Mizzou volleyball sweeps in the first round

Mitchell Soell, 23 Sports

Friday, December 2—

The No. 15 Mizzou Tigers (25-5, 16-2 SEC) came into the first round of the NCAA Tournament looking to keep their seven-game winning streak alive as they went up against less touted Northern Illinois (25-5, 15-1 MAC).

The Tigers were hot right off the bat as they led the first set 10-6 early. The Tigers would go on to dominate the set 25-16, ending on a 7-2 run. While redshirt junior Melanie Crow and Senior Carly Kan were leading the offense with six kills combined between the two, the Tigers were also getting points from errors made by the Huskies. The Huskies’ five errors put them in a rough position within the first set of this match.

The second set was not much more promising for the Huskies, as the Tigers conquered the set 25-13. The Tigers had a total of 19 kills in the second set, led by Crow as well as senior Emily Thater. The Huskies offense could not get anything going as the team could only muster seven kills in the set.

The third set, however, started a little differently for the Huskies, who started the third set on a 4-1 run. This run, however, was short lived, and just like that, their hopes of advancing in the tournament went out the window. While the third set was move competitive in the beginning, the Tigers took a 22-14 lead and would end up winning the final set 25-20. Crow would end up with seventeen kills and junior setter Courtney Eckenrode finished the match with 38 assists for the Tigers.

This sweep marked the third straight for Mizzou. The Tigers continue their road throught the tournament as they go up against Purdue, who also come off a sweep in the first round against Iowa State.