Kan shines in SEC opener victory

RECAP

By Anthony Dean, 23 Sports

Friday, Sept. 26-

Led by sophomore outside hitter Carly Kan, the Missouri Tigers swept Mississippi State (25-14, 25-23, 25-14) in their SEC opener on Friday night at the Hearnes Center.

With 14 kills and 10 digs, Kan recorded her 12th double-double of the season, the most in the nation. The Tigers also extended their school record of consecutive conference victories to 19, dating back to last year.

Mizzou jumped right out of the gate in the first set with Kan recording a kill on the first point. The Tigers forced Mississippi State to call a timeout after extending their lead to 15-7. It was all Tigers from there, as they won the first set 25-14.

Mizzou had six different players register kills in the first set, while hitting .414 compared to Mississippi State hitting .174.

In the second set, Mississippi State bounced back to tie the score at eight, forcing Mizzou to take a timeout. Mississippi State then went up 15-13, but Kan and Little recorded back-to-back kills to even the score.

The score would remain back and fourth, eventually coming to 22-22. A slam by Emily Thater and a Kan kill propelled the Tigers to finish off the set 25-23.

Mizzou started off the third set on a roll with Sydney Deeken registering two kills right away to build a 4-1 lead. Even a Mississippi State timeout could not stop Mizzou, as Thater recorded three kills over a four-point span, widening the Tigers’ advantage to 20-11. A Deeken kill finished off Mississippi State for the 25-15 win.

Along with Kan, Deeken had a career night, recording 10 kills and nine digs in her first start with the Tigers. Ali Kreklow was also featured as she recorded 20 assists and nine digs. Loxley Keala recorded 23 assists as Mizzou’s setting combo of Keala and Kreklow combined for 43 of the team’s 47 assists. Senior Whitney Little had eight kills on .368 hitting. Senior libero Sarah Meister added nine digs. The sophomore Thater recorded five of the team’s six blocks in the match.

The Tigers were able to out-dig the fourth-ranked digging team in the nation, with a 45-38 advantage. Much of the credit for this advantage goes to the match high 10 digs from Kan and the nine digs of Deeken, Kreklow and Meister. Mizzou also had nine different players record kills, while averaging 18.33 kills per set and hitting over .400 in every set.

Next up for the Tigers is the Tennessee Volunteers. The match takes place Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Hearnes Center.