All three sets started out fairly even, but Joplin eventually was able to pick up the intensity and open up the game, forcing the Lady Tigers to mount a couple of big comebacks on their way to a victory. The Lady Tigers were able to do that, winning by the final scores of 15-25, 26-24 and 25-22.
The first set was certainly not a shining moment for the Lady Tigers as several errors allowed Joplin to take advantage fairly early and start to pull away.
The Lady Tigers were able to stay even in the beginning of the match, staying tied through 4-4, but Joplin took advantage of consecutive runs of three and four points to work their way to a 12-6 lead.
The Lady Tigers went on a short run of their own in an effort to get back in the game, but were only able to manage to get within three at 13-10 before Joplin regained control. The Lady Eagles eventually extended their lead to near double digits late in the opening set as they combined a series of short runs before eventually putting the game away by a final score of 25-15.
"Once we got rid of that it was fun," Lady Tigers head coach Becky Lowery said of the opening set. "We played a lot better in the second game, we let them get a little run and it could have ended because we got behind quite a bit and they fought back."
The second set started off quite similarly to the first as the two teams stayed even early before Joplin went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-2 lead. The Lady Tigers wasted little time getting back into the game, utilizing two separate short runs to work their way back within two at 10-8.
The Lady Eagles didn't let up through most of the remainder of the match and it looked as though they would put the match away when they were able to extend their lead back to seven at 23-16. Lauren Klinksick had other ideas, however, as she went back to serve and catapulted the Lady Tigers to an 8-0 run to take the lead at 24-23.
The Lady Eagles ultimately tied the game at 24-24, but the Lady Tigers continued to put the pressure on, scoring the last two points to win 26-24.
The third and final set of the night got off to a much stronger start for Nevada as they were able to stay even with the Lady Eagles through the beginning portions of the set before ultimately opening up the score near the midpoint.
After Joplin was able to break the 8-8 tie and began to gain an advantage, the Lady Tigers quickly quashed that momentum with a 6-0 run to take a 14-10 lead. From that point on, Joplin seemed to be getting discouraged and losing focus, allowing the Lady Tigers to take control and continue to extend their lead.
The Lady Tigers eventually worked their way to a nine-point lead on the heals of several short runs before the Lady Eagles were finally able to regain their composure. Joplin eventually began to make their comeback, going on runs of two, three and four points to come back within two at 24-22.
That turned out to be too little, too late, however, as the Lady Tigers scored the last two points to take a 25-22 victory.
"There in game three, we started out good and they started fighting back a little bit, but we held them back," Lowery said. "We kept our composure and held them off."
Lowery spoke very well of her entire team after the match, citing several strong defensive plays and very good serving by two players in particular: Mariah Mock and Allie Irwin. Mock finished out the night with a team-high seven blocks while Irwin -- as well as Klinksick -- took over the game with very strong serving.
"Mariah Mock did a good job at the net tonight, she got a lot of blocks and Allie Irwin did an excellent job serving," Lowery said.
The Lady Tigers' JV squad didn't fare quite as well on the night as they fell in two sets, 25-19 and 25-10. The freshmen were in action Tuesday as well, but those scores were not available.
The Lady Tigers will hope to take the substantial mometum swing they got from that match on into the remainder of the week as they head to El Dorado Springs on Thursday.