UMSL avenged two earlier losses to Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Lewis by beating the Flyers 25-21, 27-29, 27-29, 25-22, 13-15 on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Tournament. It was the Tritons’ first-ever NCAA regional victory in their fifth postseason appearance, but their season ended the next night when they fell to top-seeded Ferris State 25-15, 25-21, 25-18 in the regional semifinals. Outside hitter Charlotte Richards, the reigning two-time GLVC Player of the Year, was named to the All-Midwest Region first team after tallying 33 kills, 5 aces, 1 assist and 33 digs. UMSL also got 15 kills from Olivia Klank and 12 from Karlyn Hannewald while beating Lewis. Kaileen Herman had 80 assists and Megan Woll had 50 digs combined in the two matches. Coach Ryan Young‘s team finished its season with a 25-9 record and went 15-3 in GLVC play.
The Tritons were less than a second away from their first GLVC victory of the season on Thursday when Truman State’s Masen Miller ripped it away with a buzzer-beating shot from just beyond half-court that lifted the Bulldogs to a 72-71 overtime victory. But UMSL bounced back quickly by blitzing Lindenwood 77-61 Saturday on the road. Marty Jackson had a game-high 24 points and added six rebounds in Saturday’s victory. Jose Grubbs led the Tritons with 23 points and nine rebounds in Thursday’s loss, and Yaakema Rose Jr. added 14 points. UMSL will visit Quincy on Friday in its only game of the week.
UMSL got off to a 3-0 start in GLVC play by winning three games on the road last week, knocking off Quincy 61-47 on Monday, edging Truman State 57-54 on Thursday and pulling out an 80-76 double-overtime thriller against Lindenwood. Freshman guard Mallory Ronshaunsen paced the Tritons in scoring in two of the three victories. She had a team-high 18 points against Quincy and had 19 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead five players in double figures against Lindenwood. Senior center Kiara Stewart and senior forward Alex LaPorta had 21 and 20 points, respectively, against Truman State to propel UMSL to victory. The Tritons (6-1) will remain on the road, visiting Christian Brothers in nonconference play Thursday in their only game of the week.