Stokes Gets 300th Win as Volleyball Bears Take Two in Ohio
The Missouri State volleyball team earned a pair of victories Friday at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Athens, Ohio, handing 14th-year head coach Melissa Stokes her 300th career win in the second match of the day.
Missouri State began the day hitting .416 as a team in a 25-23, 25-17, 28-26 sweep of Eastern Kentucky (0-7), then downed Delaware (4-4) in four sets by scores of 25-14, 25-20, 19-25 and 25-23.
Stokes is the third coach in Missouri Valley Conference history to reach 300 wins at an MVC school, doing so in 437 career matches for a .686 winning percentage.
The Bears play Indiana at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Eastern Kentucky recap
Eastern Kentucky recorded kills on its first four swings of the match and did not make an attack error in its first 11 attempts in building a 12-6 lead. The Colonels kept the six-point advantage intact to 19-13 before the Bears made a 5-1 run to pull within two and force an EKU timeout. Eastern Kentucky scored the first point out of the break, but a 3-0 MSU run tied the first set at 21-apiece before Addie Foley's kill gave the Bears their first lead. Calli Norman provided back-to-back kills after a 23-23 tie to give MSU the win after the Bears hit .412 in the set.
The Bears carried their momentum into the second set, rolling up six kills on their first seven attempts to lead 9-2 and force EKU to use a timeout. In fact, it was the Bears playing error-free through 12 swings with a 15-8 lead at that point before going on to hit a blistering .609 in the second frame.
Missouri State got off to a slow start in the third set, trailing 12-9 before rallying for the 12-all tie. EKU immediately regained the lead, holding on until the Bears scored four in a row to go ahead 20-19. EKU had set point on two occasions, and Melissa Gmur served up consecutive aces to close out the match.
Gmur served six of MSU's 10 aces, and five Bears finished with at least six kills in a balanced offensive attack. Bethany Fuller hit .857 (6-0-7), and Foley hit .562 with nine kills. Cara Hackmann scooped 11 digs.
The Bears rolled through the first set with Delaware, hitting .370 as a team with Norman providing five kills in six attempts, while Kelley Michnowicz played a part in three of MSU's four blocks. Michnowicz finished the match with 10 kills, six blocks and a .400 hitting percentage, while Norman hit .409 with 11 kills and five blocks.
Missouri State added four more blocks in the second set and forced UD into as many errors as kills, but faltered in the third as the Blue Hens outscored the Bears 20-11 after MSU held an 8-5 lead. The Bears used another six kills from Michnowicz in the fourth set and pulled away to win after a 20-20 tie, hitting .317 in the frame.
Foley led Missouri State with 13 kills, hitting .303 and notching 11 digs for the double-double. Freshman Shelby Strang had 10 digs and four aces, while Hackmann led all players with 22 digs.
Article courtesy of Missouri State Athletics