Oct. 27, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
The Missouri Tiger volleyball squad (13-9, 6-7 Big 12) pulled off a classic Border Showdown match with Kansas (10-13, 3-10 Big 12) Saturday in Lawrence, winning 30-32, 30-22, 33-31, 26-30, 15-12, in one of the longest matches in Mizzou history. Senior Tatum Ailes, playing in her 111th career match, (Bellevue, Neb.) became the first Tiger in Mizzou history to record 100 career matches with 10-or-more digs, nabbing a season-high 32 to lead the Tigers on the afternoon. Ailes also had two aces and an improbable pancake dig in the fifth set that stymied a Kansas run.
As a result of this weekend's point gains by the Tiger cross country and women's swimming teams, with the volleyball win, Mizzou takes a 5-1.5 advantage in the 2007-08 Border Showdown with Kansas.
Sophomore Lei Wang (Shanghai, China) recorded her second career triple-double, scoring 10 kills while adding 45 assists, 11 digs and six blocks.
Offensively, the Tigers were again led by senior Na Yang (Shan Dong, China) who scored 22 kills on .310 hitting, tallying a season-high 16 digs and five blocks for her fifth double-double of the season and the 18th of her career. In total, six Tigers scored double-digit kill totals with freshman Weiwen Wang notching 15 and Amanda Hantouli and Catie Wilson contributing 12. Megan Wilson and Lei Wang also added 10 on the day.
Hantouli also had a career-high eight blocks on the afternoon as the Tigers scored on 19 team blocks.
Mizzou dropped the first frame, 32-30, nearly coming back from an eight-point deficit and a scoring error that had the teams change benches prematurely.
Game one had all the drama that one would come to expect from a Border Showdown match. The Tigers were down as much as eight, down 14-6 after a strong Kansas start, but went on an 8-2 run to counter to put the score within two at 16-14. Another 7-2 run by Kansas again spread the score to seven at 23-16. Mizzou rocked the boat the other way once again, using a 6-1 run and three kills by Lei Wang
to again pull within two and force Kansas' final timeout. A Na Yang
kill shortened KU's advantage to one at 25-24. The teams continued to sideout with Mizzou eventually tying at 28-28, officially. A scoring error showed on the scoreboard as the score was presented as 28-27 KU, but play continued. The teams would again tie at 29, but with Kansas and officials thinking game point, a Kansas score prompted the teams to changed benches prematurely. After a two minute delay, the scoring error was found and the teams returned the floor with the score justly at 30-29. A Megan Wilson-Hantouli double block would tie the score at 30, but back-to-back Jayhawk kills would give KU game one, 32-30.
The first frame, full of defense and scrappy play, included seven blocks by the Tiger frontline and 23 digs, including eight from Na Yang and seven by Ailes. Yang also led the Tigers on the outside with six kills on a .417 strike, adding four blocks.
Mizzou used a better all-around skill set to take the second frame, 30-22. The Tigers hit .429, committing only three hitting errors to Kansas' .220 and used a five-point serving run by Lindsey Smith to initially go up by eight at 18-10. A 7-2 Jayhawk run put Kansas back in the match, trailing by only three, down 21-18. A service run by Ailes of three points that included an ace again put the spread at six, with Mizzou up 24-18. The Tigers used a 6-2 run to close the game, shutting the door on Kansas with a Catie Wilson ace.
It was Mizzou in game three that almost gave up a sizeable lead, but held in extra points, winning the set 33-31. Mizzou was up as much as seven at 25-18 and up six at 27-21. But a serving run by Kansas that spanned the six-point deficit tied the score at 27-27. The teams used back-and-forth sideouts to tie the score at 31-31. Mizzou shut the "comeback" door on Kansas with back-to-back kills by Megan Wilson and Amanda Hantouli. Ailes tallied 12 digs in game three alone in what was a another "scrappy" style game. Both teams hit somewhat efficiently, as the Tigers struck at a .273 rate to KU's .213.
Despite recording only nine kills, Mizzou nearly erased a five-point deficit in game four, down 18-13, a 9-4 run by the Tigers pulled the game even at 22-22. With the score tied at 26-26, Kansas used a four-point streak to win the set.
Game five was a frame of runs. The Tigers went up 6-3 thanks to a 3-0 run, but Kansas countered with a 4-0 run to go up 7-6. The Tigers scored four straight off the serving of Lindsey Smith, allowing the Tigers to be up again at 10-7. Ailes' pancake at 10-8 saved Mizzou from a tough situation, allowing a Weiwen to score another kill and put the score at 11-8. Mizzou used two double blocks and two kills to close the book on the match.
The Tigers will now travel to No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday for a 7 p.m., Halloween night showdown with the Huskers in Lincoln. The match will be aired live on CSTV.