Nov. 24, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 4 Mizzou volleyball team swept No. 16 Kentucky, 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-16), on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24) behind an efficient offensive performance from the Tiger pin hitters. Senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) played up to her billing with 17 kills on .556 hitting and freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 15 on .542 hitting. Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added seven kills on .333 hitting as the pin hitters combined for 39 kills on .493 hitting. The win improves Mizzou to 33-0 and 17-0 in SEC play as they are just one win away from running the table in the regular season.
"I was really impressed with how we played today against a really good Kentucky team on the road," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Our ball control, off-the-ball blockers and back-row play was about as good as it has been all season. The hardest part about today was coming off of Friday night after we clinched and being ready to go. After how we played today, it was pretty clear that they were ready to go. Great job all around today."
The story of the night was obviously the Tiger pin hitters as they helped Mizzou hit .407 with 47 kills in the three sets. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was sensational as usual, spreading 39 assists while guiding Mizzou to better than .300 hitting for the 28th time in 33 matches. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) was also very good on Sunday, collecting 16 digs, a match-high, doubling the top output from Kentucky.
(Blue Springs, Mo.) tallied three kills in her first career start and Emily Thater
(Springfield, Mo.) added two kills. Kreklow added three kills and five digs to her 39 assists. Henning collected six digs and Kan added five. Mizzou also had four team blocks in the win, led by two each from Kreklow, Towler and Thater.
Mizzou hit .600 in the early stages of the first set and opened an 8-3 lead to force a Kentucky timeout. Out of the stoppage, Kreklow won a joust to put Mizzou on top 9-3. The Tigers extended their lead to 16-9, forcing Kentucky to use its second timeout of the frame as Kan led all attackers with four kills at that point of the match. Out of the break, Thater tallied an ace and Mizzou kept the foot on the gas and ran away with the first, 25-15. The Tigers hit .414 in the frame, led by five kills on .444 hitting from Kan and four more on .375 hitting from Henning. Meister pulled in seven digs in the set.
The Tigers opened the second set winning four of the first six points, but Kentucky rallied to take a 5-4 lead after a solo stuff from All-American Whitney Billings on Wilson. The Wildcats extended their lead to 11-9, but a 4-0 run behind the serving arm of Kreklow put Mizzou on top, 13-11, forcing a timeout from UK coach Craig Skinner. Kentucky won the point following the stoppage but Mizzou went on a 5-2 run following that point to take an 18-14 lead in the frame. After a Kentucky stoppage, the Wildcats ran off three in a row and Wayne Kreklow called his first timeout of the match. A bad first touch led to Mizzou sending a free ball on the next point, but Kreklow and Towler teamed for a huge block to end the run and Mizzou then scored the next two points to go on top, 21-17. The Tigers opened a 23-18 lead and closed out the set, 25-20. Mizzou hit .361 with 18 kills in the second set. Through two sets, Mizzou's pin-hitting trio of Henning, Kan and Wilson had 27 kills on .449 hitting.
After a dominating first two sets, Mizzou kept the foot on the gas and opened a 9-4 lead in the third after a back-row kill from Henning. Out of the timeout, Kreklow and Thater teamed for a big block to extend the lead and Mizzou found itself on top 11-5. But UK scored the next three points to get back into the set. But the Tigers countered with a 3-0 run of their own. Henning then tallied her first ace of the match to put Mizzou on top, 17-10, as Kentucky used its final timeout of the set. From there, Mizzou ran away with the set with a 25-16 set win.
Mizzou will return home for its final regular season match of 2013 as it faces Arkansas on senior night on Wednesday (Nov. 27) at the Hearnes Center. The match will begin at 6:30 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.