Panther volleyball falls in MVC finals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panther volleyball falls in MVC finals


WICHITA, Kansas -- Tournament Most Valuable Player Cara Hackmann had 11 kills to lead the Missouri State volleyball team to a 3-0 win over the University of Northern Iowa this evening in the championship match 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball tournament.  Set scores were 25-23, 25-18 and 25-20.
Missouri State improved to 23-12 overall, while UNI fell to 25-8.   With the win, the Bears earn the MVC's automatic bid to this year's NCAA volleyball tournament, with pairings announced Sun., Nov. 30 at 9 pm (central) live on ESPNU.
Seniors Ashten Stelken and Amy Sampson had 13 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead UNI, and both were named to the all-tournament team.  Ellie Blankenship led all players with 18 digs.
Sampson and Stelken each had two kills early as UNI jumped to an 8-3 lead to start the match, forcing a Missouri State timeout.  After the Bears scored two straight points, UNI got two kills from Beth Discher and a block and kill from Michelle Burow during a 5-0 run that extended the Panthers' advantage to 13-5.
Missouri State scored four straight to get within 17-14, but Sampson ended that run with a kill.  With UNI in front, 20-16, MSU scored three straight to get within 20-19.  Following a Panthers timeout, Aschoff recorded a solo block, but MSU reeled off five straight to move in front 24-21.  Stelken and Benson had back-to-back kills to get UNI within 24-23, but the Bears put the ball away down the line to earn the 25-23 first-set win.
The score was even at 5-all in the second set, when Missouri State went on a 5-1 run to open a 10-6 lead.  MSU held a 12-7 advantage, but consecutive kills from Burow and Stelken saw the Panthers get within 12-9 for force a Bears timeout.  After the Panthers got within 16-14, MSU went on a 5-0 run to move in front 21-14.  UNI got no closer than five points the rest of the way as Missouri State took the second set, 25-18.
Missouri State took a 6-3 lead to start the third set.  After UNI pulled within 11-9, the Bears got two kills to open a 13-9 advantage.  MSU extended its lead to 17-11, before UNI scored three straight to get within 17-14.  The Bears held a 20-16 lead, when Stelken and Sampson had consecutive kills to get the Panthers within two.  But the Panthers could get no closer, as MSU ended the match on a 4-1 run to earn the 25-20 third-set victory, and the championship.


courtesy UNI Media Relations

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