Missouri volleyball splits pair of matches to close James Madison Invitational

The Tigers swatted the Fairfield Stags aside in straight sets but struggled against the hosting James Madison Dukes.
Maneater File Photo

Missouri volleyball (2-1) split its final two matches of the James Madison Invitational – beating Fairfield 3-0 but losing to James Madison 3-1 – in Harrisonburg, Va. on Saturday.

Coach Wayne Kreklow and the Tigers began the day by sweeping the Stags, winning each set by at least eight points and earning Kreklow’s 900th win as Missouri’s coach.

The Tigers got off to a fast start in the first set, taking the lead in the first point and never relinquishing it, en route to a 25-13 victory. Missouri hit .400 and sophomores Tyanna Omazic and Kylie Deberg each got two aces in the set.

The second and third sets were closer at the beginning, but the Tigers eventually pulled away and won the sets 25-17 and 25-15, respectively. Deberg led all players with 10 kills, while sophomore Leketor Member-Meneh also impressed with seven kills and a .538 hitting percentage.

Senior Alyssa Munlyn once again dominated the net with six total blocks, while redshirt freshmen Jaden Newsome and Andrea Fuentes ran the offense effectively from the setter position, recording 14 and 13 assists.

The second game did not garner the same results. The Tigers were defeated by the Dukes three sets to one.

The Tigers began the first set strong but the Dukes rallied, leading to eight ties and three lead changes. Ultimately, the Dukes won the set 28-26. Member-Meneh led the team with six kills during the first set, but the Tigers also committed seven errors.

Despite winning the second set 25-22, the Tigers dropped the subsequent two sets 27-25 and 26-24, respectively.

During the third set, Munlyn became the second Missouri player to record career block number 500. She led the team with eight blocks, while Member-Meneh recorded the highest numbers on either team in kills and attacks with 23 and 46, respectively.

"Tonight [vs. James Madison] was disappointing for sure,” Kreklow said in a press release. “We had opportunities, but our youth and inexperience showed. We need to be better competitors and deal with the runs that are common in this game. There's no way to cheat the process though, as you have to take your licks to learn. The secret to success is learning from the tough lessons. If we do that, this group is going to be fine."

The Tigers will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to play in the Puerto Rico Invitational with games against Xavier, Miami (Fla.), and Arizona State.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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