Seventh-ranked Jennies defeat Southwest Baptist in straight sets

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — A balanced attack resulted in a three-set victory for the No. 7 Central Missouri Jennies, 25-23, 25-16, 25-13, Friday night against the Southwest Baptist Bearcats.
Four Jennies tied for the team lead with 11 kills apiece as UCM recorded 50 kills in the match.
Central Missouri (19-4, 11-1 MIAA) started the match a little cold, as Southwest Baptist (8-19, 1-12 MIAA) was able to hold their own against the Jennies in the opening set. After a kill from Taylor Goodness made it a 9-6 UCM lead, the Bearcats took a 6-2 run to claim a narrow 12-11 lead. The Jennies responded with a block from Bradye Penistonand Carly Sojka, then Sojka re-claimed a 13-12 lead with a kill.
Another short run from Southwest Baptist again gave them a lead, as they went ahead 18-14 following a pair of UCM attack errors. The Jens nearly faced set point at 23-20, but a service error from SBU gave Jennie libero Annie Reilly the chance to serve out for the win, and Sojka capped off a four point run to claim the 25-23 lead.
In the second set, the Jennies took a quick and commanding lead, scoring the first three points of the set, and eventually running out to an 11-4 advantage.
Both teams traded side-outs, until the Jens reeled off a 6-1 run, nearly putting the set away at 21-9, highlighted by a service ace from Mikalee Monachino, and kills from Sojka, Peniston, and Goodness. The Bearcats scored seven points over the final few serves, but Goodness finished the set with a kill on match point, winning 25-16.
Southwest Baptist looked to get back into the match with a lead early in the third set that reached as high as 7-3 after an attack error from the Jennies. Peniston immediately sided out with the kill, starting an eight-point run that put the Jens ahead 11-7, which included five kills, a service ace from Jamie Haworth, and a point awarded as the Bearcats were caught out of rotation.
Southwest Baptist responded with two quick scores, but UCM again took five straight points to go up 16-9, and were in control the rest of the way. Central Missouri finished the match scoring the last six points, including three consecutive kills from Peniston, followed by Sojka’s 11th kill of the night to finish off the win, 25-13.
Seniors Peniston and Lisa Moore, along with Goodness and Sojka, all finished with a match-high 11 kills. Moore had the highest hitting percentage of the four, with a .526 average, while Sojka recorded the match’s lone double-double, collecting 13 digs.
Junior setter Julia Bates collected 38 assists in the win, averaging 12.7 per set. She also picked up a kill, three blocks and two service aces during the match. On the back line, the two leading freshmen, Monachino and Reilly, collected 15 and 14 digs, respectively.
With the win, the Jennies officially clinch a spot in the MIAA tournament, but with just one loss in conference play, will compete with third-ranked Washburn and fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney for the No. 1 seed in the tourney. The Jens now head to St. Charles for a matchup with Lindenwood at 7 p.m. tonight.