From in-state to out-of-state rival, volleyball team moves on in NCAA tournament

After Missouri State victory, Missouri will play Kansas in second round.

With its first round win, the Missouri volleyball team has set up a long-awaited border war matchup.

In their first trip to Lawrence, Kansas, since the conference switch, the team defeated the Missouri State Bears 3-1, advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the seventh time under coach Wayne Kreklow.

Although Missouri trails 28-7 in their all-time match-ups against its in-state rival, the tables turned today in the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Despite dropping the first game by a close four points, the players bounced back with offensive diversity at the net.

“We had a real balanced attack tonight and served well,” Kreklow said. “Those have been two of our biggest keys to success all season long."

With three black-and-gold hitters taking over the game with double-digit kills, the Missouri State blockers couldn’t keep up with the spread out offense. It was the lone senior, Regan Peltier, who led the way with 14 kills. Junior Carly Kan and redshirt sophomore Kira Larson each contributed a dozen more.

The Tigers mirrored their opponent in the second set as they claimed their lead at an early single-digit marker and held on for the rest of the match. After halftime, the players would do the same, generating 16 kills on a standout .400 percentage rate.

Missouri’s eight-point win in the fourth set was the largest of the neck-and-neck battle of the night.

"We came out tonight a bit slow but I'm really pleased with how we fought back and played well the rest of the way," Kreklow said. "Missouri State is a great team and we knew we had a tough challenge ahead of us. Credit goes to our ladies for not getting down on themselves and coming together as a team.”

The Tigers’ win means another rivalry matchup in Lawrence. The Tigers will face their biggest rival of all, Kansas, at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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