Mizzou Volleyball Prevails in Five-Set Thriller

Sunday, Oct. 21-

In an “SEC Tigers” showdown, the Missouri volleyball team clawed out a thrilling 3-2(14-25, 25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13) victory over Auburn on the road. The Tigers in black and gold improved to 15-6 on the year, and 7-4 in the SEC.

The tandem of Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow once again led Mizzou to victory. Henning posted 27 kills, while Kreklow dished out 42 assists in the contest.

Missouri rebounded after a 3-1 loss to Ole Miss on Friday. The Tigers are halfway home from their grueling four-game road trip, which they have started 1-1. In a tight race in the SEC East, Mizzou needed a strong game at Auburn.

It didn’t look pretty early on. In the first set, Auburn took Henning out of the game, giving up only two kills. A couple of net violations led to an 8-0 Auburn run, and Mizzou couldn’t recover. The blue and orange took the first frame, putting Mizzou on its heels quickly.

Missouri was a different team in the second set. After a disappointing opening set, Henning powered the Tigers with eight kills. A solid performance in all phases helped Mizzou take the second set, evening the match score.

A sloppy performance by Auburn in the third set helped Missouri jump out to an 18-13 lead. The hosts had 12 errors throughout the frame, but rallied late, pulling within two points. Henning had none of it, ending the run and closing the set for Mizzou, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

The fourth set was strikingly similar to the first, in which Auburn used a 6-1 run to pull away from the visitors. Kreklow couldn’t find Henning on multiple occasions during the set, and Mizzou fell to level the match score.

A wild fifth set featured a series of rallies. With the match tied 9-9, Henning ripped a clutch kill and Kreklow helped on a block, giving Mizzou a late 11-9 lead. Auburn came out from a timeout firing, evening the score at 12-12. After another late Henning kill, Missouri posted a pair of blocks to seal the deal, ending up on the right side of a five-set thriller.

Coach Wayne Kreklow told mutigers.com that it was a huge win for his team, and that Mizzou made enough plays late to come out with a victory.

The Missouri Tigers continue their road trip on the national stage, facing Georgia at 6 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU.

-Chinmay Vaidya
23 Sports
Staff Writer