Mizzou Falls in Four at Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The Mizzou volleyball team lost a hard-fought match at Texas A&M, 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-25), on Friday night at Reed Arena despite a great effort from the Tiger junior class. Junior All-American Lisa Henning had a monster night with 21 kills on .250 hitting with 10 digs, good for her 11th double-double of the season. Her classmate Molly Kreklow also had a double-double, her 18th of the season, with 32 assists and 13 digs. The loss drops the Tigers to 18-10 and 9-8 in SEC play.
"I thought we did a lot of things really well tonight, they are just a very good serving team and they did a nice job of keeping us out of system," head coach Wayne Kreklow said following the match. "That is a very good team, they have five seniors, and we did a nice job of hanging with them. I thought we really did some things we can build on going into our match at Mississippi State on Sunday."
Aside from Henning, the Tigers didn't get much offense from anyone else, with the exception of middle Whitney Little who had eight kills on .467 hitting. She also added two blocks in the match, accounting for nine points in the loss. Regan Peltier had five kills and Emily Wilson added three more. Mizzou hit just .173 in the match while A&M hit .229.
The Aggies were very good in the back row, tallying 65 digs while Mizzou was limited to just 50. Kreklow led the way with 13 digs while libero Sarah Meister added 11 more. At the net, Mizzou out-blocked Texas A&M, 9-7, led by six block assists from freshman Lydia Ely With her two blocks in the match, Little is now four blocks shy of matching her own single-season school record with 138.
Mizzou took the lead early in the first set on a kill from Henning, but A&M rattled off the next six points, forcing a Wayne Kreklow timeout. From that point, Mizzou settled down and rallied to as close as two at both 17-15 and 19-17 but A&M closed out the set, 25-20, thanks to Alisia Kastmo, who finished with seven kills in the first. Henning was lights out for the Tigers in the first set with eight kills on .278 hitting with six digs, but Mizzou hit just .136 as a team in the opening frame.
The Tigers switched roles in the second set as they used a dominant defensive effort with five blocks to run away with the frame, 25-18. Henning had six kills on .500 hitting in the second and Mizzou tallied four of its five blocks in the set late in the frame to pull away, capped off by a huge triple block of Kastmo by Little, Henning and Peltier. After the first two sets, Mizzou was hitting .200 while A&M was hitting just .136.
A&M jumped out to a 9-5 lead coming out of intermission, hitting .500 in that span with seven kills on just 12 swings. Mizzou, conversely, hit just .154 in that span with four kills as Wayne Kreklow uses a timeout to settle his troops. From there, A&M was dominant, hitting .464 with 17 kills on 28 attacks, winning the set. 25-15. Henning led Mizzou with 19 kills through the third on .326 hitting.
The teams traded points in the fourth set until a lucky ace that clipped the net gave Texas A&M a 5-4 lead. Mizzou then hit into two straight Aggie blocks as they took a 7-4 lead as Wayne Kreklow used a timeout. Mizzou closed the gap and tied the set at 9-9 after a huge block and then took the lead at 10-9 after an ace from Jade Hayes, her 11th in the last five matches. But after a free ball fell between Meister and Kreklow, A&M went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-10 lead, forcing Wayne Kreklow's second timeout of the set.
The Tigers will play at Mississippi State at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.