Sept. 17, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Mizzou volleyball team completed nonconference play with a 3-1 (26-28, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18) win over American University on Saturday evening at Bender Arena in the final match of the American Volleyball Classic. The win moves the Tigers to 13-3 as they now turn their attention to Big 12 play, which begins Wednesday with a nationally televised tilt against Iowa State on ESPNU.
Sophomore Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the Tigers with 19 kills on .311 hitting with 12 digs as she earned a spot on the American Classic All-Tournament team. She was joined on the All-Tournament team by Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) who finished the match with American with 12 kills on .417 hitting. Freshman Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) had one of her best matches as a Tiger with a career-best 11 kills on .667 hitting with three blocks.
Defensively, Mizzou followed its great performance earlier in the day with another solid outing, pulling in 75 digs as once again five players finished in double figures. Priscilla Armendariz (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way with 16 digs while Katie O'Brien (Dallas, Texas) matched her career-high with 15. Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) pulled in 14 digs as she finished with her second double-double of the day as she also dished 46 assists. Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) also pulled in 10 digs in the win.
The Tigers rode the play of Henning to a quick 4-0 lead in the first set as she tallied a pair of kills and a solo block before American even got on the scoreboard. American tried to keep things close in the early going, but after an ace from O'Brien and a block from Brimmage and Kreklow, Mizzou extended its lead to 11-6. But a 7-2 run by the Eagles knotted the score at 13-13 after an attack error from Wilson.
Things stayed close in the first until American built a 20-18 lead, prompting a Tiger timeout. From there, the Tigers rallied but did not take a lead until the 26-25 mark after a kill from O'Brien. But American rattled off a kill and got a lucky service ace that hit the net and fell in on the ensuing serve to regain a one-point lead at 27-26. The Tigers then gave up the decisive point out of another timeout as American took the first, 28-26.
Mizzou had 14 kills in the first but was plagued by errors as it committed six in the set, good for just a .183 attack percentage. Henning led the Tigers with seven kills in the first set while O'Brien led the Tigers with seven digs. Mizzou as a team had four blocks in the first set as well.
After failing to close a late lead in the first set, Mizzou dominated the second set as it hit .375 with 15 kills while running away with a second-set win, 25-18. Henning and Little led the charge for the Tigers in the second, highlighted by six more kills on 11 attacks for Henning while Little added five kills on .500 hitting in the set. Kreklow also assisted on 13 of the Tigers' 15 kills as well.
Things in the third set were close until midway through the frame when Wilson served three straight aces to give Mizzou a 19-13 lead. That run proved to be decisive in the set as Mizzou pulled away with a 25-20 set win to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Tigers were not quite as good offensively in the third as they hit just .163 with 10 kills and three errors. Henning, Brimmage and Little continued to carry the Tiger offense through three sets with 13, nine and seven kills, respectively.
The Tigers once again began to pull away from American midway through the fourth set. The Tiger attack fired on all cylinders as they built a 19-13 lead and never looked back, clinching the match with a 25-18 set four win. Little closed out a long point with a kill from the middle to wrap up the match for the Tigers.
Mizzou will begin Big 12 play on Wednesday (Sept. 21) at Iowa State in match that will air nationally on ESPNU. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.