Volleyball team loses to ISU

With a team comprised of seven freshman, two juniors and one senior, Missouri (6-25, 1-11 in the Big Eight) knew it was going to be a rebuilding season. That's exactly what it was.

Although the young Tigers finished worse than last year's 9-24 record, if you ask any member of the team, this year's squad was much better than last year's.

"This is a very hard-working team, and our record doesn't show it," said senior Nicole Sumovich, who played her last match for the Tigers on Nov 18 when they lost to Iowa State in five games at home.

Missouri also played a tougher non-conference schedule than last year's. The Tigers faced teams such as Arizona, Oral Roberts and UC-Santa Barbara, all of whom are ranked nationally.

Last year, Missouri didn't win a single Big Eight match, and its wins came against unranked opponents including Wisconsin, Indiana State and Weber State.

If Missouri's season-ending match against Iowa State (20-10, 8-4 in the Big Eight) was any indication of MU volleyball's future, then Tiger fans have a lot to look forward to.

Though the Tigers lost the match in five games, 16-14, 10-15, 16-14, 8-15 and 5-15, it was the only time Missouri took a Big Eight opponent to five games, with one exception — its win over Kansas. It also was the first time Missouri won a game against Iowa State since 1993.

Earlier in the season, the Cyclones took the match in three games, 15-6, 15-11 and 15-6, and held Missouri to 39 kills.

This past game against Iowa State, Missouri had 60 kills and 84 digs.

Freshman Chandra Hopkins played her best match, recording 18 kills and 22 digs.

Missouri made 46 errors, the most this season. The high number of errors has been the inexperienced team's downfall all year long

"The growth was tremendous," said coach Disa Johnson. "We're playing great defense, and that was a goal. I think we're right on track."

According to Johnson, the season's end is phase one — now it's back to recruiting and the weight room.

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