Sept. 10, 2011
DENVER, Colo. - The Mizzou volleyball team lost its second match of the season to UC-Davis in its third match of the Denver Pioneer Classic on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 10). The Tigers dropped a 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 11-25, 19-25) decision as they struggled on serve receive all afternoon while allowing Davis to hit .355. Sophomore Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Mizzou with 16 kills in match on .231 hitting.
In all, the Tigers hit just .180, but that was due in large part to an ugly third set in which they hit -.231 with 11 errors and only five kills. In the other three sets, Mizzou did not hit lower than .280. The problem for the Tigers was getting quality swings as they were never in system as the back row struggled on serve receive. In fact, in the four sets, UC-Davis tallied 30 more attacks than the Tigers. Aside from Henning, freshman Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) tallied 10 kills and senior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) tallied seven more. Freshman Katie O'Brien (Dallas, Texas) added six kills as well.
Defensively, Mizzou was led at the net with nine blocks as Brimmage and sophomore setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) each tallied four. But Mizzou's back row struggled, pulling in just 46 digs while being aced five times. Senior libero Priscilla Armendariz (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the Tigers with 10 digs on the afternoon.
The Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but UC-Davis rallied to gain an 8-6 lead. The Tigers kept things close until midway through the first set as UC-Davis built a 20-14 lead as the pesky Aggie back row kept a lot of Tiger attacks off the ground. At that point of the set, Mizzou had nine kills on .381 hitting, but the Tiger back row struggled to slow the Aggie attack which hit .368 with 18 kills while running away with the set, 25-16.
Henning led Mizzou with four kills on .375 hitting in the first as the Tigers weren't bad offensively in the first, hitting .310. The story of the first set was the Tigers' inability to get swings as they were aced four times and kept out of system for the majority of the set.
Mizzou's defense was better to start the second as it jumped out to a four-point lead at 11-7 before allowing UC-Davis to tie the set at 14 and eventually allowing the Aggies to take the lead at 15-14. But Mizzou rallied back behind Wilson and O'Brien to take a two-point lead at 19-17. But the Tigers committed a pair of attack errors from there to allow UC-Davis to tie the set at 19-19, setting up late drama. After trading points, Mizzou ran off two straight on a Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) solo block and an Aggie attack error to take a 22-20 lead. Mizzou then claimed three of the next four points, capped by a kill from Brimmage on a quick set in the middle, to take the second, 25-21.
Henning had a huge second set with six kills on 12 swings while Brimmage pitched in three more. Wilson also added three kills but the big story was the Tiger block, which tallied five in the set, moving their match total to eight. Through two sets, Brimmage was the Tigers' top blocker with four.
After playing much better volleyball in the second set, Mizzou fell behind 9-4 to open the third set as the back row once again struggled to control the ball. The ball control issues continued for Mizzou as Davis ran out to a 17-6 lead as the Tigers were rarely in system enough to set their hitters. In fact, Mizzou tallied a season-low 11 points in the set as UC-Davis ran away with it, 25-11.
The Aggies seemed to pick up right where they left off in the third as they ran out to an 8-3 lead as Mizzou continued to struggle passing. Mizzou rallied to pull within one on several occasions late in the set, but the passing again broke down as a pair of overpasses resulted in Aggie kills to help UC Davis build a 22-18 lead, basically putting away the set as it took three of the of the next four points to win the set, 25-19. The loss is just the Tigers' second of the season.
Mizzou will continue action at the Pioneer Classic tonight as it squares off against Denver at 8:30 p.m. (CT). For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.