Truman 3, Central Missouri State 0

Nov. 19, 2005

The Bulldog volleyball team is returning to a familiar place, the NCAA Elite Eight. Truman punched its ticket there for the fourth time in the last five years with a 30-21, 30-28, 30-24 victory over Central Missouri in the South Central Regional finals.

Truman beat Central Missouri at its own game, defeating the Jennies at the net. The Bulldogs had six more blocks and forced the Jennies to have twice as many attack errors in the match.

The Bulldogs had little trouble in the first game. With the score tied at five, Truman scored seven of the next eight points for a six-point lead. It would eventually build a ten-point lead at 25-15 before winning by nine points. Truman hit .429 in the game with 19 kills and just one error in 42 attempts.

Game two saw some confusion midway through in the scoring and the Bulldogs got a point taken off the scoreboard. The team lost their composure a bit after that decision and Central Missouri ran off a 9-1 run to grab a 21-16 lead.

The Bulldogs came back, though, to take a 25-23 lead after a 9-2 spurt. Six of the teams nine points in that run came on Central Missouri errors. After both teams recorded a sideout, the Jennies had one more run in them, scoring three straight to go up 27-26. Truman answered with three of its own and, after Central Missouri scored on a sideout, Melissa Keck ended the game with a kill on an overpass.

In the third game, Truman got a small lead early after a 4-0 run broke a 4-4 tie. The Bulldogs led 11-10 when they scored eight of the next nine points to take control of the game. The Jennies did cut the lead to three at 22-19, but Keck made another game-changing play. On a long rally, Keck surprised the Jennies with a kill on the second touch. Truman scored two more after that and the lead never got under four the rest of the way.

Keck tied a career-high high on the night with 12 kills and she hit .324. Sarah Shearman came up big again with 15 kills and a .team-high .394 hitting percentage. Kelsey Wackerman had eight kills and the two middles, Micaela Walter and Tiffany Graham, each chipped in with six.

Defensively, Graham led the team with six blocks and Eli Medina had a team-high 16 digs. Sarah Shearman and Whitney Boehler were also in double-figures in digs.

Central Missouri was led by Becky Haug and Brooke Butler with 13 kills. Kaci Young had a game-high 40 assists and Audrey Jensen had a game-high 27 digs.

Five Bulldogs were named to the all-region all-tournament team in Shearman, Wackerman, Walter, Graham and Medina.

Truman, who has now beaten Central Missouri in 14 out of the last 15 meetings, will take a 32-5 overall record into the Elite Eight. The NCAA quarterfinal match will take place on Dec. 1 and will be against the winner of the Southwest region. The location and times of the Elite Eight will be announced on Sunday evening.

-- Courtesy Truman