Missouri women’s volleyball (3-0) continued its opening weekend streak with a win over the Idaho State Bengals (25-19, 25-15, 25-20) in the Tiger Invitational Saturday at the Hearnes Center.
The Tigers started out rough in the opening set, but soon came back from an 11-6 deficit with the help of junior libero Sarah Meister’s service game, climbing back up to take the lead 12-11. Led by freshman blocker Emily Thater (5 kills), Missouri blazed through three ties in score and eventually triumphed 25-19, with a team hitting percentage of .444 for the set.
At a timeout early on, senior hitter Lisa Henning said that coach Wayne Kreklow told the team to calm down and relax.
“You can’t hit 100 percent your first time so you just need to get a feel for the ball,” she said.
Missouri’s momentum carried on into the second set (25-15), during which Henning had four kills to bring her hitting percentage up to .643. The team had a combined eight blocks in comparison to Idaho State’s two, with Thater contributing five.
The third set started out smoothly, with the Tigers cruising to a 19-8 lead in the early going. From there, the Bengals clawed their way back to only a 19-17 deficit. However, Missouri did not give up, and through a series of offensive efforts from setter senior Molly Kreklow, came out on top 25-20, with Henning totaling 15 kills. Junior middle blocker Whitney Little also maintained a perfect hitting percentage throughout the match with six kills.
“Offensively, we’re doing a great job,” Wayne Kreklow said. “We’ve got a lot of people that can swing, and that keeps the opponents guessing.”
After two wins Friday, Missouri was trying to reign in their emotions in preparation for Saturday’s match.
“My expectation for today was that we were trying to revive what we had yesterday (against Pittsburgh),” Henning said. “We started off slow, kind of sluggish from playing two games yesterday.”
Wayne Kreklow affirmed Henning’s mindset.
“Second day matches are always really hard,” he said “It’s emotionally hard to come back from the night before when you’ve been celebrating a good win and you all of a sudden have to get up the next day and play a match."