Despite having a lead in all three sets, Missouri Western’s Volleyball season came to an end on Nov. 10 with a sweep against tournament No. 2 seed Nebraska-Kearney in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Tournament.
First year Griffon Head Coach Jessica Fey found faith in her team's defending, regardless of the ability to put points on when it mattered.
“Defensively I felt we did a fantastic job, blocking wise we did a great job,” said Fey. “Their offense is a little bit stronger and more experienced than our offense and that’s where you saw a huge difference in the match.”
Keeping it close was the best the Griffons could do all day. The competition seemed nose to nose until Nebraska-Kearney hit the gas in the first set, winning with a score of 25-18.
The concluding score for the second set was 25-22. If the Griffons could have bounced back at any time, that would have been this set. Even with an early lead that looked to be in their favor, the Lopers fought back and got one set closer to moving on.
Feeling like you are getting somewhere is something that can tremendously help a team in game. That’s what the Lopers got according to the Griffons head coach.
“The momentum just really shifted on their side, we were taking good swings and doing the right things,” said Fey. “They were just making great plays on their end, that momentum is just a crazy thing in this sport, when they got it, it was hard to get back.”
In the third a set score of 25-19 sent the Griffons home for the season.
The opponent was a stacked Lopers squad, still in the mix, their record currently standing at a commanding 27-4 overall with a 16-4 in the conference.
Six members of their squad also made an All-MIAA team with four of those players making the first team. They will be looking to make a run after having a second round exit in the conference and central regional tournament last season.
Fey had nothing but compliments to how players shifted to her workstyle this season.
“All 17 of them did such a great job of buying in and working hard,” said Fey. “They just came in and worked their butts off every single week. I demanded a lot from them this year and they answered every single time.”
In spite of the early exit, the Griffons were able to celebrate Danielle Moje for making All-MIAA first team. This is the third conference season accolade for Moje who led her team with 12 kills against the Lopers.
Missouri Western Volleyball ends their season 11-18 overall and 8-12 within the conference to wrap up Fey’s first year at the helm. These Griffons have multiple seniors leaving but are able to rely on a younger core with experienced veterans to lead.