Kan has record-setting night

Kan’s 25 kills and 19 digs set career high records.

Carly Kan is a cold-blooded killer.

The sophomore defensive specialist set career highs Friday night at a packed Hearnes Center in both kills (24) and digs (19) en route to a four-set win over Illinois State.

“She was really outstanding tonight,” Missouri coach Wayne Kreklow said. “We know every time we play, they’re going to go after her and she did a really good job tonight.”

Kan attributed her success on the court Friday to a strong mental game, especially after her disappointing outing earlier in the day against Lipscomb.

“We weren’t going to take any mental vacations tonight,” Kan said.

A slow start plagued the Tigers after trailing 14-8 early in the first set as the Redbirds pulled away for the six-point lead following a pair of blocks and Tigers errors. Mizzou was able to get within two behind Kan’s nine first-set spikes, but Illinois State was able to finish off the Tigers 25-22 in the opening set.

The second set looked like a whole new team. Whitney Little’s six kills helped Mizzou respond, as the Tigers dashed to a 19-8 lead. A missed block ended the 11-point run, but the Tigers were still able to finish the set on top 25-16.

Kan moved to the back row, adding two more kills in the set as well as eight digs, and the Tigers’ 17 kills came on .311 hitting in the set.

“She’s one of the keys for us because she does so many things,” Kreklow said. “Her total value is the sum total of everything she does, not just one thing.”

Mizzou opened up a back and forth third set taking a 16-12 lead. Kan’s eight kills led the offensive effort as the Tigers ran away to a 25-21 win. Mizzou hit 75 percent and recorded seven blocks in the set.

Mental stability led to the turnaround and high hitting percentage in the third set, according to senior libero Sarah Meister.

“The one thing we talk about most with this team is mental toughness and really relying on one another for that,” Meister said.

Mizzou dominated the final set thanks to timely blocks and an offensive clinic from Kan, Little and senior outside hitter Emily Wilson. Another six kills from Kan would set her career high number at 25.

“I just really wanted to do this for the team,” Kan said. “We deserve to win on our home court.”

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