Jennies close out Peggy Martin Challenge with 3-0 win over Pittsburg State

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – In a rematch of their meeting just six days ago, the Central Missouri Jennies battled to win another hard-fought match over the Pittsburg State Gorillas, 25-16, 26-24, 28-26, in the final match of the Peggy Martin Challenge. Senior Brayde Peniston led the offense with 13 kills and a .522 hitting percentage in the victory.
With a strong start in the opening set, the Jens took a quick 4-1 lead to start the match, with Taylor Goodness knocking down three kills. The Jennies slowly built up their lead without any big runs, by holding the Gorillas to just one point off their own serve throughout the set. A four-point run gave UCM set point, at 24-15, then Peniston closed out the set two points later, at 25-16. Goodness had a great start to the match, posting nine kills in the first set along, with an .818 hitting percentage (9-0-11).
The Gorillas gave Central Missouri a fight the rest of the way through the match. The Jens held a close lead through the first portion of the set, as Carly Sojka‘s kill made it 13-9. It was the largest lead of the set for Central, as Pittsburg State took an 8-2 run to take command with a 17-15 lead. The Jennies fought back to tie the set at 18-18 after Julia Bates‘ service ace. The Gorillas hung close, but Peniston was able to give the Jens a two-point lead at 22-20 with a kill, forcing Pittsburg State to call timeout. After a bad set from the Jennies, PSU tied the set with back-to-back kills from Leah Flynn, forcing the Jennies to set point at 24-23. Peniston tied the set with a kill, then gave the Jens a 25-24 lead with her fourth kill of the set. Aubri Renshaw clinched the 26-24 win with her third kill of the set.
The Jennies looked poised to close out the match early, with an 8-3 lead to start the third set. The Gorillas weren’t done just yet, however, slowly climbing back into the set, keeping the Jennies off serve and ultimately tying the match at 18-18 with a four-point run, causing the Jens to call timeout to stop the momentum. A UCM error out of the break gave the Gorillas a 19-18 lead, which they held on to until Peniston’s back-to-back kills made it match point with a  24-23 Jennies lead. The Jens couldn’t finish off the run, though, as both sides traded serves, until Hillary McCormick‘s kill gave UCM a 27-26 edge, and a PSU attack error clinched the win, 28-26.
Peniston saved her best performance for the end of the match, posting seven kills and a .462 hitting percentage. On the back line, freshman libero Annie Reilly earned 14 digs in the win, while junior setter Julia Bates posted a double-double with 33 assists and 11 digs. Taylor Goodness finished with 12 kills, her highest total since the season opener against #10 Indianapolis, where she totaled 14 kills. Hillary McCormick also finished with double figures, knocking down 10 kills.
With the win, the Jennies improve to 15-3 on the year, and remain 7-0 in the MIAA, as the non-conference matchup will not count in the standings. League play resumes next week, and the Jennies have five matches remaining in the current seven-match homestand. They host Northwest Missouri at 7 p.m. Wednesday.