Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern Volleyball team took out visiting Pittsburg State in five sets tonight, and in doing so, swept the season series with the Gorillas for the first time since 1999 and earned the Sonic Trophy Series point for volleyball. Individual set scores were 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25 and 15-11.
Southern (5-18, 3-8 MIAA) won the first set, but had to come from behind to do so. The Lions trailed 19-16 late in the set, but seven of the next eight points to go up 23-20 and win the set.
Pitt (7-19, 4-9 MIAA) hit .333 in the second set and despite the set being tied at 16, led for every other point. The Lions came back and hit .366 in the third set and despite PSU hitting .436, still took a 19-15 lead late and held on to take the set. Neither team hit particularly well in the fourth set and the Lions led 19-17, as well as 22-20, but Pitt scored five of the final eight points to force the deciding fifth set.
In the fifth, Pitt served and jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Lions tied the set at five on a kill from Rachel Olinyk, and went ahead 7-5 on a Pitt attack error. Southern led 8-7 at the turn, but PSU tied the set again at 11 on a Lions attack error. The Lions, however, scored the final four points to take the match.
Olinyk had a match-high 24 kills to lead the Lions' offensive attack. Casey Ball added 19 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .300 for the match. Sydney Potts dished out 52 assists, while Rocky Crook had a team-high 17 digs.
The Lions will be back in action this Friday, traveling to Central Missouri for a 7 pm first serve.