by Ben Adamson
Aubrey Cheffey and Laynie Dake finished their Missouri State volleyball careers with back-to-back kills Friday to seal a 3-1 victory over Southern Illinois on Senior Night at Hammons Student Center.
Cheffey and Dake had nine kills apiece, and MSU’s third senior, Gerri Idos, added 16 digs, as the Bears (10-22, 7-11 Missouri Valley Conference) won by set scores of 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-22.
Chloe Rear finished with 14 kills, 28 assists and 11 digs for her fifth triple-double of the season, Amelia Flynn hit .350 with 18 kills, and Brooklyn Cink added 13 kills on .357 hitting for a potent offensive attack that piled up 64 kills on .255 hitting in four sets.
The Bears led 14-7 in the first set on a Cheffey kill, and wild momentum swings marked the rest of the period, with the Salukis (14-18, 6-12) closing to 21-20 and then spoiling a pair of set points before a Rear kill made it 1-0 Bears.
MSU hit .324 in the second set and led by as many as six points at 20-14, and SIU pulled away from a 7-7 tie in the third to extend the match with a comfortable 25-18 win.
Missouri State then put on an offensive showcase in rallying from a 10-6 deficit in the fourth, piling up 21 kills on .400 hitting, including three from Cink and two from Flynn in turning a 19-17 deficit into a 22-20 lead. Rear followed for 23-21 and SIU closed within a point before Cheffey and Dake put the finishing touches on the victory.
The Bears will miss the MVC Tournament for the first time since 1998, with a tie for sixth in the league standings with Evansville the best they can do after Saturday’s matches. MSU lost twice to UE during the regular season.
END OF SEASON NOTES: The Bears finished the 2019 season with a 9-7 record at home, the 21st straight year MSU has finished above .500 at Hammons Student Center…MSU earned victories over six other MVC schools on the year…Chloe Rear’s five triple-doubles on the season are the most for an MSU player since 1989, and the most in a career at MSU in the rally scoring era (since 2001)…Azyah Green tallied 120 total blocks on the year, the most for an MSU freshman in the 25-point era (since 2008)…Green and Laynie Dake are the first MSU teammates since 2008 with at least 100 blocks apiece…Dake is the first middle since 2009 to lead Missouri State in total kills, finishing with 300 on the year…The Bears finished the year with 256 total blocks, their second-highest total since in the last seven seasons…MSU’s 146 service aces ranked as the second-most in the 25-point era…MSU’s senior class finished its career with 81 total wins, two MVC regular season titles, and two NCAA Tournament appearances.