The Missouri Southern volleyball team dropped its 2009 MIAA opener tonight as the Lions fell three sets to one to Nebraska-Omaha in Young Gymnasium. Individual set scores were 22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 21-25.
Southern (5-5, 0-1 MIAA) started strong in the first set, leading 8-5 at one point after a Maverick ball handling error. UNO (11-3, 1-0 MIAA) stormed back and tied the set at 11 after a kill from Sara Kampschneider. The Mavs took the lead on the next rally and led 18-11 before a kill from the Lions’ Renee Rheinecker stopped a 9-0 UNO run. The Lions then clawed back to within two at 20-18, forcing a UNO timeout, but Omaha then reeled off five of the next seven points to take the first set.
The second set was controlled by the Mavs who led 10-5 after a kill from Lizzy Mach. The lead was 17-6 after a kill from Ellen Thommes and the teams traded points over the final ten rallies with the Mavericks pulling out the second set 25-18.
After allowing the first point of the third set, Southern turned around and scored four out of the next five points to take a 4-2 lead and led 8-5 after a UNO service error. A kill from Thommes tied the set at 11 and a kill from Brittany Vavao-Huggins tied it again at 12. The set would be tied 14 times with five lead changes, but after trailing 22-19, Southern scored three of the next four points to force a tie and a Maverick timeout. The Lions went up 24-23 after a UNO hitting error to force another Maverick timeout and then won the set coming out of the break.
The Lions led 6-5 in the fourth set, but four straight points from UNO forced a Southern timeout and the Mavericks would lead the rest of the set eventually winning 25-21.
Rheinecker led the Lions’ attack with 16 kills and a .308 attack average. Jeanna Feldmann had 15 kills and 11 digs, while hitting .286 for the match. Elin Skei dished out 46 assists, while Kari Hammerbacher had a match-high 19 digs.
Southern will be back in action when the Lions travel to 11th ranked Central Missouri on Friday, September 18 for a 7 pm match with the Jennies.