Missouri comes away with win in five-set match at Alabama

The Tigers finished with 73 kills, the most for the program in a single match in nine years

Survival of the fittest was the theme of the night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as Missouri (15-6, 7-4 SEC) faced off against the University of Alabama (12-10, 4-7 SEC). After a 3-1 loss against the Aggies on Nov. 3, the Tigers were on a mission to redeem themselves.

For the second time this season, Missouri finished with a five-set win. After trailing 2-1 in the match, a comeback was in the works behind an explosive offensive attack and solid blocking. Juniors Kylie Deberg and Leketor Member-Meneh both came away with 21 kills in a team total 73 kills — the program’s most kills in a single match in nine years. The last time the Tigers had a 70-plus kill performance was against Northern Iowa in 2010 NCAA Tournament play. It also marked both Deberg’s ninth 20-plus kill match this season and Member-Meneh’s second 20-plus kill match.

“I’m pleased with our ladies for continuing to fight and battling until the very end,” coach Joshua Taylor said in a press release. “Both squads showed a lot of fight and this match truly could’ve gone either way for us.”

The Tigers clawed their way back into the match in sets four and five. Despite winning the first set 25-22, they dropped the next two, turning the match into a nail biter. Missouri took the fourth set, winning with the same score of 25-22 and took the crowd on a rollercoaster ride in the fifth and final set. In the do or die set, there was a total of 11 tied scores and three lead changes. Missouri came out on top and survived the Crimson Tide inside Foster Auditorium.

“Getting wins on the road in SEC play is a big deal and we’ll look to continue this momentum,” Taylor said.

In this thrilling victory, some other top performers were junior Tyanna Omazic and sophomores Kayla Caffey and Andrea Fuentes. Omazic tallied 11 kills on .368 hitting along with three total blocks. Caffey added on 13 kills on .684 hitting and another three blocks. Fuentes produced a career-high 62 assists and seven digs along with one ace.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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