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Truman picks up third win with sweep of West Texas A&M

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. - After an 0-3 start to its 2017 campaign, the Truman State University volleyball team has won three of its last five and all three victories have come in straight sets. Saturday, the Bulldogs dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) foe, Missouri-St. Louis, before making quick work of West Texas A&M on day two of Lindenwood's Last Minute Challenge.

Missouri-St. Louis 3, Truman 2

Truman didn't exactly get the start that it wanted in the first set against Missouri-St. Louis. The Tritons won the set 25-10 and in the process, out-hit the Bulldogs .387 with 14 kills to .000 with eight kills. In the second and third sets, though, the Purple and White flipped a switch and went to work. Trailing Missouri-St. Louis 5-3 in the second set, that work began to pay dividends for the Bulldogs as they rattled off nine of the next 11 points and had a five-point advantage, 12-7. After that, the Tritons cut the margin to one on three occasions, but Truman survived for a 25-22 set victory.

Next set, Missouri-St. Louis took a 5-1 lead early, but once it was at 6-2, a 5-1 spurt for Truman knotted up the scoreboard at 7-7. After five more ties and four more lead changes, the Tritons were up by three, 21-18. But it isn't how you start, it's how you finish as the Bulldogs ended the set with a 7-2 run and won the set, 25-23.

In the fourth set, there were five deadlocks and one lead change through the first 17 points scored with that lead change being the biggest note. It happened when Truman went ahead 9-8, but gave the advantage right back to Missouri-St. Louis, 10-9. The final tie came at 10-10 before the Bulldogs surrendered the lead and the Tritons didn't look back for a 25-21 set victory as well as a fifth and deciding set.

Missouri-St. Louis stormed out to a 6-0 lead in the fifth and had a lead of at least three throughout the set. The Tritons led by as many as seven before the final of 15-8.

Truman was led by Jasmine Brown (11 kills and 14 digs), Savvy Hughes (40 assists and 13 digs), Elle Renault (two service aces), Claire Viviano (two aces), Natalie Brimeyer (eight blocks), and Meghan Gasper (12 digs).

Truman 3, West Texas A&M 0

In the first set, Truman took the momentum right way by opening with a 6-1 run that forced West Texas A&M to call a timeout. The breather didn't do much for the Lady Buffs though as the Bulldogs used an 8-1 run to take a commanding 11-point lead, 15-4. After that, the margin was never slimmer than eight, the Purple and White won the set by nine, 25-16, and did it by hitting a red-hot .333 with 13 kills and four errors on 27 total attempts.

Truman was just getting started, though, and bested that hitting percentage in the second set by turning in a mark of .368 thanks to 17 kills and only three errors on 38 swings. Once the 13th point had been scored, West Texas A&M had a lead of three, 8-5. Then came another Bulldog run to the tune of 8-1 that put the Purple and White up by four, 13-9. The Lady Buffs were able to slim the deficit to one three times and even tied the set at 17-17 before the Bulldogs rattled off five straight and didn't look back. Truman won the set 25-21 and had a 2-0 match advantage.

For the third set, the Bulldogs scored the first two points and the Lady Buffs tied it up, but Truman scored 10 of the next 13 points to lead by seven, 12-5. From there until the end of the match, the Purple and White were in complete control and led by as many as 13 on three different occasions including 21-8, 22-9 and 25-12.

Leaders for the Bulldogs included Brown (11 kills and four service aces), Hughes (32 assists), Emma Berthold (three blocks), and Sam Yancy (11 digs).

Next up, the Bulldogs will open GLVC play at Bellarmine on Saturday, Sept. 16 with first serve set for 3 p.m. eastern time in The Bluegrass State.

Courtesy of Truman State Athletics

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