SAINT JOSEPH -- Missouri Western came out on fire, taking the first set of Tuesday's MIAA opener 25-16.
But the Bearcats won the marathon.
Northwest Missouri came back to win three straight sets, knocking off the Griffons 3-1 at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The Bearcats (5-4, 1-0) took the middle pair of sets by tallies of 25-19 and 25-21.
By the fourth set, Northwest Missouri was completely entrenched in their game plan. Using a 13-3 opening run, they took the decisive set 25-18.
Northwest's Brooke Bartosh topped all players with kills, while Tori Beckman led the way with 30 digs.
MIAA Specialist of the Week, Stephanie Hattey, led Missouri Western (6-3, 0-1) with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Both are in action on Friday as the Bearcats host MIAA-newcomer Lindenwood. The Griffons are home to Missouri Southern.