Oct. 4, 2006
Box Score |
COLUMBIA, Mo. -
The No. 17 nationally-ranked Missouri Tigers were never threatened by the Kansas Jayhawks Wednesday night, sweeping KU to earn their sixth straight Big 12 victory. Missouri (12-4, 6-1) defeated KU (8-8, 1-6) 30-19, 30-26, 30-18. The win also added to Mizzou's home win streak, taking their 11th straight match in front of their fifth-largest crowd ever of 3,031.
Even though the Tigers soundly beat the Jayhawks, Head Coach Wayne Kreklow said the team still has plenty to work on.
"We need to cut down on service errors. Na [Yang] had five, Jess [Vander Kooi] had three. That is just too many," Kreklow said. "We had three people in a row miss their first serve, which will kill us against other teams."
Despite these errors, Kreklow was pleased with several aspects of the game.
"I thought we passed pretty well and Lei [Wang] set pretty well, so we got some good looks," Kreklow said. "When our hitting percentage is that high, a lot of other things are going right."
Senior Jessica Vander Kooi (Hinton, Iowa) led the Tigers with her 59th career double-double and 11th of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs. She also added three blocks. Nicole Wilson (Lincoln, Neb.) had 13 kills to go along with three digs and blocks, and Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) had 11 kills on the night. Lei Wang (Shanghai, China) added 39 assists, four kills, seven digs and two blocks, and Na Yang (Shan Dong, China) had 10 kills and three blocks.
With her 12 kills, Vander Kooi recorded her 100th match with 10 or more kills in 105 career matches played. Tatum Ailes (Bellevue, Neb.) had 11 digs on the night and only needs three more to move into third place in total career digs.
Reflecting on the match, Klein attributed the victory to the focus and determination of the team.
"We were really aggressive throughout the game and never lost our focus," Klein said. "We had to focus on every point."
Jana Correa led the Jayhawks with 16 kills and Emily Brown recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs.
Missouri dominated the Jayhawks, holding them to a .187 attacking percentage while hitting an unbelievable .421. The Tigers had 10 service aces on the night and forced Kansas into 17 errors compared to their seven.
In game one, the Tigers jumped out to a 7-3 lead and looked like they were going to run away with the match, but the Jayhawks came back to take a 10-9 lead. The teams traded points and were tied at 14 before Mizzou scored five in a row. The Tigers extended their lead to ten with the score at 25-15 and went on to win the game 30-19. Vander Kooi led Missouri with five kills on only six attacks, along with three digs and one block. Wilson and Yang both had four kills and one block each. Yang and Klein added two service aces. Mizzou hit .438 as a team and held Kansas to a dismal .074 attacking percentage.
KU took a 4-1 lead, but they couldn't hold on to the lead much longer. Neither team was able to take a hold of game two as their were eight ties throughout the game. Missouri took the lead 14-13 on a kill by Vander Kooi and never trailed from then on. The Jayhawks cut a five point lead to two, but the Tigers again extended their lead to five at 26-21. After a Mizzou timeout with the score at 28-25, Wang had two kills to beat the Jayhawks 30-26. Klein led the Tigers with five kills while Yang had four. Vander Kooi and Wilson both had three kills.
Mizzou never trailed in game three, and even though the game was close in the early going, the Tigers scored five in a row to take a 15-10 lead. Missouri took a seven point lead at 20-13 and continued to extend their lead with another five point run. Kansas had no chance, trailing by 13 and eventually losing the match 30-18 on an error. Wilson had six kills, Klein had five and Vander Kooi had four kills to lead the Tigers. Wang had 15 assists.
Wang and Wilson had excellent chemistry throughout the match and Kreklow took notice.
"It's like a quarterback working with receivers," Kreklow said. "I'm pleased to see them working well together."
Despite the win, Kreklow said the Tigers still have some work to do to prepare for upcoming matches. The Tigers are tied for eighth in the Big 12 with 2.5 blocks per game, something Mizzou needs to improve on.
"We need to continue to work on blocking," Kreklow said. "To beat a team like Nebraska, we are going to need to play well at the net. We need to keep the focus off the score and put it on our execution."
Missouri travels to Ames, Iowa to face the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday at 4 p.m.