No. 7 Lady Blues, No. 12 Gorillas set for key MIAA West clash

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The two MIAA West Division volleyball squads ranked in the CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Top 25 will clash this Friday (Sept. 21) in Topeka, Kan.

The seventh-ranked Washburn Lady Blues (16-1, 1-0 MIAA) host No. 12 Pittsburg State (15-1, 2-0 MIAA) play the first of their two regular season conference matches that night at Lee Arena.

The Lady Blues won both of last season's meeting with the Gorillas, including a 3-0 sweep at home.

Pitt State then heads to Emporia State (12-4, 2-1 MIAA) for a match Saturday night (Sept. 22). The Lady Hornets will be out to knock off their second Top 25 team of the week, after getting a 3-0 sweep Tuesday (Sept. 18) at No. 23 Rockhurst (Mo.).

ESU isn't PSU's only foe on Saturday -- the Gorillas will go to Wichita and get a non-conference match with Newman (Kan.) that evening.

No. 5 Central Missouri (16-1, 3-0 MIAA), possessors of a 12-match winning streak, head up to Missouri Western (6-9, 0-1 MIAA) Friday night before taking on Northwest Missouri State (8-9, 1-1 MIAA) the following day in Maryville.

The Jennies swept Missouri Southern (9-7, 0-3 MIAA) Tuesday night, running their consecutive games won streak to 14 over the last five matches.

The Lions have another nationally-ranked foe on the horizon when they face Washburn Saturday in Topeka. MSSU plays at Fort Hays State (10-7, 0-2 MIAA) Friday night.

No. 8 Truman (12-3, 2-0 MIAA) hosts Missouri-St. Louis in non-league action Wednesday (Sept. 19) before heading to Southwest Baptist (6-10, 0-3 MIAA) for conference action Friday.

The Bulldogs then go to Columbia (Mo.) Saturday to face the No. 10 team in the latest NAIA poll.

WU, TRUMAN RUIN TRIP FOR FLORIDA SOUTHERN: The Moccasins of then-No. 5 Florida Southern will not look fondly on their trip to the Midwest last weekend, as they dropped a two of their three matches against MIAA competition.

The Washburn Lady Blues handed FSC its second loss of the season with a 3-1 (30-26, 30-27, 27-30, 30-25) decision Friday (Sept. 14) at Lee Arena.

WU held the Moccasins to a .135 attack percentage in game four (15 kills, 8 errors, 52 attempts) to secure then win. Florida Southern had made it a 2-1 match with a game-three win which included 13 ties and six lead changes.

Senior RH Tessa Jones had 28 points (24 kills, 1 ace, 6 block assists) to lead the charge for Washburn, and also won AVCA/Sports Imports Division II Player of the Week honors for her efforts.

Junior OH Monica Miesner added 16.5 points (14 kills, 1 block solo, 3 block assists). Sophomore S Kate Hampson had 51 assists and senior L Erica Cowhick tallied 25 digs.

The next day in Maryville, Mo., Truman defeated FSC in a tough 3-2 battle (32-34, 31-29, 28-30, 30-25, 15-9) Saturday afternoon (Sept. 15).

The Bulldogs rallied to hit .371 (31-5-70) in games four and five to gain the victory. The Mocs were limited to a .115 hitting percentage (21-12-78) in the deciding games.

Junior OH Eli Medina scored 23 points (17 kills, 3 aces, 2 block solos, 2 block assists) to lead Truman. Junior MH Allie Cherven chipped in 18.5 points (15 kills, 7 block assists), while junior RH Melissa Keck had 17.5 points (14 kills, 1 block solo, 5 block assists) and sophomore OH Susie Lesher scored 16.5 points (15 kills, 1 ace, 1 block assist.

Senior S Amanda Holliday had 42 assists. Medina (29) and junior L Whitney Boehler (25) combined for 54 digs.

Northwest Missouri State was unable to make it a MIAA sweep, as the Bearcats lost to Florida Southern later Saturday, 3-0 (30-27, 30-27, 30-25).

Freshman MH Sara Falcone had 14.5 points for Northwest on 11 kills, 1 ace, 2 block solos and 1 block assist. Freshman S Katie Swenson had 39 assists and was 5-of-7 on attacks with no errors.

COWHICK MOVES INTO FOURTH ON MIAA DIGS LIST: With 65 digs in her three matches, Washburn senior L Erica Cowhick moved into fourth place on the MIAA's career digs list.

