College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcat volleyball suffered two losses at home in Saturday’s Tri-Match, falling in five tight sets to Lincoln College (Ill.)and in three to MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.).
The Lady Bobcats came out strong in their first set against the Lincoln Lynx, opening with an 8-2 advantage and maintaining their lead throughout the remainder of the set to capture a 25-19 victory. Set two saw the Lynx take a 10-3 lead before C of O rallied to tie the score at 10. The Lady Cats proceeded to build their lead to 20-15, but Lincoln fought back to tie the set at 24 and eventually pull out a 28-26 win over the Cats. The Lynx posted an 11-6 lead in set three, but a five-point Lady Cat run tied the score at 11. The two teams battled for the set, but the Lynx picked up another nail-biter victory, 26-24. C of O rebounded to take set four, 25-18, and held a 10-6 lead in the deciding set before Lincoln clawed back to tie the score at 11. The Lady Cats responded to take a 15-14 lead but eventually fell 15-17 to lose the match.
Lady Bobcat stat leaders included Ryley Thixton (18 kills), Delanie Gaston (2 service aces), Maggie Plake (5 blocks), Rielly Wallace (51 assists), and Izzy Gibbany (23 digs). Wallace posted a triple double in the match, adding 10 kills and 13 digs to her 51 assists. Thixton tallied a double double with 18 kills and 13 digs.
The final match of the day featured the Lady Bobcats against MidAmerica Nazarene, who had just completed a win over Lincoln College. MidAmerica opened with a 7-2 lead, but the Lady Cats were able to work their way back to within two points at 8-10. The Cats stayed close until MNU went on a run to take a 21-15 lead, and subsequently the Pioneers closed out the set, 25-18. Set two found the Lady Cats trailing throughout most of the game. With MNU leading 20-13, C of O posted a 6-1 run to pull within two, down 19-21. Despite a valiant effort, the Lady Cats lost the set, 21-25. In set three, the two teams were tied on three occasions, but MNU took a six-point lead at 17-11. C of O pushed back and found themselves knotting up the score at 21, again at 23, and once again at 24 before MNU put the match away, 26-24.
Lady Cat Ryley Thixton posted her second double double of the day with 10 kills and 12 digs. Leading the stat categories for C of O were Abi Menzies (11 kills with no errors), Plake (6 blocks), Wallace (25 assists), and Gibbany (17 digs).
Saturday’s two losses bring the Lady Bobcats’ season record to 13-10. The team will take a break in action before traveling to play in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Tournament the weekend of October 18-19. C of O will return home to play their final regular season home match on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m. against Lyon College.