By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Senior Ali Tauchen and sophomore Allie Kerns each had 10 kills, and Missouri Western volleyball dominated the middle set in a 3-0 win over Missouri Southern at MWSU Fieldhouse Tuesday.
The Griffons (11-4, 3-3 MIAA), winners in four of their last five matches, won the first and third set 25-18, but dominated the second 25-7, which is their largest margin of victory in any set this season. It marked Missouri Western's first sweep since a 3-0 win over Maryville University on Sept. 11.
"It was really nice to see us put together a full, three-set performance," Missouri Western coach Marian Carbin said. "We pretty consistently did the things we wanted to do."
Tauchen, who's now the program's all-time leader in career points with 1,438, was happy to help her team to victory Tuesday, but is also grateful to have cemented her name in Griffon history with the help of those she's played with.
"It's really special," Tauchen said of the achievement. "I think it speaks highly to how special this place is and the people here and I couldn't do it without any of my teammates present or past, so it's just a really big honor."
Missouri Western broke a 16-16 tie in set one, going on a 9-2 run late to take the set 25-18.
The Griffons got behind 2-0 to start in set two, but then went on a 20-2 run to end it. Missouri Western scored 11 unanswered points in the second set to pull ahead for good. Missouri Western had an outstanding .409 hitting percentage in the second set.
"We just took over and played Missouri Western volleyball," Tauchen said of the second set. "We got our own kills, we got digs and we didn't wait for them to make a mistake. We went and took the reigns."
Missouri Southern (3-12, 0-5 MIAA) hung around for awhile in set three, but junior Emilee McGowan broke open the third set for the Griffons, serving five straight points to give Missouri Western an 18-13 lead in the final set.
Missouri Western had a solid night serving, finishing with seven aces. They also managed 11 blocks compared to just four by the Lions.
"That's the type of team that we are," coach Carbin said. "A great serving team, a good blocking team. We like to get into our transition game and I think we did that really well."
The Griffons are on the road for their next three matches, starting Friday with a trip to Central Oklahoma. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
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