Missouri volleyball pulls off a four-set victory against Georgia

While the Bulldogs performed were statistically better, the Tigers continued their home win streak.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

Missouri volleyball battled back and forth against Georgia for four sets on Sunday. Despite slow starts in each, the Tigers found a way to win the match 3-1.

Early in the first set, Missouri quickly found itself in a hole, down 3-12. The Tigers climbed back into the game, tying it at 19. The score stayed tight from that point on, until Missouri was finally able to pull away to win 26-24.

“I wasn’t real happy with the way we came out,” coach Wayne Kreklow said. “I thought we were flat from the get-go. “

The Tigers kept it closer at the start of the second set. This set was the same battle with a different outcome. Georgia managed to fight off a Missouri comeback to win 25-22. Missouri’s offense struggled, hitting .091 with 11 kills and eight errors.

“It’s hard to start down and be able to pull yourself up each time,” redshirt freshman Andrea Fuentes said. “That’s why you gotta start steady because when the game goes 20-20, 21-21 at that point it can just go either way so i think we were just lucky that first set and then the second set we weren’t so lucky we should have secured that from the very beginning.”

Down 12-20 in the third set, the Tigers, once again, started to claw their way out of a hole. Late in the set, Missouri was down 20-24 and went on a 5-0 run, with outside hitter Kylie Deberg putting them ahead 25-24. With the set tied again at 25, it was a kill by Dariana Hollingsworth that put Missouri ahead 26-25. A Georgia error put the Tigers back on top to win 27-25.

The fourth set started out back and forth until the Tigers went on a 6-0 run to take a 14-9 lead. The Missouri offense continued to struggle as the Tigers hit .037 with 9 kills and 8 errors in the set, but the Tigers held onto the lead, winning 25-21.

Although the Tigers won the match, the Bulldogs performed better in the match statistically. Missouri had 46 kills, hitting just .121, while Georgia hit .195 with 51 kills.

“I think [Georgia] did a nice job of trying to take advantage of weaknesses,” Kreklow said. “They did a lot of tips they did a lot of roll shots off speed stuff to try to force our front row players to have to play defense and it was pretty effect

Deberg led the Tigers with 16 kills, despite hitting just .087 with 12 errors. Hollingsworth hit .458 with 14 kills. Sophomore Tyanna Omazic led Missouri with nine blocks. Fuentes recorded 39 assists, while redshirt junior Riley Sents had 12 digs.

Serving was a bright spot in the statistics for the Tigers, as they had 16 aces, double their previous season high, seven of which came from Deberg.

“In all fairness to our players, I knew today was going to be tough because if you look down the schedule you’ll see Tennessee and Kentucky coming in,” Kreklow said. “Our players were also aware that Georgia lost its best player about two weeks ago. I didn’t think mentally we were as prepared as we needed to be. I was glad though to see us hang in sets and make some plays when we had to

Missouri will continue its final homestand with a match against Tennessee at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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