No. 22 Missouri volleyball adds second SEC win of season

After dropping the first two sets in the matchup, Missouri won three straight sets to beat Texas A&M.

Things looked bleak after two sets of play in the Hearnes Center Sunday afternoon as No.22 Missouri volleyball faced off against Texas A&M University.

The Tigers trailed 2-0 in the match, producing only seven kills in the first set and ten in the second.

From the cheers of the crowd and the chants of Marching Mizzou, the momentum shifted during set three in favor of the Tigers. Missouri’s offense came alive, reeling in 15 kills and hitting .433. In the do-or-die set, the Tigers survived a potential sweep and set the tone for the fourth set of the match.

“I can’t say enough about our team for regrouping and coming back like we did after those rough opening two sets,” interim head coach Joshua Taylor said. ”When you struggle like we did in sets one and two, it took a group effort from the players, coaches, and even the crowd [to] slowly start chipping away.”

In the fourth set, the Tigers and Aggies went back and forth keeping both the fans and the players on the edge of their seats. At the end of the set there was a total of four lead changes and 15 tied scores.

“On the court it’s just so much fun to play those kind of games,” redshirt senior Riley Sents said.”It's really fun to play on that high level- battling for each and every point.”

Junior Kylie Deberg led the offensive awakening in sets three, four and five, producing 23 kills, 13 digs and two aces. Deberg has now finished with 20 plus kills consecutively in the past five matchups dating back to Sept 20. Alongside Deberg, juniors Leketor Member-Meneh and Tyanna Omazic tallied in double-digit kills. Omazic, who sprained her ankle both in warmups and during the match, managed 10 kills and four digs.

Two unsung heroes of Sunday's matchup against the Aggies were redshirt junior Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana and Sents. In the third set, Sents positioned herself to libero for the Tigers and finished off with a season high of 14 digs along with three assists. Hollingsworth-Santana matched her season high with seven kills hitting .462, with one of those kills being the match-winning point. She also tallied in nine digs and two total blocks.

“I mean it feels pretty good to have my teammates trust me,”said Hollingsworth-Santana.“Just to call your name and know that your going to put that ball away no matter what.”

The Tigers composure through all five sets paid off, extending their overall record to 10-3 and a SEC record of 2-1. Missouri will return to the Hearnes Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CDT for a matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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