FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Missouri State had a chance to test itself in exhibition action Saturday afternoon and dropped a 3-1 decision to Arkansas at Barnhill Arena.
The Razorbacks, who are picked to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference this season, won by set scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21. After splitting the first two sets, Missouri State held the lead at the 16-point mark in both the third and fourth periods in the competitive match-up.
“That’s a great Arkansas team we played today,” said second-year head coach Steven McRoberts. “They are well coached and will have a successful season.”
The Bears used 17 total players and a variety of lineups throughout the afternoon, continuing last season’s success at the service line with eight total aces while adding nine blocks as a team.
“Once we got the nerves out I thought we played well,” McRoberts added. “There are definitely some detail things that we can and will do better as the season goes on. We now have a focused list of things to work on this week as we prepare for next Friday.”
Amelia Flynn led the Bears with 10 kills and 10 digs, freshman Morgan Sprague had a team-high 26 assists, freshman Maddie Bushnell added six blocks, and Brooklyn Cink, Rylee Fay and Holly Luginbill shared the team lead with two aces apiece.
Missouri State begins the regular season Friday, Aug. 27, with a 10 a.m. match against Wichita State in Jonesboro, Ark. The Bears also take on host Arkansas State at 7 p.m. on the 27th and Tennessee Martin at noon Saturday to round out the A-State Invitational.