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Morning Sun
  • PSU volleyball seniors go out in style with win over Mo. Western

  • The Pittsburg State volleyball team continued its winning streak (now four matches) Friday, defeating Missouri Western 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 27-25, 27-12) on Senior Night with four honorees (Brooke Fay, Leah Flynn, Becca Pearson and Nicole Rockhold) going out in style at John Lance Arena.

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  • The Pittsburg State volleyball team continued its winning streak (now four matches) Friday, defeating Missouri Western 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 27-25, 27-12) on Senior Night with four honorees (Brooke Fay, Leah Flynn, Becca Pearson and Nicole Rockhold) going out in style at John Lance Arena.
    “When you have four seniors that have done all you’ve asked of them in terms of leadership, quality work ethic and to see them leave on a good note, that’s something I consider went well today,” Pitt State head coach Ibraheem Suberu said.
    “On the fundamental side of the game, in terms of skill execution, did a better job all-around, all four seniors were better to finish. I know we had a little rocky start here and there in terms of skill execution but they put it all together at the finish line.
    “I know they talked about it. They know that when they leave, they would like to be remembered in some way that is much more positive than the whole sum of the year and winning this match was something that will leave better taste in their mouth. . . . They made a commitment and followed through. It was great to see.”
    Juiced up on the initial emotions associated with Senior Night, Pitt State jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first set and never trailed Western. The Griffons narrowed it to 6-5 with a quick run of their own but Pitt State edged the lead back out to 11-5 and the Griffons never could get closer than five.
    In a mirror image of the first set, Pitt State fell behind early in the second and never led. The Gorillas cut it to 18-15, 19-16, 20-17, 21-18, 22-19, 23-20 and finally 24-22 but never could get those crucial points to make Western really sweat out a second-set win.
    “Our skill execution,” Suberu said. “Second set, as we’ve talked about all year long, those are the adversities that we created for ourselves by not executing fundamental skills and (being) alert and focused and self-disciplined. . . . When you do that, the opponent has an advantage and Missouri Western certainly played better too in that second set.”
    Pitt State answered in the pivotal third set, enduring 11 tie scores and four lead changes. The Gorillas enjoyed an early lead, the Griffons took over in the middle of the set and led as late as 23-21 before Pitt State strung together a 6-2 closing run highlighted by a pair of Fay and Paula Okrutna kills.
    “Looking at the third set, where we had a chance to either revert and not compete,” Suberu said. “We competed better to finish, made some plays that were quality to finish well. We served and passed well in the last few points, generated our own points and that momentum carried over into the fourth.”
    Page 2 of 2 - That momentum certainly did carry over into the fourth set — Western trailed 1-0 after a long serve and that was as close as the Griffons could get to the Gorillas during a 25-12 finale.
    Rockhold led Pitt State with a double-double performance of 21 kills and 19 digs.
    Crystal Whitten had a double-double of 14 kills and 11 digs. Pearson completed a third double-double of 35 assists and 11 digs. Sam Wyatt led with 23 digs. Okrutna, Fay and Flynn had 11, 10 and eight kills, respectively. Hayley Hansford also had 23 assists. The Gorillas balanced offense and defense with 66 kills and 72 digs.
    Pitt State (16-13, 6-10 MIAA) closes out its regular season today against winless Missouri Southern (0-29, 0-17) in Joplin. The Gorillas won their first match in the new-look John Lance Arena earlier this season against Missouri Southern in a non-conference match, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-17). The match today will count toward the Sonic Trophy Series.
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