TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Sycamores are looking to rebound from a disappointing loss last Saturday as they hit the road for the first time in three weeks for another big weekend of Missouri Valley Conference games. Indiana State is still in the hunt for a berth in the Valley’s post-season tournament and is looking for wins at Wichita State (Friday) and Missouri State (Saturday) to keep their momentum going.
Indiana State had a three-game home winning streak snapped by Bradley (3-1) last Saturday but that was just the second loss in the last six games for the Sycamores.
The season is down to the final three weekends with Indiana State maintaining a chance at reaching the Missouri Valley Conference post season tournament for the second time in three years. Bradley currently holds the sixth spot with a 6-7 conference mark and owns the tie breaker with Indiana State. Loyola is seventh at 5-8 with the Sycamores holding the tie breaker with the Ramblers.
Bradley and Loyola are travel partners in the league and meet Saturday in Chicago. They will host Wichita State and Missouri State the following weekend and close out the regular season on the road at Northern Iowa and Drake.
Indiana State is currently 4-8 in league play and needs keep the momentum going in their final six games to remain in the hunt. After the road trip this weekend, the Sycamores will host Drake and Northern Iowa in their final home games of the 2013 season. Indiana State closes out the regular season at Evansville and Southern Illinois.
Fate was kind to the Sycamores in the 2011 season as they entered the final weekend needing wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois on the road (which they accomplished) and a split by Bradley (which also happened). The 2011 trip to the MVC post season was the first since 2004 and Indiana State is ready for the challenge to earn their way to the 2013 tournament.
Northern Iowa leads the league with a 10-2 record and have won five straight including a sweep of Drake last weekend. Wichita State is second at 10-3 but have lost two of their last three including a 3-2 setback at Southern Illinois Saturday. Third place Illinois State is 9-3 but has lost two of their last three including a surprising 3-0 loss at home to Loyola Saturday. Missouri State and Southern Illinois are tied for fourth at 8-4. Missouri State has won five straight after wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois last weekend.
Wrapping Up Last Week
Indiana State captured their third straight victory and second straight in the Missouri Valley Conference as they swept past visiting Loyola University 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) Friday night in the Indiana State Arena. It was the fourth win in their five outings. Indiana State last won three straight during the 2011 season as they made a late run that landed them a spot in the MVC post season tournament. Two of those wins were on the road and the Sycamores have not won three straight on the court since 2002 when they opened the season by winning their own tournament with four straight wins.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Dall led the Sycamore attack with 21 kills in 35 attempts with just three errors for a .514 attack percentage. The 21 kills is the sixth most in a three-set game in Indiana State history while her 21.5 points ties her for fifth all-time in a three-set game. Junior middle blocker Kyla Thomas had nine kills with freshman outside hitter Bree Spangler and sophomore middle blocker Cassandra Willis adding eight each. Senior setter Loni Mackinson had 42 assists on the night which is the third most in a three-set game in Indiana State history. Senior Molly Murphy had 17 digs.
The Sycamores had their three game winning streak snapped by the Bradley Braves who topped the home standing Sycamores 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 14-25, 25-13) in a Missouri Valley Conference game Saturday in the Indiana State Arena. The Sycamores had three players who recorded double-doubles on the night but it was not enough. Senior outside hitter Morgan Dall led the way with 22 kills and 12 digs. Freshman Bree Spangler had 11 kills and 12 digs while senior setter Loni Mackinson had 46 set assists and 14 digs. Senior libero Molly Murphy led the defense with 27 digs while junior middle blocker Kyla Thomas had three solo blocks and a block assist.
SCOUTING INDIANA STATE –
The Sycamores (11-13, 4-8 MVC) have been playing well of late despite a disappointing loss Saturday to Bradley and have won four of their last six games. Indiana State ran their winning streak to three with a 3-0 win over Loyola on Friday but had that streak snapped the next night as Bradley escaped with a 3-1 win Saturday.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Dall continues to lead the Sycamore attack with 416 kills this season (4.38 per set) with 20 assists, 21 service aces, 208 digs, and 36 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Bree Spangler has 194 kills (2.37 per set) with six assists, five service aces, 139 digs, and 18 blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Cassandra Willis has 188 kills (1.98 per set) with 31 assists, five service aces, 48 digs and 66 blocks while sophomore outside hitter Victoria Swigart has 113 kills (2.05 per set), 25 assists, a service ace, 54 digs, and 21 blocks.
