Tigers Earn Second Straight Sweep, Top Arkansas State
COLUMBIA -- The Mizzou volleyball team earned its second straight sweep after defeating Arkansas State, 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-17), on Tuesday night at the Hearnes Center. The win improves the Tigers to 17-8 on the season and 2-0 in the month of November as they make their push towards NCAA Tournament play. Plenty of Tigers turned in stellar performances, but libero Sarah Meister filled up the stat sheet with a match-high 16 digs, five assists and three aces, all while converting all 24 of her serve receptions. Seven of her 16 digs came in the third set.
"I thought we played a very complete all-around match tonight," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Arkansas State has won a lot of matches and will win a lot more. They have competed really tough against some very good teams, so this is a good win for us. I thought everyone that played did a really nice job tonight. Everyone on the floor turned in positive contributions tonight."
Meister wasn't the only Tiger to fill up the stat sheet on Tuesday as junior setter Molly Kreklow was sensational, spreading 36 assists while adding 12 digs and three kills, good for her SEC-leading 16th double-double of the season. As always, junior Lisa Henning was a force on offense, leading Mizzou with 14 kills while pitching in six digs and three blocks (two solo, one assist). She finished with a match-high 16.5 total points. Sophomore middle Whitney Little also had a nice match, tallying 11 kills on 23 attacks, giving her two straight matches with at least 10 kills and no errors.
The Tigers served very tough on Tuesday, led by four service aces from sophomore defensive specialist Jade Haye who had four, all coming in the first set. Mizzou finished the match with nine aces as Meister added three while Kreklow and Regan Peltier each added one. Conversely, Mizzou was not aced in the match, due in large part to Meister, who passed the majority of the back row for the Tigers.
As always, Mizzou was huge on the block again on Tuesday, posting 10 over the three sets, including the match-clincher in the third set. Freshman Lydia Ely led the way with four on the night. As a team, Mizzou hit .284 in the win. The Tigers had 14 kills on .379 hitting in the first before posting 17 kills on .289 hitting in the second. Mizzou would have hit much higher had it not committed six attack errors in a blowout third set.
Mizzou will continue its NCAA Tournament push this weekend as it welcomes No. 16 Florida and SEC West powerhouse LSU to the Hearnes Center. The Tigers will play Florida at 6:30 p.m. on Friday while it hosts LSU at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.