Whitney Little nearly set the school record with 12 blocks
MOREHEAD, Ky. - The Mizzou volleyball team dropped its second match of the season at Morehead State, 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 21-25, 25-21, 13-15), on Friday night at the MSU Eagle Challenge. The loss drops the Tigers to 7-2 on the season and is their first road loss of 2012. Junior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) turned in a big-time effort with a season-best 24 kills on .300 hitting. Sophomore Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) was also outstanding as she posted 12 kills on .393 hitting while finishing with 12 blocks, just one off of the rally scoring school record, set by Weiwen Wang in 2007 at Colorado.
Looking at the stats, Henning was the bulk of the Tiger offense as she accounted for 26.0 total points while corralling 11 digs, good for her first double-double of the season. Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) also was spectacular, dishing 50 assists on 60 Tiger kills while pulling in 11 digs, good for her team-leading fifth double-double of the season.
Aside from Little and Henning, the Tigers didn't get offense from too many other hitters. Sophomore Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was very good as she tallied 10 kills while playing in only front row rotations, but she had just 29 attacks. The difference in the match appeared to be serving as Mizzou tallied just one ace in the match as opposed to 10 errors. Conversely, MSU had six aces and just eight errors. Sophomore Niki Collier (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) led the Tigers with 14 digs while Jade Hayes (Ozark, Mo.) pulled in 13 as she has now pulled in double-digit digs in every match this season.
Mizzou jumped out to a 14-8 lead early in the first due to a very efficient offensive attack, primarily from Henning and Simpson. That forced a MSU timeout. Following that, Morehead attempted to rally as it drew as close as 18-15 prompting a timeout from Wayne Kreklow. Following the timeout, Mizzou ran off six straight points to get to set point. Henning nearly ended the first with a deep shot from the right side, but it was just long. She came back however and ended the set with a line shot from the left side, giving Mizzou a 25-16 win.
Mizzou was very efficient on offense in the first set, posting 14 kills on just 29 kills with Simpson and Henning doing the majority of the damage. Henning posted seven kills on 13 swings while Simpson added five on 11 errorless attacks. Kreklow dished 11 assists in the frame and guided the Tigers to a .379 attack percentage.
Mizzou was sharp again in the second set and rallied back from falling behind 6-3 to build a 13-10 lead. But things stayed tight throughout. Things were all even at 20-20 as the teams began to trade sideouts. It appeared that Mizzou might pull away as it went on top 23-21 after an MSU attack error, but after a timeout, MSU tied the score at 23. The Eagles then scored three of the next four points to win the set, knotting things up at 1-1 heading to intermission.
After hitting .379 in the first set, Mizzou was held to just .194 hitting in the second, due in large part to six attack errors. MSU had 11 attack errors in the second and still had enough to pull out the set. Henning led all attackers with 11 kills through the first two sets.
The third set was easily the closest set of the match as neither team could build any sustained runs. MSU pulled ahead late and went on top 24-21. Mizzou made it interesting with a kill from Henning and a big-time block from Little and Kreklow, but following a timeout from MSU, Meister sent the set point long on the serve to give MSU the win.
The Tigers came back in the fourth and ran out to a 15-12 lead due in large part to a more formidable block. That wound up leading to a 25-21 set win for the Tigers as the block was a key reason for the set win. Through four sets, Henning led the way with 19 kills while Little pitched in 12 more. Simpson had nine though four, but the big reason for the Tigers' set wins was the block as Mizzou had 14 through four sets.
Mizzou got up again early in the fifth running out to a 7-4 lead, but Morehead went on a 7-2 run to take an 11-9 lead. Mizzou rallied to tie the match at 12-12, but back-to-back kills by Morehead clinched the match. Mizzou will play tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CT) against Savannah State. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.
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