The Maneater

An electrifying second set victory leads Missouri volleyball in win over LSU

The Tigers used the momentum of a back-and-forth second set win to earn the 3-0 sweep.

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A thrilling second set led Missouri volleyball to a dominant 3-0 victory over the LSU Tigers at Hearnes Center on Sunday. The win brings Mizzou’s record to 9-3 in Southeastern Conference play, extending the team’s win streak to four consecutive matches.

Mizzou got off to an early lead in the first set after an ace from senior Ali Kreklow put the team up 7-4. The Tigers took the set 25-16, hitting .536 and putting up 18 kills.

However, it was the second set that would be the highlight of the match, as the momentum switched back and forth between the two teams.

LSU, which sits in fourth place of the SEC standings, directly behind Mizzou, began the set with increased intensity and took an early 6-2 lead. A six-point serving run from senior Courtney Eckenrode regained the momentum for Mizzou and also supplied a 13-11 lead for the team.

The Tigers followed the run-up with three errors in a four-point span that returned the momentum back to LSU, which consequently led 21-20. LSU’s Katie Kampen then proceeded to serve the ball into the net and the momentum was surrendered back to Mizzou, which, following a kill by redshirt senior Melanie Crow, led 22-21. The LSU Tigers turned it around again and scored three consecutive points to force set point and looked sure to win the set.

Missouri, however, did not give up. A big dual block by Crow and redshirt freshman Kayla Caffey followed by an ace from Eckenrode ensured that the two teams would play extra points. Missouri finally broke away from LSU and won the critical set 28-26 on a kill by freshman Dariana Hollingsworth.

The third set mirrored the first, as an emotionally drained LSU team lost the intensity that it had in the previous set. Mizzou won 25-15.

“I thought we came out real well in set one,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “We dug ourselves a hole in set two, but thankfully our team showed a lot of maturity and poise and claw back in it.”

Mizzou won almost every statistical battle in the match, but digs proved to be the most significant one. The Missouri defense was locked in during every point and the impressive 43 digs the Tigers recorded don’t do justice to how well they played on Sunday.

Junior Alyssa Munlyn and freshman Leketor Member-Meneh led Missouri’s offense with 15 and 10 kills, respectively, each hitting above .400. Redshirt sophomore Riley Sents had a team-high 11 digs and Eckenrode tallied 32 assists and five serving aces against LSU.

Mizzou now embarks on a three-game road trip with a visit to Columbia, South Carolina, first on the schedule. The Tigers will face off against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday, with the first serve scheduled for 5 p.m.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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