Mizzou Takes Tournament Opener from Houston
NASHVILLE -- The Mizzou volleyball team bounced back from its first defeat of the season by topping Houston, 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-15) on Friday morning in game one of the Lipscomb Invitational. The Tigers were led by junior outside hitter Lisa Henning who finished with a match-high 17 kills while freshman Regan Peltier provided a spark in her first career start with a career-best 12 kills on .667 hitting. The win moves the Tigers to 4-1 on the season.
"I was really happy with how we adjusted following a tough second set," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "I thought Regan did a nice job of stepping in and making an impact on the game in her first start. I thought we improved a lot of little things that we did not do well our loss to Michigan last weekend. Now we need to focus on a very good Lipscomb team later tonight."
Aside from the play of Henning and Peltier, the Tigers also got a nice performance from sophomore Whitney Little, who hit .462 with eight kills while pitching in four blocks and four digs. Defensively, the Tiger back row was all over the place, pulling in 58 digs, led by a trio of defensive specialists. Libero Jade Hayes led the way with 12 digs while Sarah Meister pulled in 11. Sophomore Niki Collier also pulled in a career-best 10 digs, all in the first two sets as she did not tally a dig in the third. The 58 digs by the Tigers are a season-high.
Preseason All-SEC setter Molly Kreklow was outstanding as usual, spreading 36 assists while just missing a double-double with eight digs and pitching in three kills and a block. The match on Friday morning was the 1,000th career match for Wayne and Susan Kreklow as well.
Mizzou took the first set, 25-18, behind a strong effort from Henning, who posted six kills with just on error on .312 hitting. Defensively, the Tigers were very good in the first set as well, pulling in 17 digs, led by five from Meister and four from Collier. Kreklow was her usual self, dishing 14 assists while guiding the team to a .389 attack percentage. Mizzou served very tough in the first set, keeping Houston out of system while tallying three aces.
The second set, as expected, was much closer as Houston fixed its ball control issues and kept the set close throughout out. But Mizzou took a 24-21 lead late and fended off a rally with a Henning kill to take the second, 25-23, taking a 2-0 lead into intermission. Through two sets, Henning had a match-high 12 kills while Peltier, in her first career start, supplied some efficient offense with six kills on .667 hitting without an error. Collier led the team with a career-high 10 digs through 10 sets.
After a tight second set, Mizzou came out in the third and cut down on its errors and ran away with the third, 25-15. Peltier was phenomenal in the third with six kills on just seven attacks without an error as she capped a career day in style.
Mizzou will play again Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against host Lipscomb, which has been to the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years.
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