Kirksville, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern volleyball team picked up a huge win today as the Lions took out 11th ranked Truman State in Kirksville, three sets to two. Individual set scores were 25-21, 24-26, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12.
Southern (15-10, 5-8 MIAA) defeats its first ranked opponent of the season as the Lions were led offensively by Rachel Olinyk with 21 kills and three blocks. Ashlee Russell and Jeanna Feldmann had 13 and 10 kills, respectively, while Feldmann added 20 digs. Shakila Balkhi had 24 digs, while Kristin Hylton added 17 of her own. Elin Skei dished out 55 assists and 13 digs and four blocks.
Truman (22-5, 11-4 MIAA) lost its first five-set match this season and the Bulldogs were led by Molly Sinclair with 16 kills and 17 digs.
Both teams traded points in the first set before Southern took a lead at 17-16 it wouldn't relinquish and Olinyk finished off the set with a kill. The Lions led 19-17 in the second set after a kill from Haley Martin, but three-straight points from the Bulldogs forced a Southern timeout. The set was tied at 24, but Truman scored the next two points to take the win.
Southern opened up a 7-2 lead in the third set to force a Truman timeout, but the Bulldogs would fight back and tie the set at ten. The teams would trade points for the majority of the set and it was tied at 23, before a kill from Olinyk and a Truman error gave the set to the Lions.
Truman tied the match at two with a close win in the fourth frame, but the fifth set was all Lions. Southern led 8-6 at the turn and again at 11-7, forcing a Truman timeout. The Lions pushed the score to 14-11, forcing the second timeout of the set for the Bulldogs and a TSU error gave Southern the match.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow with a match at Missouri Western.