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Edited news release from MSU Athletics:
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State volleyball team secured a winning Missouri Valley Conference record for a 14th consecutive season on Friday with a 3-1 (25-11, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16) victory over visiting Drake at Hammons Student Center.
The Bears improved to 16-13 overall and 10-7 in the league, good for a three-way tie for fourth with Southern Illinois and Illinois State with one match to play. Drake fell to 5-23 and 4-13 in league play.
Missouri State began the first set with eight kills in 11 attempts for a 9-5 lead, and Kaitlin Jaeger and Andrea Beaty combined to begin 9-for-9 before each finishing the set with five kills on seven attempts without an error. The Bulldogs actually went longer without committing an attack error, with their first accounting for a 15-9 MSU lead that started a 5-0 run to a 19-9 score. The Bears concluding the set with 17 kills and a .536 hitting percentage.
Drake used a 5-0 run midway through the second set to lead 17-14 before the Bears battled back for ties at 19-19 and 20-20. The Bulldogs scored the next three points and held on for the win.
The third set was tied at each point from five through 14 before the Bears bucked the trend with consecutive points for a 16-14 lead. Jaeger scored kills for leads of 18-15 and 21-17, the teams sided out to 23-19 and MSU scored the final two points.
The fourth set was decided by a 6-0 Missouri State run that gave the home team a 17-12 lead. The Bears extended the spurt to 11-1 and Beaty recorded a kill and a solo block for match point before Olivia Brand’s kill gave Missouri State the win.
Beaty finished the match with a career-high 17 kills on .500 hitting, while Jaeger hit .500 as well with 13 kills on 26 swings without an error. Brand added 15 kills and hit .297.
Ashley Mason led the way with 28 digs to go with a career-best nine assists. Carly Thomas had 49 assists and 12 digs, while Shelby Strang (13) and Maddy Hogan (15) had double-figure dig totals as well.
The Bears led Drake in hitting percentage (.303-.145), kills (66-43) and digs (85-49).
Missouri State closes the regular season Saturday at 7 p.m. against 23rd-ranked Creighton (25-3, 16-1). The 2012 MVC champs overcame a two set deficit to win 3-2 at Wichita State Friday evening.
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