 sweep of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers on Saturday at the Hammonds Student Center.
Missouri State (23-5, 15-0 MVC) won by set scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21. The Panthers fall to 23-7 overall and 13-3 in league play.
The Bears continued their recent mastery of the Panthers and MVC foes. It marks the fifth straight win for Missouri State in the series vs. UNI. It is also Missouri State’ s 31st consecutive MVC victory – the fifth-longest streak in league history.
UNI sophomore Karlie Taylor recorded her 20th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 22 digs vs. the Bears. Junior Piper Thomas clocked in with 13 kills (.423 hitting percentage). Redshirt freshman Kate Busswitz registered a career-high five blocks vs. the Bears.