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(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team kept its Region 16 record unblemished Thursday night, Sept. 26, with a 3-1 set victory over Mineral Area College of Park Hills, Mo.

The Grizzlies, now 8-11, downed the Cardinals 25-17, 18-25, 27-25, 25-15.

“It was a good region win,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said of the victory. “Mineral Area’s ball control and defense were excellent after game one. It allowed them to take the advantage in game two and keep it close in game three. We just continued to fight longer and put the match away in game four.”

Although pleased with the win, Wiedemann said the Grizzlies didn’t make it easy on themselves, as evidenced in games two and three of the match. “We need to continue to work on our communication and reduce the number of errors we’re making,” she stressed.

She did, however, point to some individual performances from the contest, including that of sophomore middle attacker Nella Ioramo, who led the team in kills with 20, attacking percentage with .567 and points earned with 22.

“Nella had a tremendous night, 20 kills off 30 swings. You could see her continue to get comfortable in her role,” the coach said. “She was a major presence for us offensively and defensively, and she, along with (freshman middle attacker) Leondra Barrett, made their hitters think about what they wanted to do with the ball and forced them into hitting errors.”

Wiedemann also praised the play of sophomore defensive specialist Laiz Novaes, freshman libero Alyssa Aldag and freshman outside attacker Kaili Simmons on defense. All three recorded double figures in digs, with Aldag leading the way. She had 21, followed by Simmons with 17 and Novaes with 15.

Novaes, the coach added, also did a great job on right-side defense, noting that good play from the position can open up the offense and result in points. Wiedemann also noted Simmons’ efforts at the net, pointing to a greater confidence in her swings.

Wiedemann thanked The Fish Shack and The Pizza Shack for sponsoring the game and continuing their great support of the Grizzlies, and she thanked those who donated games and craft items to the West Plains Area Boys and Girls Club, which was the team’s community service project for the evening.

The coach also gave kudos to the Grizzly fans. “The crowd was great last night. They were loud and really into what was going on on the court. I had several comments after the game from visitors about how great our crowd was,” she said.

The Grizzlies will travel to Ottumwa, Iowa, Monday, Sept. 30, to face the Indian Hills Community College Warriors at 6:30 p.m. Although the Warriors are 10-11, Wiedemann expects a tough challenge. “They’re a very good program,” she said.

For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit the team’s website at

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