Missouri offense continues success, sweeps Alabama

Kayla Caffey had 11 kills on .714 hitting.

After defeating Alabama in a five-set battle last weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Missouri was able to dominate early on and defeat the Crimson Tide in three sets Friday at Hearnes Center.

“Looking back at our last match against Alabama, we didn’t produce the best numbers, so today we had a chip on our shoulder coming in,” junior Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana said. “We thought we were the better team offensively, and we acted on it tonight.” Missouri earned early leads in all three sets, winning 25-16, 25-18 and 25-19. The offense started off hot, hitting .452 in the first set, and continued to dominate offensively, hitting .344 and .438 in the final two sets. Four Tigers posted double-digit kills, led by redshirt sophomore Kayla Caffey and junior Kylie Deberg with 11 kills each. Junior Leketor Member-Meneh and Hollingsworth-Santana had 10 kills each. Caffey led the Tigers with her season-best .714 hitting percentage. “[Caffey] has been working so hard and done a great job communicating in transition to Andrea [Fuentes],” coach Joshua Taylor said. “The crazy thing is, for everyone who hit double-digit kills, she had the least amount of attempts. She was just so efficient. Every ball she was set, she killed all but three. She did a great job being available and when every ball from Andrea is killable, that combination is pretty deadly.”

The Tigers were also strong on defense, holding Alabama to under .100 hitting for the match.

“We were very discipled on defense,” Hollingsworth-Santana said. “Every practice, we come in and talk about being very disciplined with our blocking lineups. As diggers, we talk about being very disciplined about seeing the block, reading the play and not cheating up.”

With the NCAA Tournament looming and the Tigers primed for a spot, the team is looking for a strong close to the regular season.

“We absolutely want to murder this upcoming week so we can get a good spot in the NCAA Tournament,” Hollingsworth-Santana said. “That is our goal.”

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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