Senior setter Loni Mackinson has 816 assists this season (9.83 per set) while also racking up 43 kills, 11 service aces, 207 digs and 23 blocks. Senior libero Molly Murphy has 468 digs (4.93 per set) with 22 service aces and 32 assists. Junior middle blocker Kyla Thomas has 74 blocks this season (20 solo and 54 assists) for a 0.78 blocks per set average. She also has 167 kills (1.76 per set), three set assists, eight service aces, and 42 digs.
SCOUTING WICHITA STATE –
The Shockers (21-6, 10-3MVC) split conference action on the road this past weekend as they opened with a 3-0 (25-11 25-17, 25-14) win at Evansville on Friday but then dropped a 3-2 decision (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 11-15) at Southern Illinois Saturday. Wichita State has dropped two of their last three and going on a five game winning streak that started with a 3-0 win at Indiana State (Oct. 12).
Senior middle blocker Ashley Andrade is leading the Shockers with 290 kills (3.15 per set) while sophomore outside hitter Ashlyn Driskill has 20 kills (2.27 per set), senior outside hitter Sam Sanders 205 kills (2.23 per set), sophomore outside hitter Katie Reilly 199 kills (2.16 per set), and senior middle blocker Elizabeth Field 194 kills (2.11 per set). Senior setter Chelsey Feekin has 967 set assists (10.51 per set) while red shirt freshman libero Dani Mostrom has 288 digs (3.16 per set). Andrade also has 119 blocks (19 solo 100 assists) for a 1.29 blocks per set average).
SERIES NOTE: This will be the 64th meeting between the two schools with Wichita State holding a 41-12 lead in the series that dates back to 1983. The last Indiana State win came on the home court during the 2002 season when the Sycamores topped the Shockers 3-1. The last win at Wichita State came in 2000 when Indiana State prevailed 3-1. The Sycamores are 9-18 at home against Wichita State and 3-22 on the road while also losing their only neutral court contest, that coming in the 2011 MVC Post Season tournament.
LAST TIME AGAINST WICHITA STATE: Indiana State was unable to post a set victory as the visiting Wichita State Shockers swept the Sycamores 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-22) in Missouri Valley Conference action (Oct. 12) in the ISU Arena. Sophomore Victoria Swigart and senior Morgan Dall led the Sycamore effort with nine kills each while junior Kyla Thomas had seven and sophomore Cassandra Willis six. Senior Loni Mackinson had 30 assists on the night while senior Molly Murphy recorded 15 digs.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE –
The Bears (17-9, 8-5 MVC) ran their winning streak to four games with a pair of conference victories on the road last weekend as they won at Southern Illinois 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23) on Friday and then won in a sweep at Evansville 3-0 (26-24, 25-8, 25-22) on Saturday.
Junior outside hitter Olivia Brand leads the Bears with 217 kills (2.49 per set) while senior right side Kayla Walton has 175 kills (2.24 per set), and senior outside hitter Christine McCartney 149 kills (2.41 per set). Senior setter Carly Thomas has 1,018 set assists (11.44 per set) with senior libero Ashley Mason recording 451 digs (4.90 per set). Senior middle blocker Amber Doolittle has a team high 64 blocks (five solo and 59 assists) for a 0.76 per set average.
SERIES NOTE: This is the 56th meeting between the two schools with Missouri State holding a 54-1 lead in the series that dates back to 1982. The lone Indiana State win came in 1994 when the Sycamores won 3-2 at Springfield, Mo. The Sycamores are 0-27 at home against the Bears and 1-25 in Springfield, Mo., with Indiana State also losing two neutral court appearances.
LAST TIME AGAINST MISSOURI STATE: Indiana State has extended Missouri State to five sets in two of their last three meetings including the first one in 2013 when the Missouri State Bears outlasted the Sycamores 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 15-25, 25-18, 15-9) to take the Missouri Valley Conference win (Oct. 11). Freshman Bree Spangler led the Sycamore attack with 14 kills while senior Morgan Dall had 13, and sophomore Victoria Swigart 12. Spangler tied her career best game hitting percentage of .429 while also recording her first career service ace. Senior Loni Mackinson had 47 assists with Dall also leading Indiana State in digs with 11. Sophomore Cassandra Willis had four blocks.
FOLLOWING THE SYCAMORES:
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At Missouri State: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=264691