Carly Kan had a career-best 19 kills, 14 of which came on .458 hitting after the break.
Oct. 13, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Freshman outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) was sensational on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 13) as she helped No. 25 Mizzou volleyball defeat Alabama, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17), to push the Tigers to 21-0 and 5-0 in SEC play. Kan tallied a career-best 19 kills on .471 hitting, doing so with just three errors on 34 attacks - 14 of her 19 kills came on .458 hitting in the final two sets. Kan and her teammates wowed a season-high 3,534 fans at the Hearnes Center on Sunday as the Tigers remain as one of just two unbeatens nationally through the first 21 matches.
"That was a battle today and I can't say enough about how our team kept its composure during some tough moments in the match," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "I think tonight was a perfect display of how deep our team is. Alabama did a nice job of slowing down Lisa (Henning) but we had other people step up; Carly came up with some big plays. We also got big performances from Regan (Peltier) and Julia (Towler) off the bench. Alabama is a really athletic group and they are going to win a lot of matches, but in the end we just had too many people contribute at a high level and that is why we came away with the win."
Kan provided much of the offensive punch in the win, but junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) also had a huge night as she tallied 12 kills on 23 attempts (.522 hitting) while pitching in a season-high nine blocks. Kan and Little accounted for 36.5 total points in the win and both were big-time performances as Alabama slowed down senior and two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.). Although it may seem like an off-day for the two-time All-American, Henning still finished with nine kills and a season-best and team-high 13 digs with two blocks.
Freshman Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.) and sophomore Regan Peltier (Nixa, Mo.) also pitched in five kills each off the bench, hitting .714 and .250, respectively. Mizzou did a nice job of blocking against Alabama, finishing with 12.0 in the win, highlighted by the nine block assists from Little. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) added a season-best six blocks to go along with her match-high 49 assists while guiding Mizzou to .354 hitting, the 18th time in 21 matches that Mizzou has hit better than .333.
The Tigers won a hard-fought first set, 25-22, rallying from down 21-17 to take the set, 25-22. After an attack error from Alabama cut the lead to 21-18, Little and Kreklow teamed for a block and Peltier and Little did the same on the next point as Mizzou cut the lead to 21-20. A kill from Henning then tied the set at 21-all and the Tigers ended up scoring four of the last five points, capped by a Henning ace, her first of two on the day. Mizzou hit .324 in the first and limited Alabama to .143 hitting in the frame.
After Mizzou stole the first set from Alabama, the Tide did the same to Mizzou in the second. The Tigers built a 22-20 lead, but Alabama scored the last five points to escape with a 25-22 set win, knotting things at 1-1 heading into the intermission. Alabama hit .500 in the set with 18 kills and seemed to grab momentum after opening an 8-5 lead over the Tigers in the third. Alabama extended its lead to 13-7, but it was all Mizzou from there. The Tigers scored eight of the next nine points to take a 15-14 lead after a kill from Kan and things stayed close from there. With the scored tied at 17-17, Mizzou then got kills from Towler, Henning and Kan and that put the set away as Mizzou ended it with a 25-20 set win. The Tigers tallied 17 kills in the third frame, hitting .394 as it won the crucial frame running away. Kan had seven kills in the third set alone.
The fourth set was all Mizzou as it hit .343 with 15 kills while limiting Alabama to just nine kills on .100 hitting to clinch the match. Kan again pitched in seven kills in the fourth set as she tallied 14 of her 19 kills on .458 hitting following the intermission.
The Tigers have another tough week on tap, facing Georgia at home Friday before hosting second-ranked Florida on Sunday (Oct. 20) in what is shaping up to be a huge match. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.
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