Grizzlies win 4th match over Seminole State
SEMINOLE, Okla. – For the fourth time in two weeks, the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team has defeated Seminole State College 25-19, 25-20, 19-25, 25-17 – this time on their opponent’s home court in Seminole, Okla.
The victory Thursday night, Oct. 4, ups the Grizzlies’ overall season record to 14-5 and marks the 11th straight win for this week’s 15th ranked team in the nation.
Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said she was “very happy” with the win. “This was our first true away match on our opponent’s home court,” she pointed out, adding, “We had heard from another team who had already played Seminole at home that it was a tough place to play, and it was, so coming away with a win made all of us very happy.”
The Grizzlies and Trojans first met at the Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College Invitational Sept. 21-22 in a match that went the full five sets. They faced each other twice last weekend, Sept. 28-29, at the Seward County Community College Invitational in Liberal, Kan., first in a pool play match that went four sets and then in the championship, which the Grizzlies won in three sets.
“We knew it would be a tough match. This was our fourth meeting against a team that can beat us when they play the way they’re capable of playing,” Wiedemann said. “We took care of the first two sets, but Seminole came out in the third and played the way I know they can play at any given moment. They got on a role playing aggressively at the net and won the third set. But we came out and took it right back to them in the fourth and got the win.”
This wasn’t the final meeting between the two teams this season, either. They’ll see each other at the Jefferson College Invitational Oct. 26-27 in Hillsboro, Mo., and finish the season at home against the Trojans Oct. 29.
Leading the Grizzlies offensively were freshman outside attacker Helena Peric who had 20 kills on 48 attempts with six errors for an attacking percentage of .292, and sophomore outside attacker Taylor Swayzer who had 11 kills on 31 attempts with three errors for an attacking percentage of .258.
“When we dig more balls, we run more outside attacks, and they’re improving at getting up and taking good swings against double blocks,” Wiedemann said.
Freshman setter Sarah Stretch led the team in assists with 46, and sophomore right side attacker Candyce Alexander paced the team in passing rating with 2.57, followed closely by freshman libero Victoria Williams with 2.48. Alexander also led the team in blocks with 2.5. “Candyce didn’t have the most efficient game hitting, but she had a big block or big kill when it counted, and she played well overall,” Wiedemann said.
Freshman middle attacker led the team in digs with 14, Peric had a team-leading 20 points earned.
“We didn’t play great, but for being a long road trip and playing in their gym, I thought we did a good job. As a team, we continued to dig the ball well, and although we weren’t quite as efficient offensively, we took good swings and put a lot of pressure on them,” the coach said. “We also need to feel pressure from the other team playing well to keep improving.”
The Grizzlies will have several days to recoup for their next home match Oct. 11 against Region 16 rival Jefferson College and their own home tournament, the Colton’s Steakhouse & Grill/Holiday Inn Express Grizzly Invitational, Oct. 12 and 13 at the West Plains Civic Center.
“It’s a much needed mental and physical break for us,” Wiedemann said. “Throughout our tournament schedule, we’ve been working hard and playing hard to get us to this position, so this break will refresh us going into next week.”
In addition to the Grizzlies and Jefferson, the tournament will feature Barton County College, Great Bend, Kan.; Seward County Community College; Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; New Mexico Military Academy, Roswell; Southeastern Community College, Burlington, Iowa; and Wallace State College, Hanceville, Ala.
“This will be a good, solid tournament. We’ll have to be ready to play. We will need to stay focused and keep getting better, and we don’t want to go into the matches taking anything for granted,” the coach said.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, including a copy of the 2012 schedule, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.
Filed Under: Volleyball