The Pittsburg State Gorilla volleyball team lost a tough battle against the number six-ranked Bearcats of Northwest Missouri State but battled back to defeat the Griffons of Missouri Western the following day.
Oct. 22 was a tall task for the Gorillas, playing against the very talented and nationally recognized Northwest Missouri State. The Gorillas put up a good fight but ended up falling three sets to one.
The Gorillas started off a bit slow in the first set, getting down 8-3 but battled their way back and brought the game to a tie at 11-11. A back and forth effort from both teams kept the first set close, but the Bearcats would come out on top 25-22.
The second set was much of the same. A tight battle throughout but the Gorillas ended up on top by a score of 25-20.
The third and fourth set both came down to the wire, by scores of 22-25 and 21-25. No matter the outcome, the Gorillas were proud of the way they performed against the number six ranked team in the country.
“I thought we played well against NW,” said head coach Jen Gomez. “I think we passed really well, I think we spread our offense and got our middles involved and I thought our defense was strong. We can always work on ‘first ball kills out of serve receives’ and continue to work on our blocking.”
The Gorillas didn’t have any time to dwell on the loss, for they had another game the next day against another inner-conference rival: Missouri Western University.
The Griffons came into the game sitting in seventh place in the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) with the Gorillas sitting in sixth. This was a huge game in terms of standings for both teams, especially with the conference tournament just around the corner.
The first set was a slow start for the Gorillas, getting down 0-5 in the first set. They eventually crawled back late in the set, but it was too deep of a hole to dig themselves out of, and the Griffons won 25-18.
The Gorillas came out in the second set with a bitter taste in their mouths, and they wanted to put that first set behind them. They did just that and defeated the Griffons 25-18.
The next set was a barn burner throughout, going back and forth all they way up until the last couple of points. Missouri Western got the upper hand and won the third set 25-22.
The fourth and fifth set were all Gorillas. Not wanting to lose on their home court, they dominated by winning the fourth set 25-15 and the fifth set 15-13.
“We started off slow but really put things together when it counted in sets 2, 4, and finished well in 5,” Gomez said.
With just six regular season games left, the Gorillas are ready to finish the season off with much success, having five of those six games on their home court, where they have an 8-1 record.
“With six regular season games left, our team is really focusing on worrying about our side of the net,” said senior middle hitter Hope White. “We get to be at home for five of these last six games and we just need to finish hard and play our game.”
The Gorillas hit the road for Newman University on Oct. 26, but then will have five straight home games to finish out the regular season. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office and students get in for free with their student ID.