Career-high’s from Hiebert, Mostrom send volleyball into MVC championship
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Wichita State got a much needed boost from two of their stars in Friday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Semi-Finals. Playing at Northern Iowa, whom beat the Shockers twice during the regular season, junior setter Emily Hiebert and senior libero Dani Mostrom obtained career-high’s to lift WSU past the Panthers 3-1.
Hiebert, the 2016 MVC Setter of the Year, had a career-high of 10 kills to add to 37 assists with eight digs. Mostrom had 31 of the Shockers’ 89 digs to tie her career-high.
UNI hit .429 and forced the Shockers to eight attack errors with only six kills to take the first set 25-12. A service ace from junior Gabi Mostrom put the Shockers ahead 5-2 in the second set and senior middle blocker Katy Dudzinski pushed WSU out front 15-13 with a kill.
A block from juniors Abbie Lehman and Mikaela Raudsepp added to a kill by sophomore outside hitter Tabitha Brown extended the WSU lead 20-16, but a rally by the Panthers allowed the score to be knotted at 22 a piece. UNI took the lead off a kill until senior outside hitter Jody Larson answered back that allowed a block to make it set point 25-24. The Shockers took set two by scoring off a UNI attack error.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the fourth set, but an attack error and a Brown kill tied the score at eight. The game went back and forth until UNI took a comfortable 21-17 lead in as the set was coming to a close.
Kills from Larson and Raudsepp tied the game at 23 a piece, allowing the Shockers to swing the momentum into a 26-24 set three victory to move ahead in the match 2-1.
Brown came up with a kill and the Shockers forced a UNI attack error to take a 12-10 lead in the fourth set. The Panthers tied the game at 18 before the Shockers used kills from Lehman and Raudsepp to move ahead by two points.
A block by Dudzinski pushed WSU to a 22-19 lead, allowing the match to be finished off with kills from Larson and Brown to give the Shockers a 3-1 match victory.
Larson recorded her first triple-double of her career, coming up with 21 digs, 12 kills and 10 assists. Brown had a game-high of 16 kills while Raudsepp added 13 kills hitting .333. Junior libero Hanna Shelton added 13 digs in WSU’s win.
WSU (23-7) will play No. 1 seed Missouri State in the MVC Tournament Championship on Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner will claim the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.