Sept. 9, 2011
DENVER, Colo. - The Mizzou volleyball team improved to 10-1 on the season after holding off a comeback from Texas-San Antonio with a 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 16-14) win on Friday night (Sept. 9) in the Denver Pioneer Classic. Sophomore Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way with 15 kills and 14 digs as she tallied her second career double-double in the win. Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) also pitched in seven kills on .429 hitting while tallying 44 assists and 11 digs, good for her first double-double of the season.
Mizzou won the first two sets of the match before UTSA claimed the next two. The Tigers fell behind 6-2 in the decisive fifth set but rallied back to score 14 of the last 21 points of the set to win, 16-14. Aside from Henning, freshman Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) had a great night with a career-best 14 kills, including several key kills late in the fifth set. Freshman Katie O'Brien (Dallas, Texas), who tallied a career-best 10 kills in this morning's match against Drake, topped that effort against UTSA with 11 kills.
The Tiger back row was key in the win as well, pulling in a season-best 79 digs, highlighted by a season-best 19 from senior libero Priscilla Armendariz (Blue Springs, Mo.). Freshman Jade Hayes (Ozark, Mo.) was also impressive with a career-best 16 digs while Henning's 14 digs were also a career-best. Kreklow pitched in 11 digs. Senior Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) led the Tigers with five blocks in the match while tallying eight kills.
The Tigers dominated play early in the first set, jumping out to an 8-4 lead before Roadrunner outside hitter Dempsey
Thorton rallied UTSA to a 10-8 lead with a great jump serve which the Tiger back row struggled with. But the Tigers composed themselves out of a timeout and ran off nine of the nest 11 points, capped by a Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) ace to go on top 17-12. They then held off a late run from the Roadrunners to take the first, 25-22, after a huge solo block from O'Brien.
The Tigers were led in the first set by six kills from Henning on .308 hitting. Four different Tigers finished the set with two kills each as well, highlighted by both Kreklow and Brimmage who each did so on just two swings. O'Brien and Wilson each tallied two kills in the first as well. O'Brien and Wilson each tallied a pair of blocks in the set as well (one solo, one assist).
Mizzou played well again in the second set and ran out to a 13-7 lead after a service ace from Hayes. Wilson was key in that span with three kills as the Tigers seemed to separate themselves from the Roadrunners. But the Tigers allowed UTSA to hand around as it ran off six straight points to tie the set at 13. Mizzou then scored eight of the next 10 points, capped by a kill from Henning to take a 21-15 lead. UTSA tried to mount a late comeback in the set, but the Tigers pulled away with a 25-22 set win.
The Tigers hit just .184 in the second, but the play of Henning and Wilson was enough to clinch the set as each finished with four kills in the frame. Wilson did so on just seven swings and Henning tallied her four kills on nine swings with just one error. Armendariz was great in the second set with nine digs as well.
UTSA jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the third before Mizzou rallied to tie the set at 7-7. But the Tigers couldn't wrestle momentum as they eventually fell behind, 19-15, after an attack error by Henning forcing Mizzou to use its final timeout. But even following the timeout, the Tigers failed to cut into the deficit as UTSA won the third, 25-21, forcing a fourth set. The Tigers hit just .098 in the third with seven attack errors as that continued to be the trend for the Tigers on Friday.
UTSA then jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth as Mizzou struggled with serve receive again. But then Mizzou ran off seven of the next nine points to pull within 8-7 before UTSA called a timeout. Things stayed tight from there, but Mizzou had to rally late as it found itself down 22-18. A kill by Henning pulled the Tigers within one at 24-23, forcing UTSA to take its final timeout. Out of the timeout, UTSA's Whitney Walls killed a right side attack that just caught the line to send the match to a decisive fifth set as UTSA escaped with a 25-23 set win.
In the fifth set, UTSA opened up a 6-2 lead as the Tigers seemed rattled by the play of the stingy back row play for the Roadrunners. However, Mizzou did mount a comeback to tie the set at 11 after a big block from Brimmage and O'Brien. Then things got wild as the teams traded points before Mizzou earned its first lead of the set at 14-13 on a two-hit violation. The teams then traded points until Henning clinched the match on a right-side kill to give Mizzou the set, 16-14.
Mizzou will continue action at the Pioneer Classic tomorrow as it squares off against UC-Davis and Denver in a pair of afternoon matches. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.