Pitt State Volleyball opened up the MIAA conference schedule with three consecutive home games at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas where able to defeat Missouri Southern and Southwest Baptist over the weekend before falling to Central Oklahoma Tuesday.
The Central Oklahoma Bronchos came into Pittsburg winners of 13 straight and ranked number 16 in the country before defeating Pitt in a thrilling five set match (25-20, 17-25, 24-26, 25-19, 15-13). Despite the loss, head volleyball coach Jen Gomez was still able to see the progress made by her team.
“I just think playing that kind of level of competition, and performing as well as we did at times, that just kinda shows our team that they are able to compete at a high level,” Gomez said. “We’ve just gotta stay with it because we’re right there knocking at the door of playing some really solid good volleyball, so I think it just gives us a little bit more confidence that we’re doing the right things and moving in the right direction.”
Pitt lost the first set but rallied back to take sets two and three. Pittsburg even managed to build a 10-6 lead in the fourth before momentum shifted and UCO was able to hold off any attempts by PSU to come back in the game.
“Right there at the end they really had some key plays and we did service or pass as well as we needed to,” Gomez said. “We just didn’t take as good of swings as they did there at the end and that’s really what it came down to.”
The Saturday prior, Pitt defeated the 4-10 Southwest Baptist Bearcats in four sets (25-11, 25-15, 27-29, 25-21). The Gorillas cruised through the first pair of sets before struggling to finish the third set, allowing for a fourth.
Winless Missouri Southern was the first opponent of the week last Friday night and everything went according to plan for Pitt, sweeping the cross state rivals (25-23, 25-21, 25-15). PSU fought off several charges from the Lions in the opening two sets before keeping the pride at arms-length in the third.
Several individual players had a strong week for the Gorillas, including redshirt freshman Morgan Henning, who played her best statistical game of the year with 13 kills and five blocks against SBU.
“Morgan Hennings really stepped up and did some really great things,” Gomez said. “Lauren Maisberger has also been really steady and we’ve scored a lot of points behind her serve and her defense has been pretty solid. Lauren Ragier has also just kinda held the offense together with her attacking.”
The Gorillas now sit at 13-3 on the year with a two and one record in MIAA play. That start to conference play marks the first time since 2009 the PSU Volleyball has started two and one in the MIAA.
This weekend the team heads out west to play the Fort Hays State Tigers Friday and the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers Saturday.