Missouri volleyball moves to 4-2 in SEC after 3-1 victory over Tennessee

The Missouri offense hit .413 in the match.
Junior Tyanna Omazic prepares for a kill during Missouri's win over Tennessee on Oct. 20. Photo by Andrew Moore

No. 25 Missouri (12-4, 4-2 SEC) won its second match of the weekend Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Tennessee (9-9, 3-5 SEC).

“We are building off our inconsistency,” interim head coach Joshua Taylor said. “We played really well the first two sets and then there was sort of a lull. But we came out in the fourth and responded like champions. I was very pleased with that.”

Missouri came out strong in the first set, hitting .400. The Tigers were able to hold onto the lead for the entire set after a 1-1 start, eventually winning 25-14.

Tennessee started off with an early lead in the second set, but never regained the lead after Missouri tied the set at 5. The Tigers held Tennessee to a hitting percentage of just .088. Missouri hit .394 in the set, winning 25-16.

The Tigers started to look a little unfocused in the third set, letting Tennessee jump out to a 6-1 start. Tennessee’s offense hit a match-high .552, while committing just one error.

“Going into the fourth, we really trained our minds to do the little things right and to be disciplined on defense,” junior Leketor Member-Meneh said.

After dropping the third set 18-25, Missouri came into the fourth set with a new mindset. The Tigers hit .516, compared to Tennessee’s .148.

“That fourth set we did an excellent job of resetting ourselves mentally so that it made us feel like we knew we were going to win that set,” Taylor said. “It’s just continuing to remind them to put their focus in the right spots that will restore their confidence and result in high level play.”

Four Tigers posted double-digit kills in the match, led by junior Kylie Deberg with 17. Member-Meneh and junior Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana 13 kills apiece, while junior Tyanna Omazic added another 12 for the Tigers. Member-Meneh and Omazic led the team in hitting percentage, hitting .619 and .500, respectively.

“It puts so much pressure on the other team when we are able to get everyone involved in the offense,” Taylor said. “We become a pretty formidable threat.”

Missouri will head to Fayetteville for a match against Arkansas on Friday, before returning home for a match against Mississippi State on Sunday.

“There is still room to grow, and it’s all physiological,” Taylor said. “When they are confident, our girls are playing out of their minds.”

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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