The Maneater

Blocking proves to be difference maker as Mizzou volleyball defeats Georgia 3-1

The Tigers’ 17 total blocks tied the team’s season high for an SEC match this season.

Maneater File Photo

Missouri volleyball beat the Georgia Bulldogs 3-1 in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon. For the Tigers, the victory served as revenge for a 3-0 loss to the Bulldogs on Oct. 20.

The first set went back and forth as neither team gained a lead larger than three points until a dual block by redshirt freshman Kayla Caffey and freshman Leketor Member-Meneh closed out the set 25-21.

The second and third sets were each very one-sided, albeit in different directions. The Bulldogs came back strong and won the second set 25-17, and the Tigers responded by winning the third 25-16.

A dual block by Member-Meneh and junior Alyssa Munlyn gave Missouri an early 2-1 lead in the fourth set, and the Tigers never looked back. Mizzou recorded five more blocks en route to a 25-16 victory in the final set.

Missouri’s blocking served as the biggest difference maker in the match. In the previous meeting between the two teams, the Tigers had just nine total blocks and the Bulldogs were able to post 48 kills with a .340 hitting percentage. But on Sunday, Mizzou’s 17 total blocks held Georgia to only a .104 hitting percentage.

Member-Meneh and redshirt senior Kira Larson led the Tigers’ offense with 13 kills each. Four Mizzou players recorded at least five total blocks, while redshirt sophomore Riley Sents led the team with nine digs, and senior setters Courtney Eckenrode and Ali Kreklow each tallied 20 assists.

“We were pretty consistent in most areas today,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “Our serving and blocking were good today. I was very proud of how we competed all day. It was a great team effort, as a lot of people made big contributions all afternoon.”

In addition to the victory, a few Tigers reached major career milestones against the Bulldogs. Sents’ third dig of the match was her 400th career dig for Mizzou, and Larson’s 10th point of the match was her 1,000th point in her collegiate career.

The Tigers return home on Friday, Nov. 3 to face off against Texas A&M, a team Mizzou beat 3-1 on Sept. 24. The first serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT in Hearnes Center.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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