Miners knock off William Jewell, No. 25 Rockhurst to advance to post-season.
The Missouri S&T Miner volleyball advanced to the GLVC Tournament for the third consecutive season by sweeping past William Jewell 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-23) on Saturday at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
The Miners will now compete in the GLVC Tournament on Fridayagainst Indianapolis at noon at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. S&T swept the Indy Greyhounds in Rolla on Sept. 21.
The Miners (15-16, 10-8 GLVC) clinched the third and final automatic bid with the win and Missouri-St. Louis's 3-2 loss against Truman earlier in the afternoon. The Tritons and S&T both finished 10-8 in league action, but the Miners got the automatic bid by virtue of their 3-2 victory over UMSL on Oct. 12.
S&T kept its playoff hopes alive on Friday by upsetting No. 25 Rockhurst at home.
S&T dominated the opening set recording 16 kills against one error in 33 attempts to finish with an attack percentage of .455. Krista Haslag led the way with six kills in seven chances. The set was tied 3-3 when the Miners took control with a 14-2 run to build a 12-point cushion. The Cardinals (4-28, 2-16 GLVC) got as close as seven points, but no closer as S&T scored seven of the final 10 points to take the opener 25-14.
The Miners turned a 10-9 deficit into a 21-11 thanks to a 12-1 run midway through set two. They had six kills in the run and forced the Cardinals into six errors. S&T led by as many as 11 in the frame before settling on the 10 point margin.
The third set was the tightest of the match. The Miners stormed out to an early 6-2 lead, but William Jewell refused to go away climbing to within 8-7 on a kill by Libby Ording. S&T led by a balance of three for most of the set, but couldn't shake the Cardinals. The Miners led 23-19 and appeared to be in complete control; however, Jewell scored three straight to cut the deficit to a point. S&T reached match point on a kill by Alison Mueller, but the Cardinals kept the contest going on a kill from Destini Dulin. The Miners ended the match on the next point with Haslag and Mueller combining for the block at the net on Christina Pratt.
S&T finished the contest with an attack percentage of .250 (43k/15e/112ta) and was led by Haslag with 11 kills while Hayley Wright added 10 kills. Allie Plunk dished out 27 assists and Cydney Denning finished with 17 digs.
William Jewell was led by Kelsey Wagner with eight kills while Pratt added seven more. Kelsey Moffitt had 16 assists while Katie Damgar had 10 digs. As a team the Cardinals had an attack percentage of .083 (30k/21e/109ta).
Knowing it needed to win its last two matches the Missouri S&T Miner volleyball team got off to a good start putting together one of its best performances of the season in a 3-1 (25-15, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19) upset of 25th ranked Rockhurst on Friday evening in Rolla. The Miner defense held the high flying Hawk attack nearly 100 points below their season average in the win.
S&T came out of the gates on fire scoring the first nine points of the match. It was reminiscent of the Miners start against Indianapolis nearly two months ago when they scored the first nine points of that contest as well. S&T led by as many as 10 before Rockhurst (24-6, 14-3 GLVC) cut the lead to 15-10 on a kill by Emily Ready. That would be the closest it got as the Miners stretched the lead back out to eight and eventually won by 10 with Hayley Wright hammering home a kill to end the set.
The second set was the tightest of the four featuring six ties and three lead changes. The Miners trailed 8-7 when Gracey Moon knocked down a kill to ignite an 8-1 run and give S&T a 15-9 advantage. The Hawks would cut the margin to two, but just like the first set the Miners pulled away to win 25-17 and take the commanding 2-0 lead.
Rockhurst raced out to a 9-3 lead in the third set only to watch S&T come back and tie it at 12-all. The Hawks regained the lead, but once again the Miners came back to tie it at 15-15. Rockhurst surged ahead scoring five of the next seven points to grab a 20-17 lead. S&T clawed back to within one before the Hawks ended the frame scoring five of the last six points to win 25-20.
In the fourth set it was S&T's turn to get off to a fast start and it did scoring five of the first six points to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Rockhurst got as close as 9-7, but no closer as the Miners countered with a 6-2 run to take a six-point cushion. The Hawks wouldn't get closer than three points the rest of the set as S&T won it 25-19.
The Miners finished the match with an attack percentage of .258, which was 125 points higher than what Rockhurst allowed on the season, and had 59 kills against 17 errors. Krista Haslag led three S&T players in double figures with 16 kills. Gracey Moon added 13 off the bench while Claire Luther dropped home 11. Allie Plunk dished out 48 assists while Cydney Denning finished with 19 digs.
The Hawks ended the match with 49 kills against 28 errors and was led by Alyssa Arnold with 15 kills. Whitney Kostal had 37 assists while Victoria Mahl dug up 14 balls.