Missouri volleyball drops five-set heartbreaker to South Carolina

The Tigers tallied more kills, blocks, assists and digs than the Gamecocks but threw away a late lead in the decisive set.

Missouri volleyball’s eight-match win streak came to an end Friday night with a five-set loss to South Carolina.

Missouri’s offense started off the match strong, hitting .393 with 15 kills in the first set. The Tigers won the set 25-18.

The second set was extremely close from the start, with 14 ties. Tied at 20, South Carolina edged out Missouri to win the set 25-23.

Missouri was down 6-3 early in the third set, but went on a 5-0 run to take the lead. The Tigers kept the lead, eventually winning 25-21. Missouri held South Carolina to a hitting percentage of just .065 in the set, while the Tigers hit .250.

The fourth set started off back-and-forth. With the set tied at 15, the Gamecocks started to break away, eventually winning 25-20. South Carolina dominated the set offensively, hitting .429 compared to Missouri’s .281.

The Tigers had a 12-8 lead in the fifth set before the Gamecocks went on a 5-1 run to tie the set at 13. South Carolina continued their run with two more kills to win the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.

Sophomores Kylie Deberg and Dariana Hollingsworth led the Tigers with 19 and 18 kills, respectively. Sophomore Leketor Member-Meneh also had 14 kills in the match. Redshirt freshman setter Andrea Fuentes tallied 53 assists. Deberg tallied four aces, while junior Annika Gereau had three. Senior Alyssa Munlyn led the Missouri defense with seven blocks.

Overall, Missouri hit .312 in the match with 63 kills and 19 attack errors. The Tigers also committed 16 service errors, five blocking errors, three defensive errors and seven receiving errors over the course of the five sets.

“We simply didn’t play well enough to win tonight,” coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “I thought our preparation was subpar and it caught up to us tonight. It’s a good lesson for a young team to learn. You have to bring your best every day and every match at this level. If you don’t then things like this will happen. It doesn’t get any easier coming up, and we’ll have to be much better this week in practice.”

Missouri will head to Auburn, Alabama next to take on the Auburn Tigers Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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