ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Central Oklahoma ended the regular season with a three-set loss to Missouri Western Saturday afternoon at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The Bronchos dropped the first two sets 25-15, 25-19 before losing a 29-27 third-set thriller. UCO fell to 18-12 on the season and ended up sixth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association standings at 10-10.
Central will be the sixth seed for the eight-team MIAA Postseason Tournament. That eight-team single-elimination tournament begins Thursday, with Bronchos set to play third-seeded Central Missouri at 2:30 p.m. in one of four first-round matches.
"We got off to a slow start and couldn't overcome that," head coach Edgar Miraku said. "We came out and fought hard in the third set and had plenty of chances to win that, but just didn't get it done."
Courtney Lane led the Bronchos in the finale, hitting .375 with 16 kills and just one error in 40 attacks while adding 13 digs.
Bailey Combs had six kills, Amanda Desch contributed 19 digs, 16 assists and three kills and Dominique Lipari had 16 digs.
The Griffons won the first two sets to take command of the match, but UCO didn't go down without a fight.
The Bronchos jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the third set, but MWSU answered back quickly and it was a back-and-forth battle throughout. UCO went up 23-21 on a Lane kill and was ahead 25-24 before the Griffons scored two straight points to move in front.
Combs tied it with a kill and a combined block by Nalani McCrary and Desch had the Bronchos ahead 27-26, but MWSU knocked down three straight kills to rally and end the match.