Griffon volleyball has officially punched their ticket to find themselves in the MIAA postseason tournament. Missouri Western would end the regular season defending their homecourt, defeating Emporia State 3-1 and upsetting No 17. Washburn 3-1 on Senior Day and securing the seventh seed.
Against Emporia State on Nov 4. Missouri Western would come out to a slow start, dropping the first set after not having an answer for Leah Mach’s five kills. However, after that sluggish start from the Griffons, they would come back with a vengeance in the second set.
The Griffons would annihilate the Hornets in set two, jumping out to a 20-8 lead. Four kills by Emma Salker and a thunderous kill by Danielle Moje would spark the Griffons to victory.
In sets three and four, Missouri Western would squeeze out the hope of a comeback. Never trailing in either set by more than two points. With 14 kills from Katherine White and 13 from Salker would push the Griffons to the finish line and secure their playoff spot.
Nessa Johnson, who would finish the game with 44 assists and 12 digs, would talk about how much this game meant for her squad.
“That secures our spot for the tournament, so that’s really exciting,” Johnson said. “That was our goal going into today, and we executed really well, our chemistry this year is like no other it’s fun to hang out with my teammates outside of volleyball, so that makes it easier to come out onto the court and mesh together well.”
First-year head coach Jessica Fey stressed about how much growth she has seen from her squad and how much her team has impressed her.
“It’s been a phenomenal year; honestly,we’ve talked all year about just making sure that we’re peaking at the end of the year, and this group has done a fantastic job,” Fey said. “They’ve come hungry, they’ve gotten better this group has grown so substantially all season long.”
The emotional feelings didn’t stop there as on Nov.5 against No 17. Washburn, Missouri Western would cause an upset. Coming out on top 3-1 on Senior Day and snapping a six-game losing streak against the Ichabods.
Set one and set two would see the Griffons go on run after run to halt any momentum the Ichabods were trying to construct. Moje came out the gates hot, torturing the Ichabods front line with kill after kill as she would finish the game with 15 kills, a team-high.
Set three would see Washburn battle back with momentum, using much-needed runs to pull ahead. However in set four, Missouri Western would jump out to a 5-1 lead, and held on the entire game, leading to Fey’s first win against her former team that she played with.
The Griffons are now heading toward the MIAA Tournament at Civic Arena inside of St.Joseph. Missouri Western will be facing Nebraska-Kearney at 12 p.m. on Nov 10.