PITTSURG — The Pittsburg State volleyball snapped a 15-game losing streak with a pair of wins at home over the weekend, defeating Southwest Baptist on Friday and Missouri Southern on Saturday each by the score of 3-1.
After picking up a win over the Bearcats, the Gorillas carried the momentum over into Saturday and took down the Lions in four sets.
Pitt State dropped the third set 25-20 after winning the first two 25-14 and 25-16, but bounced back to take the fourth 25-14.
“These wins feel amazing,” PSU head coach Jen Gomez said. “These kids just really delivered on the game plan. Their energy and excitement was at a level we haven’t seen and they pushed the tempo. I thought they did a great job. I wish we could start the season over right now, but I was really pleased with their play and the way they answered.”
MSSU jumped out to a 3-2 lead to begin the first set, but the Gorillas responded with a 5-1 run — with help from two kills by Emily Regier and Noelle Dooley — to go up 7-4.
The Gorillas pulled away later in the set, as they scored seven consecutive points to extend the lead to 19-10 en route to getting the 25-14 win.
The run was highlighted by a trio of kills from Lauren Regier and included a kill by Dooley.
Pitt State picked up right where it left off in the second set, outscoring the Lions 9-2 in the early going.
PSU’s early run began with a kill by Mia Bledsoe and included kills by Taylor Unke, Regier and Dooley.
The Gorillas went on to expand the lead to 16-5 on the strength of four consecutive points — with one coming via a kill from Bledsoe — before coasting to the 25-16 win.
Missouri Southern took control of the third set with three consecutive points, but a 5-1 run by the Gorillas gave them a one-point advantage.
Bledsoe ended Pitt State’s scoring drought with a kill, which was followed up by two more kills from Lauren Dunn and Regier.
Neither team was able to pull away until the end, when the Lions outscored PSU 5-1 down the stretch to get a 25-20 win.
MSSU scored the opening point of the fourth set, but the Gorillas responded with eight consecutive points to take an 8-1 advantage.
A kill by Bledsoe tied the game at 1-apiece and gave Pittsburg the momentum, as Unke and Regier both went on to earn kills in the run.
The Gorillas extended the lead to 16-6 on the strength of a 5-2 run, with the help of three kills from Dooley.
Pitt State put the finishing touches on the win by outscoring MSSU 7-2 down the stretch to take the set 25-14.
Regier led the Gorillas in kills with 16, while Dooley and Bledsoe finished close behind with 13 kills apiece.
Blanton led the way in assists (42) and aces (3), in addition to contributing on defense with 16 digs.
Paige Corcoran was the defensive anchor with 21 digs, while earning six assists.
The Gorillas will head to Kearney to take on the Lopers at 6 p.m. on Friday, before heading over to Hays for a matchup with the Tigers at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.