For second time in three days Miners fail to close out comeback.
For the second time in three days the Missouri S&T Miners overcame an early deficit to force a fifth and deciding set and for the second time couldn't quite finish the comeback, falling to Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) rival Drury 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 8-15) on Tuesday evening at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
The Miners fall to 13-16 overall and 8-0 in the GLVC. Drury is 14-15 and 7-9.
S&T got off to a slow start in this one as the Panthers raced out of the gates scoring six of the first seven points. The Miners righted themselves storming back with an 8-1 run of their own to take a 9-7 lead on a kill by Shelby Wagner. The two sides then exchanged runs as Drury scored four straight to regain the lead then it was S&T's turn to score four in a row. The teams began going back-and-forth with the Miners being the first to reach 20 behind a kill from Alison Mueller. The Panthers answered with three straight forcing S&T to take a timeout. Out of the timeout another kill from Mueller brought the Miners to within a point. They were never able to tie the set though as Drury scored three of the final four points to take the opener 25-22.
S&T fell behind again early in the second set giving up three of the first four points before going another 8-1 run to take the lead. This run was highlighted by three straight service aces from Allie Plunk. The Panthers cut the margin to two, but the Miners pushed it back out to four on a kill by Mueller and forced Drury to call timeout. The Panthers responded after the break in action with a 6-2 run to even it at 15-all. S&T regained the lead and stretched it to 19-17, but couldn't hold it as Drury scored five straight to take a 22-19 advantage. The Miners cut the deficit to one on two different occasions but were unable to even it as the Panthers held on for the 25-23 win.
The third set featured 10 ties and three lead changes with neither side holding a lead larger than three points. Drury was the first to reach 20 points in the frame and held a 24-22 lead with a chance to close it. S&T wouldn't let them though scoring the final four points to win 26-24 and send it to a fourth set.
Just like the first three sets, the fourth one was tight early before the Miners began to pull away midway through. They led by as many as six points midway through the stanza. The Panthers didn't make it easy cutting the lead to 21-19 on a service ace, but S&T held strong scoring four of the final six points to win the set 25-21 and force a winner take all finale.
In that finale Drury scored six of the first nine points forcing the Miners to take a timeout. S&T battled back to within 9-8; however, the Panthers scored the final six points to send the Miners to their fourth straight loss. S&T committed six attack errors and three service errors in the finale giving Drury nine points. The Panthers recorded six kills in eight attempts against no errors.
The Miners recorded 67 kills in the match and finished with an attack percentage of .204. Hayley Wright led three players in double figures with 18 kills. Mueller and Gracey Moon had 14 apiece. Plunk finished the match with 50 assists, 15 digs and seven kills. Caitlin Brocker had 25 digs.
Drury finished the match with 60 kills and had a hitting percentage of .188. Sara Borneman finished with 16 kills leading three Panthers in double digits. Chloe Foster and Maddie Halford ahd 11 and 10 kills respectively. Brooke Antenen dished out 47 assists while Bridget Justis had 32 digs.
S&T continues its homestand on Friday hosting Rockhurst at 7 p.m.