SPRINGFIELD, MO (ASU) – The Arkansas State volleyball squad bounced back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Missouri State 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 14-25, 25-19, 15-10) in nonconference action Wednesday night at the Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo.
The Red Wolves (6-1) appeared down for the count going into the fourth set, but the team responded nicely early in the set to race out to a 7-3 edge on a kill by Kelsey Reis to force a Missouri State (5-2) timeout. An attack error by the Bears set the score at 14-8 in favor of the Red Wolves, which caused the home team to use its final timeout of the set. A-State’s Brentlee Weaver had a service ace to set the score at 22-15 and a kill by Carlisa May gave the visitors a 25-19 set victory to force a decisive fifth set.
The two teams battled to a 6-6 tie in the fifth set before A-State created some separation with a 5-0 run, capped by a kill from Markie Schaedig, to put the score at 11-6. Missouri State earned the next point, but another kill by May gave the Red Wolves another five-point edge at 12-7. May earned A-State’s 13th point with a block and finished with two kills to give the Red Wolves a 15-10 fifth-set victory and 3-2 win in the match to improve Arkansas State to 2-3 all-time against the Bears.
“The story of this match was Carlisa,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “We benched her in our win against Florida Gulf Coast, but we had a plan to feed her the ball tonight and it worked. She had a great performance, but the team as a whole stepped up when we needed it. The third set was horrible on our part, but our ability to bounce back and not let it affect us was key tonight. Missouri State is a really, really solid team and this was a great win for us.”
May paced the A-State offense with 21 kills on a .425 hitting percentage, while Drew Jones was second on the team with 15 kills and also had 13 digs for her second double-double on the young season. Mallory Warrington tied her season-high with 50 assists and also had 12 digs for her sixth double-double of the season in seven games. Schaedig led the team with 31 digs, while Jessica Uke and Reis each had four blocks.
Arkansas State and Missouri State began the match with a 10-10 tie in the first set before the Bears eventually earned a three-point advantage at 19-16. A-State clawed back to take the lead at 21-20 after a 5-1 run, but the two teams found the set tied moments later at 22-22. The Red Wolves got two straight kills by Jones to take a 24-22 edge and, after a Missouri State kill, Darby Graff clinched the 25-23 set victory for A-State with a kill.
A-State earned a 14-13 advantage in the second set on a Uke kill, but Missouri State tied it on the next point and never trailed the rest of the set as the Bears went on to claim a 25-19 decision. The third set wasn’t kind to the Red Wolves either as Missouri State tied the game at 5-5 and never trailed again. The Bears ended the set on a 20-9 run to win the game by a count of 25-14 that gave the home team a 2-1 advantage at the time.
The Red Wolves will head to Tulsa, Okla., for the Golden Hurricane Classic Sept. 11-12. Arkansas State opens the tournament with a noon match against Southern Illinois Friday before playing the host team, Tulsa, later in the day at 7 p.m. For the latest on the A-State volleyball squad follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball).