Brea Williams – 23 Sports

The Mizzou Volleyball Tigers arrived back at the Hearnes Center for their season fall home opener. After a crushing 2-0 win against the Alabama Crimson Tide last week, the Tigers anticipated continuing their winning streak against No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats.

Arriving into the week with five SEC weekly awards. Making the Mizzou Volleyball program the 2nd time in league history to claim all awards in one week. Senior Kylie Deberg with Overall and Offensive Player of the week, Senior Tyanna Omazic with Defensive Player of the week, Junior Andrea Fuentes with Setter of the week and with the Freshman of the week award going to Emily Brown.

The series began Wednesday, Oct. 28th, at 8 p.m., day one of a two-series game.

The Tigers kept a lead throughout set one. A dominating offensive play from transfer student Anna Dixon with back-to-back kills, increasing the lead for the Tigers. Kylie Deberg dominating the floor. Deberg came for the Wildcats’ defense with deadly outside kills and aces’. A leaping kill by Dixon put the Tigers at game point. Mizzou took set one, 25-23.

Down after set one, the pressure was on the Wildcats. An early lead allowed the Tigers to take control of this set. Mizzou brought on their offensive play with three back-to-back kills from Deberg and Dixon, heating the front line of Kentucky’s defense. The Wildcats didn’t back down as they applied pressure on the Tigers to tie the game 20-20. A heated competition of set-points for both teams exceeded the needed 25 points to claim a win. Kentucky took set two, 35-33.

The outcome of set two brings this to a 1-1 game, the match is brewing with dominance from both teams. Kenna Sauer starts the competition by serving the Wildcats a smashing kill gaining the lead for the Tigers, 3-2. Dixon and Sauer dominated the floor throughout this set and were ready with blocks and kills. Kentucky responded to Mizzou’s offense with a kill from Alli Stumler allowing the Wildcats to have the lead 20-16. The Wildcats continued their lead and swept Mizzou for another set win, 25-20.

The Tigers defeated from the previous two sets continued to bring on the energy for the next set. Starting with another outside kill from Kylie Deberg on Kentucky’s serve. The Tigers in reach of taking the lead by a block from Anna D’Cruz on the Wildcats, 11-12. Kentucky’s offensive didn’t disappoint as they stopped the Tiger’s offensive attempts. The Kentucky Wildcats took set four, 25-18.

The Kentucky Wildcats were victorious over the Missouri Tigers with a 3-1 outcome. Kylie Deberg and Anna Dixon led Mizzou’s offense with a combined 40 kills for the game. Deberg had 22 kills and 11 digs, while Dixon surpassing her previous season-high of 11 kills with 18 this game.

Amongst these top Tigers, Andrea Fuentes ended the match with a season-high of 48 assists. Freshman Emily Brown continued her success with 16 digs and two aces for the Tigers. 

The Tigers fall short on night one at Hearnes Center. The final game of the series will take place, Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8:00 p.m. This game will be a pink-out jersey game in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

About Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)

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