She tied Northwest Missouri State's Jill Quast (1997-2000 -- 1,924) for fourth place on the conference chart with her 25 digs in Washburn's upset of then-No. 5 Florida Southern Friday night (Sept. 14).

With her first dig Tuesday (Sept. 18) at Northwest, Cowhick passed the former Bearcat for sole possession of fourth, ending the night with 23 and 1,947 for her career.

To become the fourth MIAA player to reach 2,000 digs, Cowhick needs 53 more. She's 175 away from passing Truman's Neely Forbes (1991-94 -- 2121) for third place.

QUICK SETS: Washburn senior RH Tessa Jones was the first Lady Blue to earn AVCA/Sports Imports Division II Player of the Week honors since Emily Foster on October 4, 2004, and first from the MIAA since Central Missouri's Becky Haug Oct. 17, 2005... Northwest sophomore OH Alicia Johnson had seven aces in the Bearcats' 3-1 Sunday (Sept. 16) over Upper Iowa, tying the MIAA season-high set by Central Missouri senior S Ashlei Jandrey vs. Arkansas-Monticello Aug. 25... Southwest Baptist senior S Chelsea Kenney is the only MIAA player to record a triple-double this season -- she's done it three times, most recently vs. Texas A&M International on Sept. 7 (12 kills, 13 digs, 37 assists)... Fort Hays State senior MH Sarah Shinstock had 11 blocks (5 solos) in a 3-2 Tigers win over Central Oklahoma Tuesday (Sept. 18) in Goodwell, Okla. -- that ties the league-high set Aug. 25 by Emporia State freshman MH Brianne Boner vs. the same UCO squad... Through matches of Sept. 16, Pittsburg State junior MH Linda Igbinigie was third in Division II block average (1.69 bpg)... Washburn was eighth in kills per game (16.43) and assists per game (15.02) in the Division II statistics through Sept. 16... Missouri Western's win over Upper Iowa Saturday (Sept. 15) was just the second for the Griffons in their last eight matches.

MIAA Volleyball Players of the Week

For the week of play ending Sept. 16

Tessa Jones, RH
Wahsburn University

Jones, a 6-foot-1 senior from Lee's Summit, Mo., scored 28 points as the No. 8 Lady Blues knocked off fifth-ranked Florida Southern in four games Friday night (Sept. 14) at Lee Arena.

She logged a season-high 24 kills, and added a service ace and six block assists against the Mocassins, hit .339 (24-3-62) for the match, and added14 digs and three assists.

Jones had eight kills in game one against FSC, and seven more in the fourth and final game.

In game two, she helped WU come back from a 26-19 deficit to get the win with three block assists and a kill as part of an 11-1 run.

She also was named AVCA/Sports Imports Division II Player of the Week.

Jones is a graduate of Kansas City (Mo.)-Bishop O'Hara High School, and transferred to WU from the University of Kansas following her freshman season.

Others Nominated: Emily DeVore, OH, MWSU; Alicia Johnson, OH, NWMSU; Melissa Keck, RH, TSU; Jillian Ohrman, MH, UCM; Arica Shepard, OH, ESU; Laura Toman, OH/RH, PSU.

Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Pamela Cartagena, OH, PSU & Melissa Keck, RH, TSU; 9/3 -- Jillian Ohrman, OH UCM; 9/10 -- Leanna Roberts, MH, FHSU.

Ting Liu, S
Emporia State University

Liu (pronounced loo), a 6-foot-1 freshman from Beijing, China, averaged 14.17 assists and averaged 3.0 points per game as the Lady Hornets posted two MIAA victories last week.

She hit .556 (6 kills, 1 error, 9 attempts) and dished out 41 assists in a 3-0 home sweep of Missouri Southern Wednesday (Sept. 12). She added 13 digs and 2 aces, as ESU hit .305 against the Lions.

Liu had 44 assists and five service aces in a 3-0 sweep at Fort Hays State Saturday (Sept. 15). She also contributed four kills, 3 digs and two block assists as the Hornets logged a .287 hitting percentage against the Tigers.

She is a graduate of Beijing Fifth Sport School.

Others Nominated: Madison Benton, S, MWSU; Whitney Boehler, L, TSU; Erica Cowhick, L, WU; Audrey Jensen, L, UCM; Ashlee Maple, L, PSU; Paige Spangenberg, L, MSSU.

Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Audrey Jensen, L, UCM; 9/3 -- Ashlee Maple, L, PSU; 9/10 -- Kate Hampson, S, WU.

-- MIAA --

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