Munlyn’s steady offense a difference maker for Missouri volleyball

Munlyn is known for being one of the best blockers in the country, but her intelligent work on offense could prove just as valuable for the Tigers.
Missouri's Leketor Member-Meneh spikes the ball into two Auburn defenders during the Missouri's eventual four-set win on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

Senior Alyssa Munlyn had just completed one of the most difficult plays in volleyball. She solo-blocked a back-row attack from LSU’s Katie Kampen, tying up the second set 8-8.

A few points later, she re-tied the set 10-10 with an emphatic kill, and then she gave the Tigers a 14-13 lead with a smart tip just out of the reach of LSU’s defenders.

No. 24 Missouri volleyball eventually sweeped the Tigers from Louisiana and extended its winning streak to seven games Friday at Mizzou Arena. But the story of the match could have been very different had Missouri not won the second set 26-24, a set that would have been lost had Munlyn not kept her team in contention at all of those small points.

She may not be as explosive and flashy as Leketor Member-Meneh, and maybe she isn’t the ever-present danger that Kylie Deberg is, but Munlyn is just as crucial to the Tiger offense as the outside hitters who have combined for 552 kills this season.

Munlyn had 10 kills in Friday’s match, the second-highest total of the season so far for the middle blocker, but she hit .714 with zero hitting errors. Throughout the season, she has had the highest hitting percentage on the team among players with at least 120 attempts (.385), and the lowest amount of errors (12).

“What she’s really doing really well now is she’s making herself available in transition,” coach Wayne Kreklow said. “She’s getting up early, she’s got good length and [setter] Andrea [Fuentes] is doing a nice job of using her when she was off the net. If you can use your middles when you’ve got a ball that you’re setting from the five or six foot line, which [Andrea] did tonight, it really makes Alyssa tough to stop.”

Munlyn has made her name for Missouri as a defensive and blocking specialist, but her sneakily intelligent attacking play could be just as important for the Tigers this season.

Edited by Bennett Durando |

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