Missouri volleyball survives disappointing third set to defeat Arkansas 3-1

The Tigers remain undefeated in SEC play after a dominant victory against the Razorbacks, bar one atrocious set.
Missouri outside hitter Kylie Deberg has risen up the depth chart in his first season in Columbia after spending last season on the Illinois bench.

Missouri volleyball made it two wins in two matches in Southeastern Conference play after defeating Arkansas 3-1 on Sunday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Tigers were dominant in the sets that they won, picking up three aces en route to a 25-18 first set victory, then erasing a 12-6 deficit to eventually win the second 25-20. The fourth set was another easy 25-18 win for Missouri, which hit .343 and limited Arkansas to hitting .056.

The third set, however, was a real wake up call for the Tigers, and four consecutive aces from freshman Lauren Evans put the Razorbacks in the driver’s seat. Arkansas won this set 25-14 and did not get blocked once. Missouri averaged almost four total blocks per set in the other three.

"I thought we did a nice job of regrouping after a really bad third set,” coach Wayne Kreklow said in a press release. “We showed some maturity and grit in set four and settled in a bit. Our ball control and passing got better which got us some better swings. Any win on the road in the SEC is big so I'm very pleased to get the victory today against a very scrappy and hardworking Arkansas team."

Missouri did indeed dominate most of the match. Sophomore Leketor Member-Meneh tallied 16 kills and a .400 hitting percentage, and fellow hitters Kylie Deberg and Dariana Hollingsworth added 21 kills between them. Sophomore Tyanna Omazic posted eight kills and six total blocks. Redshirt junior Riley Sents had 22 digs. Even setter Jaden Newsome got in on the action with six kills.

But this is a very young Tiger volleyball team, and there will be a few more sets like Sunday’s third one. The important thing is whether Missouri can move past the hiccups and come back stronger, like it did against Arkansas.

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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