Senior Sydney Deeken stepped up as the key player for Missouri volleyball as the team took a 3-1 victory over the Green Bay Phoenix on Friday in its first match of the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Tigers won the first set 25-22 but suffered a disastrous second set in which they had a .000 hitting percentage and lost 25-16. Deeken was having a quiet day up until that point, but the outside hitter came alive in third set that the Tigers won 25-23. She had 12 kills and hit .473 as the Tigers won the final two sets. Deeken’s 17 kills marked a career high for the senior.
Deeken’s performance against Green Bay was exactly what Missouri had been missing in its most recent loss last Saturday against Boise State. Deeken and fellow outside hitters Melanie Crow and Leketor Member-Meneh all sat out of that match due to various injuries, and the Tigers struggled. But, Deeken was able to dig deep when it mattered most on Friday and lead the Tigers to victory, a trait that will be imperative to the young team’s success this season, especially while Crow and Member-Meneh remain sidelined.
“That is what you are looking for this time of year,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “Who will step up when things get tough?”
Other notable performances on Friday came from redshirt freshman Kayla Caffey, who matched her career high of 10 kills, and senior setter Courtney Eckenrode who provided 44 assists, 10 digs and even chipped in on offense with five kills.
On Saturday, the 4-4 Tigers will play two matches against ranked opponents as they continue the Utah Classic. They play No. 15 San Diego at 11 a.m. CT, and then No. 18 Utah at 8 p.m. CT.
Edited by Eli Lederman | email@example.com