OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The conference action slows down this week as the halfway point of the MIAA schedule is reached, so this weekend the No. 5-ranked Washburn Lady Blues (21-1, 6-0 MIAA) will be hosting the Premier Mortgage Fall Classic starting Friday (Oct. 5) at Lee Arena.
Action begins with two matches at 10 a.m. Friday, with new pairings slated for every two hours until 6 p.m. The tourney resumes Saturday (Oct. 6) at 9 a.m., with matches to follow at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on two courts.
Nine teams will be joining the Lady Blues for the event, including four from the conference and three nationally-ranked teams.
Other MIAA squads in the tournament are No. 6 Truman (17-4, 5-1 MIAA), No. 23 Emporia State (15-5, 5-2 MIAA), Northwest Missouri State (11-11, 2-3 MIAA) and Missouri Western (7-13, 1-5 MIAA).
The 17th-ranked Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M from the Lone Star Conference give the event a quartet of Top 25 teams.
Of the six MIAA matches being contested in the next seven days, there is one pairing of Top 25 teams as No. 7 Central Missouri (20-2, 6-1 MIAA) hosts 13th-ranked Pittsburg State (17-4, 3-3 MIAA).
The Jennies recently had their 14-match win streak snapped at hone against Truman, but they bounced back to will their last two matches. The Gorillas are just 2-3 in their last five matches -- the three setbacks all coming against teams currently in the national poll.
The PSU/UCM match is one of three available this week on pay-per-view online video web streaming from http://www.themiaa.tv.
Also available are a pair of home matches for Northwest Missouri State -- against Missouri Southern (10-10, 1-6 MIAA) Wednesday (Oct. 3) and Emporia State on Tuesday (Oct. 9).
The charge for each match is $5.
WASHBURN ENDS TRUMAN'S WIN STREAK AT NINE: No. 5 Washburn rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 (25-30, 22-30, 30-25, 30-25, 15-11) win at No. 6 Truman Tuesday night (Oct. 2) at Pershing Arena to snap the Bulldogs' nine-match win streak.
The Lady Blues hit .105 (24 kills, 13 errors, 105 attempts) in the first two games to fall behind, but was able to turn the tables after coming away with the win in game three.
WU held Truman to a .082 attack percentage (16-11-61) in game four to tie the match, and did not make an attack error in the deciding fifth game (12-0-21 -- .571).
Senior RH Tessa Jones led the Lady Blues with 19.5 points (18 kills, 3 block assists), while junior OH Monica Miesner added 18.5 (16 kills, 1 block solo, 3 block assists) and senior MH Mandi Cox scored 17 (15 kills, 1 block solo, 2 block assists).
Sophomore S Kate Hampson had 54 assists and senior L Erica Cowhick tallied 39 digs.
Truman was led by the 20.5 points (20 kills, 1 block assist) from sophomore OH Susie Lesher. Junior RH Melissa Keck had 19 points (18 kills, 2 block assists), while junior MH Allie Cherven scored 17 (12 kills, 2 block solos, 6 block assists).
Freshman S Ashley Petak had 43 assists, while junior OH Eli Medina logged 29 digs.
TRUMAN DOWNS RANKED PAIR ON THE ROAD: Before falling at home to WU, Truman downed two other ranked MIAA squads on the road last week.
The Bulldogs hit .333 (39-6-99) in games three and four to take a 3-1 win over Central Missouri last Wednesday (Sept. 26) at the UCM Multipurpose Building. It was the Jennies' first conference loss and snapped a 14-match winning streak.
Truman's three leading scorers -- junior MH Allie Cherven (16 pts. -- 14 kills, 1 block solo, 2 block assists), junior OH Eli Medina (12.5 pts. -- 10 kills, 1 block solo, 3 block assists) and junior MH Lisa Weber (12.5 pts. -- 9 kills, 1 ace, 1 block solo, 3 block assists) -- combined for an attack percentage of .420 (33-4-69).
Medina also had a team-high 20 digs, while senior S Amanda Holliday had 27 of Truman's 56 assists.
Freshman OH Rachel Fister led UCM with 19 points (17 kills, 2 aces). Sophomore S Caitlin Pankratz had 54 assists and senior L Audrey Jenson logged 30 digs.
Truman had to squeak past Pittsburg State twice before rallying to hit .455 (11-1-22) in game five to escape with a 3-2 (21-30, 31-29, 31-29, 24-30, 15-11) win over the Gorillas Saturday (Sept. 29) at John Lance Arena.
Sophomore OH Susie Lesher scored a team-high 19 points (18 kills, 2 block assists), and sophomore OH Erin Hattey had 16.5 (13 kills, 3 block solos, 1 block assist). Holliday (37) and freshman S Ashley Petak (32) combined for 69 of the Bulldogs' 77 assists, and junior L Whitney Boehler had 25 digs.
PSU junior RH Sammie Williams had 25 points (22 kills, 1 solo block, 4 block assists) and hit .347 (22-5-49) -- the rest of the Gorillas combined to hit .189 (54-24-159).
