Mizzou Volleyball continues inconsistency, falls short to Texas A&M

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By Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Monday, Nov. 3-

In a season full of highs and lows, the Mizzou Women’s Volleyball team looked to forget a disappointing October and start off strong in the final month of the regular season. Despite coming off of an emphatic blowout victory on Halloween last Friday, the Tigers came up short against a 23rd ranked Texas A&M side 3-1 (25-17, 13-25, 13-25, 16-25) Sunday afternoon.

With a strong crowd on hand at the Hearnes Center, Mizzou looked poised to make an early impact, winning the first set 25-17 behind a hitting of .515. Sophomore star Carly Kan led the way both offensively and defensively, as she recorded 12 kills and 12 digs on the afternoon. The All-American outside hitter registered her SEC leading 16th double-double for the Black and Gold.

Despite the first set, there was little else the home side could cheer for as it failed to tally more than 11 kills in each of the last three sets. The Aggies used this as momentum to sweep the Tigers in the last three sets.

The away side improved its hitting in each successive frame highlighted by a sensational 17-kill fourth set led by junior Shelby Sullivan. The All-American middle posted an unstoppable 13 kills on .765 hitting for the match.

Although getting outplayed by a stronger side on Sunday, the Mizzou coaching staff witnessed another thrilling game by sophomore middle Emily Thater, who tallied nine kills on .300 hitting with a block and three digs. Thater has 14 kills over the last two games and has cemented herself alongside senior leader Whitney Little in the heart of the Mizzou lineup.

Additionally, the setting duo of sophomore Loxley Keala and freshman Ali Kreklow combined for 36 assists on the day while senior libero Sarah Meister and outside hitter Sydney Deeken each put in their share of eight digs. Despite an overall well-rounded performance, the Aggies were simply too much to handle for the young and inexperienced Mizzou team.

The loss drops the Tigers to 14-12 on the year and 5-6 in SEC play. More importantly, it adds to the subpar performance in October. The team is 3-7 in its last ten matches–each against a conference opponent.

To make matters worse, of the seven remaining games, five will be played against the top half of the SEC with only Georgia and Tennessee ranking lower than mid-table.

The Tigers will look to begin this difficult stretch of contests in Knoxville, Tenn. against a deeply struggling Volunteer side this Friday at 6 p.m. before their weekend matchup against an in-form Kentucky team.