Nov. 19, 2010

Courtesy of Central Missouri Athletics

WARRENSBURG, Missouri - University of Central Missouri Jennies volleyball handled the St. Mary's University Rattlers in three sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-10) in the first round of the South Central Regional Tournament, Thursday.

UCM (29-4, 18-2 MIAA) sent the No. 8 seed packing for the second year in a row. As the winner of the Heartland Conference Tournament, the Rattlers (15-18, 7-5 HC) received a bid to the regional, led by Heartland Conference Player of the Year Kori McCarver.

Set one opened horrendously for the Jens. The Rattlers were spotted seven points as four UCM errors gave them an 8-1 lead. St. Mary's finally gave the lead back on a service error to make it 13-12 and the Jennies picked up the pace to take the set 25-19. Junior Allie Huffman (Lee's Summit, Mo.) led the way with six kills in the set.

The Jens forced side outs on 72% of their opportunities in the second set. Huffman added five more kills. Junior Paula Harris (Conway Springs, Kan.) led the defense with a pair of solo blocks and a block assist, helping to hold the Rattlers to only seven kills and a negative hitting percentage.

After doubling up St. Mary's, 14-7, UCM went on its longest run of the match (9-0) as Harris connected on four straight kills. McCarver delayed the inevitable with a kill on match point but the Jens would take the win on the ensuing serve.

The Jennies have swept their opponent in seven straight, improving their home winning streak to 10 matches. St. Mary's is also the 12th opponent to be held under .100 hitting (0.070), UCM is 29-3 when the opposition hits less than .300. Senior Rachel Fister (Labadie, Mo.) led the Jens with 20 digs while freshman setter Julia Bates (Leavenworth, Kan.) had 28 assists, six kills and a pair of aces.