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Edited news release from MSU Athletics:
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State volleyball team took 23rd-ranked Creighton to a fifth set for the second time this season but again came up short in a 20-25, 25-17, 27-25, 18-25, 13-15 loss to the Bluejays in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Bears fell to 16-14 overall and 10-8 in Missouri Valley Conference and take the No. 6 seed into next week’s MVC Tournament at Hammons Student Center Nov. 22-24. MSU plays third-seeded Wichita State at 7:30 Thursday evening with the winner to play No. 2 UNI at the same time Friday. CU (26-3, 17-1) extended its winning streak to 14 matches and plays the winner of Thursday’s 5 p.m. match between No. 4 Southern Illinois and No. 5 Illinois State at the same time Friday.
Missouri State held a statistical lead in kills (72-63) and digs (94-66) but committed 35 attack errors compared to 19 for the Jays, thanks in large part to 19 CU blocks.
Creighton used a 6-0 run to take an 8-4 lead in the first set and led by between two and five points for the duration of the period. The second set turned when the Bears used two Christine McCartney kills around another from Carly Thomas to build a 21-16 lead while closing the period on a 9-2 run.
Andrea Beaty’s kill and solo block gave the Bears a 15-13 lead in the third set, and Olivia Brand added two kills and teamed with Beaty for another block for a 19-14 advantage. Creighton battled for two ties and eventually led 24-23 and 25-24, but two uncharacteristic ball-handling errors by all-MVC setter Megan Bober along with a Brand kill and Beaty solo block helped MSU gain the 27-25 win.
The Bluejays took control of the fourth set with a 5-0 run for a 10-8 lead and never trailed after that, using six blocks to send the match to a fifth period.
Beaty began the fifth set with three kills for a 3-1 lead, and McCartney added three more for a 7-4 advantage. Kaitlin Jaeger added kills for leads of 8-5 and 9-6 before CU came back to gain the upper hand at 12-11. The Bears tied the set at 12 and 13 before CU closed with two points for the win.
Creighton held a .232-.193 advantage in hitting efficiency, and Beaty (16), McCartney (15) and Brand (14) reached double figures in kills for MSU. Ashley Mason matched a career high with 29 digs, and Thomas had 58 assists and 15 digs. CU’s Leah McNary paced the Jays with 23 kills on .458 hitting, while Kelli Browning had 17 kills and 12 blocks.
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