October 9, 2007 -- The #21 Emporia State volleyball team won the final two games after falling behind 2-1 to defeat Northwest Missouri on Tuesday in Maryville, Mo. Sophomore Arica Shepard led the Hornets with 22 kills and 17 digs while freshman Brianne Boner added 16 kills on .448 hitting. Freshman Ting Liu had a career high 67 assists as ESU hit .282 as a team. Sophomore Amy Byfield had a career high 35 digs for the Hornets.
ESU was held to .175 hitting in game one as NWMSU took the opener 30-20. The Bearcats closed the game on a 10-2 run and scored four of the final five points on service aces. The Hornets came back to take game two 30-25 behind five kills from Boner on .556 hitting. Junior Kristin Fletcher had block assists on the final two points of the game for ESU. NWMSU took game three 30-26 after the intermisison for a 2-1 lead in the match. ESU trailed 26-20 before a 5-1 run, including two kills by Shepard, cut the lead to 27-25.
Shepard had seven kills in ESU's 30-23 win in game four. The Hornets jumped out to a 6-1 lead thanks to two kills and a solo block from Fletcher and the Bearcats never got closer than four points the rest of the way. Freshman Brittney Miller ended the game with a kill and solo block to set up game five.
The Hornets out-hit the Bearcats .368 to .056 in game five with Shepard going a perfect three of three on attacks. ESU went up 4-1 to start the final game. After NWMSU closed it to 4-3, Miller ignited a 4-0 run with two kills sandwiched around a block assist with Fletcher to give ESU an 8-3 lead on the way to the 15-9 match clinching victory.
With the win ESU improves to 19-6 on the year and 6-2 in the MIAA West Division. The Hornets are tied with Washburn for the most wins in the West, but have played two more games than the Lady Blues. ESU is off for a full week as their next action will be against Newman on Oct. 16 in White Auditorium. First serve for the non-conference match is set for 7 p.m. It is one of only three regular season home matches remaining for the Hornets.