(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— In the first round of the MIAA Volleyball Tournament this week, Missouri Western and Northwest will meet for the third time this season.
"We've played with them all year, took them to five both times and both sets were super close," Missouri Western junior Ali Tauchen said. "We're ready to go out there and take the fifth and own the night."
Northwest took the first two meetings between the two teams this season, but the Griffons are confident this time around. Missouri Western has won five of its last 6 MIAA matches including a 3-0 sweep of Central Oklahoma Saturday.
"It can be a game-changer, to be honest with you," Griffons senior Lauren Murphy said. "When everything clicks and everything works out, you can only go up from there."
For the four Missouri Western seniors, this is it. Thursday's match with Northwest could be the last one of their college careers and they know that.
"I have limited time left on the court, so does Sam, Tianna, Marissa, you know," Murphy said. "We don't have much time left, so every second that I'm on that court, every time Sam is on that court, any of us are on that court. It could be our last."
It is do or die time for Missouri Western and they're ready for the challenge Thursday night.
"It's going to come down to who prepares better and who wants it more, who has the most heart and who's ready to make those sacrifices to get their team to the top," Murphy said.
#4 Northwest takes on #5 Missouri Western Thursday night at 7:30 at Hy-Vee Arena in Kansas City, Mo.