Bre Chamley – 23 Sports

After a rough start to their season, the Mizzou volleyball team won their second match 3-1 on Sunday against the South Dakota Coyotes in game three of the Cardinal Classic in Louisville.

The Mizzou Tigers started out the match strong by winning the first two sets. The Coyotes upset the Tigers in the third set after going on a 7-0 scoring run. However, the Tigers came back in the fourth set for a match victory.

The Tigers started out in the first set leading 4-1 right off the bat. For the rest of the set, it was a battle for points. The Tigers finally hit a 3-0 scoring run and gained a 10-4 lead. Could the Tigers hold it? 

Though the Tigers kept their lead, they couldn’t stop the Coyotes from scoring. For every point the Tigers got, the Coyotes matched it. With a few great plays and a service ace by Kaylee Cox, the Tigers pulled ahead 19-9 with a 10 point lead. Mizzou’s lead forced South Dakota to take their second timeout of the game.

The Coyotes came out of their timeout and scored two points immediately. Again, there was another battle for points. The Tigers kept their lead and ended the first set with a kill by Cox for a 25-17 score.

At the start of the second set, the Tigers showed the Coyotes what they were made of with a 3-0 lead. Cox scored 2 of those points with kills and the other by a block assist from both Cox and her teammate Anna D’Cruz. 

After a scoring run for the Coyotes, the score was tied 5-5. The Tigers battled the Coyotes for points, but for the majority of the 2nd set the score remained tied: 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 10-10. Finally, the game began to pick up and after a few plays the Tigers got the five point scoring run they needed to make the game 24-19. The Coyotes never gave up, coming back with a run of their own to leave the score 24-23. To end the second set, MU’s Nicole Alford assisted a kill from Anna Dixon to bring the score to 25-23, securing the set win.

The Coyotes started off the third set by gaining the first lead they had the entire game with a score of 2-1. The Tigers responded with three unanswered points to retake the lead. Once they had the lead, Mizzou went on another scoring run to pull the score to 14-8. 

The Coyotes then scored six points to tie the game 18-18. The Tigers responded with another four point run, bringing the score to 22-18. Just when the Tigers thought they had the set in the bag with a score of 24-20, the Coyotes came back with five points and tied the set 24-24. Not letting up, the Coyotes pulled out two more points with a kill by Aimee Adams and a block assist by Lolo Weideman and Sami Slaughter. Their offensive and defensive strength won the set for the Coyotes, 24-26.

After the third set comeback by the Coyotes, the Tigers knew they needed to win the fourth– which is exactly what they did. The Tigers came out strong with a 4-1 lead and never gave it up. While the game was fairly close, the Tigers finished the game with three unanswered points and won the set 25-22 with a kill by Dixon. The set win secured the win for the match 3-1. 

During the match, Cox was the MVP. She led the team with 21 total kills, 54 total attacks, and 32.5 total points. However, the eager freshman also tied the leaderboard with 13 errors. Three other Mizzou star players of the match were sophomore Emily Brown with 25 digs, graduate student Nicole Alfred with 42 assists, and D’Cruz with 7 blocks. 

South Dakota junior Elizabeth Juhnke was the Coyotes lead player with 15 kills, 47 attacks, 18 digs, 3 assists, and 15 points. 

The Coyotes ended up with 152 total attacks over the Tigers 147 attacks. Despite this, the Tigers had more kills, less errors, and a .218 hitting percentage. That allowed Mizzou to seal the deal during Sunday’s match.

The Tigers ended 2-1 at the Cardinal Classic and sit 2-4 overall this year.