Missouri Volleyball Falls To Ole Miss on the Road
OXFORD, Miss. - The Mizzou volleyball team dropped to 14-6 overall and 6-4 in SEC play as it lost at Ole Miss, 3-1 (17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 21-25), on Friday night (Oct. 19) at the Gillom Center. Junior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) posted her seventh double-double in the season with 21 kills and 14 digs and Mizzou hit .291, but the Tiger defense struggled, allowing Ole Miss to hit .320 with 67 in the four sets.
Aside from Henning, Mizzou got 10 kills on 28 attacks from sophomore Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.). Middle hitter Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) also had a big night with 10 kills on 24 swings, good for a .375 clip. Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was also sensational with 51 assists, 11 digs, five kills on .455 hitting and a service ace and two blocks. She posted her 12th double-double of the season. Mizzou had 61 digs in the match, led by 16 from libero Sarah Meister (San Digeo, Calif.). Mizzou, which has been one of the best blocking teams in SEC play, had just six in the two sets.
Mizzou got a huge boost from freshman Lydia Ely (St. Louis, Mo.) who posted a career-best seven kills while accounting for a career-best 7.5 total points as she carried the Tigers to the third-set win.
Mizzou struggled to find a rhythm offensively and defensively in the first set, allowing the Rebels to take the opening frame, 25-17. In fact, 20 of the Rebels' 25 points in the first set came on kills as they hit .421 in the first set, led by a dominating performance from Nakeyta Clair, who tallied five kills on seven errorless attacks. Conversely, Mizzou hit just .154 and tallied just 10 kills.
The Tigers upped their level of play in the second set, but fell short 25-21 as every bounce seemed to go the way of Ole Miss. The Tigers drew as close as 23-21 late, but Ole Miss won a long rally at the end of the set to take a critical point and earned an ace of Meister on the next point to seal the set win. Mizzou actually hit .324 in the second set, but just didn't have enough defense to slow the Rebels, who hit .344 as a unit in the set.
Coming out of intermission, Ely carried the Tigers to a third-set win as they ran away with the frame, 25-19. Ely's attack changed the completion of the match with her offense in the third as she had five kills on five errorless attacks, giving the Tigers another option at the net. As a team, Mizzou was much better offensively, hitting .552 as a unit.
The Tigers and Rebels battled in the fourth, but ultimately Mizzou did not have enough defense at the Rebels tallied 18 kills in the frame as they closed the set, 25-21, clinching the match. Ole Miss was very balanced in its offensive attack on the night as four players had at least nine kills, led by 19 from Kara Morgan.
Mizzou will play at Auburn on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.