Lei Wang-Francisco passed out a Big 12 three-set high 45 assists in the match.
Nov. 11, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou volleyball earned one of its biggest wins of the season after knocking off Oklahoma, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-18), Wednesday night (Nov. 11) at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers improved to 16-11 overall and 7-8 in Big 12 play and run their home record to 11-2, their best start at Hearnes since the 2002 campaign. More importantly, the Tigers earned a quality win over the Sooners - who ranked 26th in the nation heading into the match - as they look to pad their NCAA Tournament résumé heading into the final five matches of the regular season.
Junior Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) led Mizzou with 21 kills, her second-best in a three-set match this season and her fourth 20-kill effort in her last eight matches. In her last 11 matches played, Ampudia has 194 total kills, the most by any player in the Big 12 during that span. She also finished the match with nine digs, one shy of her fourth career double-double.
Sophomore Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) posted seven kills on .500 hitting as her seven kills are her most since posting 13 against Utah on Sept. 5. Juniors Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) and Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added seven kills each and senior setter Lei Wang-Francisco (Shanghai, China) passed out 45 assists, a Big 12 three-set high this season. Junior Weiwen Wang (Nanjing, China) came off the bench for the Tigers and netted eight kills without an error on 26 attacks, her most attempts in a three-set match this season. She also corralled eight digs in the match, a career-best.
"I thought this was a big win for our players," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "They worked really hard over the last two days in practice and I feel like they did a very good job of carrying over what they worked on into the match tonight. I'm really happy as a coach because it's always nice to see the hard work that your kids put in on the practice court pay off on game night."
Mizzou's back row made valuable contributions on defense all night, highlighted by junior libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.). Vann posted 15 digs in the match, moving her season total to 396, the eight-best single-season total in Mizzou history. Sophomore Annie Lopez (St. Louis, Mo.) added 10 digs in the match, two off of her season-best effort as Mizzou pulled in 66 digs on the night, the fifth-best three-set mark by and team in the Big 12 this season. Mizzou hit .226 as a team and held the Sooners to a .115 clip, .100 below their season average.
Wilson won the first point of the match for Mizzou with a kill. Following two Tiger errors and a Sooner block, Wilson scored again to pull Mizzou within one. After an Oklahoma block, Klein and Ampudia posted back-to-back kills to even the set at four. Following a Sooner score, Brimmage answered back to tie the score again at five. Two points later, Ampudia responded to a Sooner kill with one of her own. Brimmage scored later after two straight Tiger errors to pull Mizzou within one, and an Oklahoma error evened the set again at eight.
A Mizzou error and Sooner kill gave OU a two-point lead, but the Tigers gained one back thanks to an Oklahoma error. Following a Sooner kill, junior middle blocker Rosa Medrano (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) pulled Mizzou within one. Ampudia answered an Oklahoma score with a spike to cut the deficit to one again, but another Tiger error pushed the Sooner lead back to two at 11-13. Brimmage and Klein then posted back-to-back kills to tie the set at 13 apiece, and Ampudia added a spike to give Mizzou its first lead since the opening point of the match. Two more Sooner errors extended the Tiger scoring run to five, and Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo asked for time with Mizzou leading 16-13.
Following the timeout, Brimmage and Ampudia combined on a block to push the Tigers' run to six. A Sooner kill broke Mizzou's scoring streak, but Ampudia scored twice more with a kill and a block. Oklahoma responded with three straight points to cut the Tigers' lead to two at 19-17, prompting Kreklow to call timeout. The Sooners took the lead three points later, but the Tigers tied the set at 20 on a Sooner error and stopped the Oklahoma run at six. The teams split the next four points before another error by the Sooners and a kill from Wang gave the Tigers set point. Ampudia closed the set with her seventh kill to give Mizzou a 1-0 lead. Ampudia led the Tigers in kills during the frame while Wang-Francisco passed out 17 assists in the set, a single-frame high for her this season.
Wang put Mizzou on the board first in the second set and two Sooner errors gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Oklahoma won its first point of the frame with a block, but Ampudia, Wang and Wang-Fransisco then scored to push Mizzou's lead to five. Following two kills and a block from Oklahoma, Wilson posted a kill and a block to give the Tigers a 9-4 edge. Ampudia extended Mizzou's advantage to six and an Oklahoma error prompted the Sooners to call for time with the Tigers leading 11-4. Wilson scored again following the stoppage and Klein pushed the lead to nine before Oklahoma broke Mizzou's run with a kill.
That lead was all that the Tigers needed as they took a two-frame lead heading into intermission on another kill from Ampudia to move the score to 25-20. Ampudia paced the Tigers with seven kills in the set while Wang had four and Wilson and Klein each added three. Wang-Francisco continued to quarterback Mizzou's attack well with 16 dimes in the set.
Following intermission, the Tigers opened a 6-3 lead and eventually pushed their lead to six at 14-8. Oklahoma won six of the next nine points before Kreklow called timeout with Mizzou leading 17-14.
Coming out of the stoppage, the Sooners scored to cut the Tigers' lead to two. A kill from Wang and an OU error extended Mizzou's edge to four. Following a Sooner score, Ampudia posted a kill before an Oklahoma attack error gave the Tigers a 21-16 advantage. The teams split the next four points before Ampudia hit another kill to set up match point for Mizzou. Brimmage closed the match with a spike for the Tigers. Ampudia led Mizzou with seven kills in the third set while Brimmage had three and Wang, Klein and Wilson each added two.
Mizzou will travel to Boulder, Colo., Saturday (Nov. 14) for a match with the Big 12 North rival Buffaloes. The Tigers will continue a two-match road trip next Wednesday (Nov. 18) at Texas Tech before returning to Columbia Nov. 21 to face Iowa State. Admission will be free to the public for the match with the Cyclones, which will begin at 5 p.m. in the Hearnes Center. For the latest information on Mizzou volleyball, visit MUTigers.com.
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