Truman State Volleyball ends regular season with win

For the second straight night, the 13th-ranked Truman volleyball team was forced to go five sets on the road, and once again, the Bulldogs rose to the challenge, defeating Northwest Missouri 3-2 (26-24, 18-25, -21, 18-25, 15-5) to wrap up the regular season portion of the 2012 schedule.

The Bulldogs (27-5, 15-3 MIAA), who clinched the No. 4 seed in next weekâ??s MIAA tournament with last nightâ??s victory, ended up paired once again with Emporia, facing the Hornets for the second time in five days this coming Tuesday (Nov. 13) night at 7:00 pm in Pershing Arena. The winner will advance to the semifinals this weekend at the highest remaining seed.

Truman struggled at times offensively on Saturday night, hitting just .167, but came through when it counted by limiting the Bearcats (15-16, 9-9 MIAA) to just three kills and a -.095 attack line in the decisive fifth set. The Bulldogs countered with eight kills and a .389 mark seal its most regular season wins since 2008.

The night nearly got off to an ominous start, as Truman found itself down 24-20 in the opening set. However, the Bulldogs rallied to take the final six points, winning 26-24 and jumping out on top. Northwest countered with a 25-18 win in set two, before the Bulldogs built an eight-point lead in set three and held on for a 25-21 win. The Bearcats again recovered, winning the fourth by a seven-point margin prior to Truman jumping out to a 10-1 lead in the final frame en route to a 15-5 win.

Four Bulldogs finished in double-figures offensively, led by senior Megan Sharpe's 13 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Allie Brak added a dozen kills and 14 dig, with freshmen Abby Heise and Ali Patterson finishing with 11 and 10 kills each. Senior Emily Briseno added five kills and four solo blocks.

Sophomore Meghan Zimmerman led all players with 47 assists and added eight digs, while fellow sophomore Abby Moser patrolled the back line to a tune of 20 digs.

Shelby Duren led the Bearcats with 16 kills, with libero Torie Beckman recording 36 digs.

The MIAA quarterfinals will kick off this Tuesday night, as No. 4 Truman hosts No. 5 Emporia; No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney hosts No. 8 Central Oklahoma; No. 2 Washburn hosts No. 7 Fort Hays; and No. 3 Central Missouri hosts No. 6 Northwest Missouri. Ticket prices at all locations are $5 for anyone ages 6+, with children under six admitted free. No student/staff/MIAA passes can be honored at MIAA tournament events.