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SPRINGFIELD (MSU Athletics) - The Missouri State volleyball team concluded play in the University Plaza Invitational Saturday with a pair of victories, beating Arkansas-Little Rock 3-1 (28-30, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19) in the afternoon before sweeping Austin Peay (25-21, 25-20, 26-24) in the evening match to improve to 3-4 on the season. Carly Thomasand Andrea Beaty earned all-tournament honors for the Bears.
The Bears continue their challenging non-conference schedule Wednesday with a 6 p.m. match at 21st-ranked Kansas State before hosting the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn/Doubletree Hotel Invitational Sept. 7-8.
UALR Recap (Won 28-30, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19)
Missouri State hit .288 as a team and showed its best offensive balance of the season in defeating UALR (2-4) in four sets. Six players had at least eight kills for MSU and four had at least 13 as Thomas dished out 59 assists and a career-high 24 digs for just the 15th 50-assist, 20-dig match in school history, and the third to her credit. She added eight kills to flirt with a triple-double.
The Bears lost four set point chances in the first set and rode Olivia Brand and Amber Doolittle to a second-set victory thanks to six kills apiece from that duo on just 17 combined attempts.
Missouri State then hit .314 in the third set and improved that number to .362 in the fourth, riding that success to a 24-14 lead before the Trojans fought off five match points.
Brand led MSU with 16 kills, Doolittle had 15, Beaty had 14 and Christine McCartney chipped in 13. Ashley Masonhad 23 digs as the Bears led 91-69 in that category along with a 74-55 advantage in kills.
UALR’s Edina Bedic posted a remarkable 25 kills and 13 digs in the losing effort.
Austin Peay Recap (Won 25-21, 25-20, 26-24)
The Bears carried over their offensive efficiency against Austin Peay, hitting .268 with 55 kills compared to 38 for the Lady Govs.
Austin Peay led much of the first set, but Beaty took over with seven kills and three blocks in the period. Her seventh kill made the score 23-20 in favor of the Bears.
The Lady Govs again held control early in the second set before a 5-0 MSU run that included two McCartney kills made for a 15-10 lead. APSU got no closer than four points from there as McCartney added two more kills to seal it, giving her seven in the period.
Doolittle’s kill for a 14-13 score gave the Bears their first lead in the third set and happened during a 5-0 run that ended with Missouri State ahead 17-13. Austin Peay fought back and held a set point at 24-23 before an attack error and two McCartney kills closed out the win for the Bears.
Beaty finished with 16 kills on .462 hitting and McCartney added 14. Mason scooped another 20 digs and Thomas had 47 assists. The Bears out-dug APSU 59-38.
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