(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – After falling behind two sets to one against the Truman Bulldogs, the eighth-ranked Central Missouri Jennies rallied to win the final two sets, claiming a 3-2 victory to remain unbeaten in MIAA play. The Jennies have won seven matches in a row, and 43 straight matches over Missouri schools. Sophomore Aubri Renshaw led the team with 17 kills and eight digs.
For just the third time this season, the Jennies dropped the opening set, as the Bulldogs posted a .371 hitting percentage in the first game. Neither team could put a rally together, until Truman went on a 9-2 run late in the set, changing a 16-15 Jennies advantage into a 24-18 Truman set point. Renshaw scored two straight kills to hold of the Bulldogs for a while, but Truman clinched the set win, 25-20.
The Jens responded in the second set, taking the first five points and forcing the Bulldogs to burn an early timeout. UCM held Truman at bay throughout the set, posting 13 points off Truman’s 19 serves to stay in front. Setter Julia Bates led the offensive charge, recording four kills and ten assists with a .429 hitting percentage in the set, as the Jennies tied the match with the 25-18 win.
The third set was a defensive struggle, as both teams posted hitting percentages below .150. The score remained close until a six-point Bulldog run gave them a 13-8 edge. The Jennies were able to rally late, tying the set at 23-23 on an attack error from Truman, but a pair of UCM errors gave the set to Truman, 25-23.
In the closest set of the night, the Jennies had their most productive offensive performance, recording 17 kills with only three attack errors and a .424 hitting percentage. The Jens scored five straight to build an 11-8 lead, highlighted by kills from Renshaw and Taylor Goodness, as well as blocks from Bradye Peniston and Hillary McCormick. The Bulldogs slowly worked their way back, finally forcing a tie at 22-22 after a four-point run punctuated with back-to-back blocks by the Truman front line. Goodness recorded a pair of kills sandwiched around a Jennie handling error, but forced set point at 24-23, where freshman libero Annie Reilly clinched the win with her first of two service aces on the night, 25-23.
Considering their experience in five-set matches this season, the Jennies handled the situation well, quickly building a 3-0 lead in the first-to-15 set. The Jens never trailed in the fifth, posting an 81% sideout rate as the Bulldogs never rallied for more than two straight points. Leading 13-10, Central Missouri put the match away with kills from Renshaw and Peniston to close out the victory.
Peniston, the team leader in kills this season, totaled 16 on the night, with a .395 hitting percentage. Sophomore Taylor Goodness recorded 11 kills, her highest total in two weeks, since her 11-kill performance against #17 Lewis. Setter Julia Bates flirted with the possibility of a triple-double, as the junior had 55 assists, 10 digs and seven kills. Defensively, Annie Reilly led the team with 26 digs, while fellow freshmen Carly Sojka posted 19 and Mikalee Monachino earned ten.
With the victory, the Jennies improve to 10-3 on the season, and remain undefeated with a 4-0 record in the MIAA. The Jennies hit the road next week for a three-game swing, visiting Missouri Southern, Central Oklahoma and Pittsburg State on September 27-29.