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Morning Sun
  • Bronchos overpower Gorillas, 3-0

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  • At Pittsburg State home volleyball matches, Gorilla fans have a tradition of shouting out GORILLAS when it's a Pitt State point. In the first two sets of the 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, Pitt State only had 23 opportunities for shouting. Central Oklahoma improved to 21-9, 9-7 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association with its 25-12, 25-11, 25-17 victory Tuesday night at John Lance Arena. After two sets, Central Oklahoma had a .457 hitting percentage, while Pitt State was at minus-.082. The Gorillas had 19 attack errors, the Bronchos three. Barbara Jackson, Allison Barr and Mallory Fox each had six kills, Taylyn Schwartz distributed the ball on 24 points and Tate Hardaker added 13 digs, while the Gorillas collectively totaled only 15 digs. "You can put it out to bad coaching," Pitt State head coach Ibraheem Suberu said. "Bad execution. As I told the team at the end, I'm responsible. I mean, we can say all the x's and o's . . . they perform at the level they're coached. I guess I didn't prepare them as well as I thought I did. It's all on me, it's all on the shoulders of the head coach, it's not on the young ladies." With the loss, the Gorillas dropped to 15-15, 5-10 in the MIAA. Three consecutive losses have Pitt State on the edge of missing the postseason conference tournament — currently tied for ninth (eight teams get in) with only a 6:30 p.m. home match remaining Saturday against rival Missouri Southern (4-25, 0-15). "Provided we're able to have a quick turnaround, in the 2-3 days between," Suberu said. "Deal with our passing. Deal with our hitter technique. Deal with attacking point scoring. Deal with better defensive play. If we put it all together, then, of course, the biggest one of all is the will to win. We've done it before." Saturday night will be Senior Night, honoring Christa McCaw, Abbie Smith, Jordan Rehm and Kirsten Erikson. On top of that, it's Pitt State-Missouri Southern, the winner earning a point in the Sonic Trophy Series, it's the nightcap of a doubleheader preceded by the Miner's Bowl and it's "Pack the Weede" night. "It's important that we put it together collectively for the seniors," Suberu said. "We want to leave the seniors a better taste in their mouth than what we did today. If we can do that, it'll be one of those matches where we bring a lot of energy. "We're playing for the neighborhood bragging rights, Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State. It will a Pittsburg State-Missouri Southern weekend with our football team playing at 2 p.m. and volleyball playing at 6:30 p.m. There will be a lot of energy going around. "I don't think we need to try anything rah-rah to get them up for that. They'll be up for it. We have to make sure to focus on specifics. Narrow the focus a little bit. We still believe we have a chance but I have to do a better job coaching and preparing them. We'll be ready." Against the Bronchos, Madison Mosier led Pitt State with eight kills, while Maggie Highberger and Paula Okrutna each had five. Mosier led Pitt State with nine digs and Hayley Hansford contributed 19 assists, six digs. Fox ended leading the Bronchos with 11 kills, while Jackson had nine, Barr eight and Juliette Smith eight. Schwartz added 36 assists, Hardaker 18 digs and Smith seven blocks (three solo, four assist).
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