The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

September 19, 2012

Gorillas dominate Missouri Southern spikers


From staff reports

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State trailed just twice in three sets while beating Missouri Southern in volleyball Wednesday night at John Lance Arena.

The Gorillas, who broke a four-match losing streak, improved to 8-4 for the season.

It was a nonconference match and did not count in the Sonic Trophy Series between the rival universities.

The Gorillas hit .333 in their 25-17 opening-set victory, and .265 for the night.

Remaining scores were 25-19, 25-17.

The opening set was tied just once, at 2-2. The Gorillas led by as many as 10 points, on three occasions.

 Pitt State jumped ahead 10-2 in the second set but Southern rallied to go ahead 13-12. Paula Okrutna had a kill and then three straight service aces during the Gorillas’ winning rally.

The Lions, trailing 4-1 early, pulled ahead 6-5 in the third set. PSU took the lead for good on a Southern error.

Okrutna and Brooke Fay had nine kills each for Pittsburg State. Becca Pearson had 26 assists and Hayley Hansford added nine. Okrutna contributed six ace serves. Nicole Rockhold led with 11 digs.

Fay, Crystal Whitten and Haylee Gregory had two block assists each.

For Missouri Southern, Callie Whetstone had seven kills and Payton Graves six.

Abby Finder had 18 assists and Kaycia Fry two service aces. Katie Politte had 11 digs and Graves had two block assists.

Southern hit just .099 for the match, with 25 kills offset by 17 errors among 91 total attacks.

The Lions, 0-11 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA, play their home opener on Friday night against Truman State, starting at 7 p.m.

Pittsburg State visits Washburn at 7 p.m. Friday and Emporia State at 7 Saturday.