Missouri volleyball falls to No. 19 Kentucky in four sets

The Tigers won the first set but couldn’t hold on, losing three straight sets to the Wildcats.
Maneater File Photo

Missouri volleyball didn’t have the weekend road trip it hoped to have.

After losing to Tennessee in Knoxville in a five set thriller on Friday, the team traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on the No.19 Wildcats Sunday, losing this time in four sets.

The Tigers began the match strong, quickly erasing an early 5-0 deficit. The team out-hit the Wildcats by .306 and tallied 14 kills, winning the set 25-21. All signs pointed to another win over a ranked Southeastern Conference team, after No. 25 Alabama in the SEC opener was the first.

“We came out strong in set one and executed well,” coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “Our passing and ball control was good and it resulted in a lot of good swings.”

But in the second set, Kentucky began showing why it’s a top-25 team.

The Wildcats dominated the set. The Tigers’ hitting percentage dropped to just .062, the team committed 10 errors and it only put up 14 points. It dropped the set, 25-14.

The third set was more of the same. Despite playing better than the second set, the Tigers lost the set 25-17, racking up another eight errors in the process.

It was not until the fourth set that the Missouri offense woke up. The Tigers battled, keeping pace with the Wildcat offense, extending the set. Missouri lost the final set 29-27 in an extra-points heartbreaker, but there were still positive takeaways from the loss. Sophomores Kylie Deberg, Dariana Hollingsworth and Leketor Member-Meneh all had double digit totals in kills. Redshirt freshman Andrea Fuentes had a season high 43 assists as well.

“I saw some good things today at times,” Kreklow said. “If we can continue to focus and work hard in practice, we’ll get there.”

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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