Junior L Ashlee Maple had 32 digs, while senior S Sarah Brannock (39) and sophomore S Emily Vosseler (34) had all but three of the teams 77 assists.
COWHICK CHART CHECK: With 91 digs in her three matches in the past seven days, Washburn senior L Erica Cowhick moved closer to third place on the MIAA's career digs list.
She now has 2,070 for her career and needs 51 digs to put Truman's Neely Forbes (1991-94 -- 2121) in fourth place.
SBU'S KENNEY COLLECTS ANOTHER TRIPLE-DOUBLE: Senior S Chelsea Kenney of Southwest Baptist (8-14, 2-5 MIAA) collected her fifth triple-double (kills-assists-digs) of 2007 and second in conference play in SBU's 3-2 win (33-31, 29-31, 21-30, 30-19,15-11) Saturday at Missouri Southern.
She had 10 kills, 43 assists and 28 digs in SBU's second conference win of the season. It is the first time since 2000 the Lady Bearcats have had multiple MIAA wins in a season.
Kenney remains the only MIAA player to record a triple-double this season.
QUICK SETS: Pittsburg State junior MH Linda Igbinigie is ranked third in Division II blocks per game with an average of 1.58 through matches of Sept. 30... Missouri Western scored its first MIAA win of the season last Wednesday (Sept. 26) at Missouri Southern, 3-2 (26-30, 30-25, 22-30, 30-24, 16-14) -- senior MH/RH Alyssa Berg had 24.5 points (15 kills, 4 aces, 1 block solo, 9 block assists) and sophomore S Madison Benton logged a career-high 48 assists... Berg needs just five kills for 1000 in her career entering the Griffons' Thursday (Oct. 4) match with Fort Hays State (12-10, 0-5 MIAA)... Emporia State freshman RH Brittney Miller had a season-best 17.5 points (17 kills, 1 block assist) in ESU's 3-2 loss at Washburn last Wednesday... Northwest sophomore OH Alicia Johnson just missed a triple-double (22 kills, 9 assists, 23 digs) in the Bearcats' 3-2 home win over South Dakota Thursday (Sept. 27).
MIAA Volleyball Players of the Week
For the week of play ending Sept. 30
Monica Miesner, OH
Miesner (pronounced MEE-sner), a 5-foot-11 junior from Florissant, Mo., averaged 6.50 points per game and hit .318 (48 kills, 14 errors, 107 attempts) as the No. 7 Lady Blues claimed two MIAA wins last week.
She tied a school rally-scoring era single -match record with 28 kills as she hit .426 (28-5-54) in a 3-1 home win over Northwest Missouri State Saturday (Sept. 29).
Miesner also added three aces and four block assists to tally 33 points, and also had 13 digs and two assists.
In a 3-2 home victory over No. 23 Emporia State Wednesday (Sept. 26), she had 20 kills and 20 digs, along with one ace, two block solos and five block assists 25.5 points.
Miesner is a graduate of St. Louis (Mo.)-Trinity Catholic High School.
Others Nominated: Pamela Cartagena, OH, PSU; Emiley DeVore, OH, MWSU; Rachel Fister, OH, UCM; Alicia Johnson, OH, NWMSU; Eli Medina, OH, TSU; Brittney Miller, RH, ESU.
Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Pamela Cartagena, OH, PSU & Melissa Keck, RH, TSU; 9/3 -- Jillian Ohrman, OH, UCM; 9/10 -- Leanna Roberts, MH, FHSU; 9/17 -- Tessa Jones, RH, WU; 10/24 -- Megan Koster, OH, ESU.
Kate Hampson, S
Hampson, a 5-foot-7 sophomore from Fort Collins, Colo., averaged 14.33 assists in helping seventh-ranked Washburn to two home conference wins last week.
She tallied a career-high 67 assists to go with eight digs, five kills and three block assists in the Lady Blues' 3-2 win over No. 23 Emporia State Wednesday (Sept. 26). Hampson also had an ace and served at 92.3 percent efficiency.
In WU's 3-1 home win over Northwest Missouri State Saturday (Sept. 29), Hampson dished out 62 assists as the Lady Blues hit .324 against the Bearcats. She also added an ace, two kills, a block assist and six digs.
It was her sixth consecutive match surpassing 50 assists.
Hampson is a graduate of Rocky Mountain High School.
Others Nominated: Madison Benton, S, MWSU; Whitney Boehler, L, TSU; Chelsea Kenney, S, SBU; Ting Liu, S, ESU; Ashlee Maple, L, PSU; Caitlin Pankratz, S, UCM; Paige Spangenberg, L, NWMSU; Katie Swenson, S, NWMSU.
Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Audrey Jensen, L, UCM; 9/3 -- Ashlee Maple, L, PSU; 9/10 -- Kate Hampson, S, WU; 9/17 -- Ting Liu, S, ESU; 9/24 -- Ting Liu, S, ESU.