Mizzou volleyball sweeps Mississippi State for fourth-straight win

The Tigers have earned a sweep in each of their last three matches.

Maneater File Photo

Decked out in pink for breast cancer awareness night, Missouri volleyball left the court with big smiles Friday night after claiming its fourth consecutive victory. The Tigers’ 3-0 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Hearnes Center marked Missouri’s third consecutive match with a sweep over its opponent.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair as both the Tigers and the Bulldogs continually made unforced errors. Though Missouri started off strong, the Tigers committed several errors in serve receive by over passing the ball, giving the Bulldogs easy points. Later in the set, the Bulldogs responded with several unforced errors of their own on defense to put the Tigers ahead. MU held onto the lead, taking the set 25-22.

“We got off to a bad start; we had a lot off errors,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “That really set the tone for the rest of the match. Luckily, we were able to dig our way out of it.”

In the second set, Missouri reduced its errors and dominated with stronger hitting and blocking on the front line. Freshman Leketor Member-Meneh checked in the for the Tigers and made a strong impact on offense. Member-Meneh exploded at the net with her powerful swing. Combined with a crumbling Mississippi State defense, the Tigers pulled out another set win 25-15.

“I'm really proud of Leketor,” redshirt senior Kira Larson said. “It is very difficult to sit on the bench and then be put in the game and expected to perform. She comes into the game and still brings the intensity as if she had started. That is something hard to do, especially as a freshman.”

During the third set, Missouri carried over its tenacious attacking and stellar defense and brought energy early. Mississippi State did not go down without a fight, responding with several kills to rattle the Tigers’ defense and tie the score midway through the set. Ultimately, the Tigers picked up the pace by making smart shots, confusing the Bulldog defense to regain the lead. The turnaround helped the Tigers come out on top to close out the match 25-20.

“I am glad that we got the win,” Kreklow said. “I am not happy with the way we executed that game.”

Despite the shaky moments during the match, several Tigers shined for MU. Junior Alyssa Munlyn performed as the top hitter with seven kills, two solo blocks and five total blocks. Redshirt freshman Kayla Caffeyand freshman Dariana Hollingsworth each contributed six kills. Redshirt senior Melanie Crow followed with five kills, two blocks, one dig and an ace. On offense, senior setter Courtney Eckenrode paced Mizzou’s setting with 20 assists.

Up next the Tigers hit the road to travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to compete against the Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday. First serve is set for 12:30 p.m. CT.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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