Brea Williams – 23 Sports

After losing the first match against Kentucky Wednesday night, Mizzou fought for dominance during the second match to the Wildcats only to fall short with Kentucky claiming three sets to Mizzou one. 

The Tigers carried the momentum from last night continuing a set one lead. A dominating offensive play from transfer student Anna Dixon with a knocking kill bringing the lead to 3-1. The Wildcats pushed pressure on the tigers gaining a five-point lead. A tie makes kill from Kenna Sauer toughened up the competition allowing the Tigers to gain 13-13 against the Wildcats. A leaping kill by Dixon put Tigers at game point. Mizzou took set one, 25-19.

Mizzou began the second set allowing the Wildcats to take an early lead. The Tigers brought on their offensive play with three back-to-back kills from Dixon allowing the score to reach only a three-point lead for Kentucky. Mizzou then fall short from attack errors, allowing the Wildcats to take set two, 25-21.

The Tigers hoped to bounce back from set two to extend the match in the third set. Kentucky’s offense gains the lead for set two. Mizzou’s defense did not back down by two blocks from Anna D’Cruz and Dixon. Both teams fought for the lead never reaching more than three points. Kentucky answered to the momentum of the set by going up seven points on Mizzou to give them a 20-13 lead. Unable to gain the lead, Mizzou fell to Kentucky 25-13 in the third set.

With an early lead, the Wildcats took control of set four, bringing pressure to the Tigers which they responded with a crushing kill from Dixon. The two continued back and forth throughout the set, but the Tigers were unable to gain leverage. In the end, a smashing block from Claudia Dillon and Dixon stunt the Wildcats from gaining the set point. Only to end set four with a kill from Kentucky’s offense, giving the Wildcats the fourth set 25-16, and match advantage. 

Kylie Deberg and Dixon racked up a combined total of 26 kills on the night. Senior Leketor Member-Meneh highlighted her 900th career kill in tonight’s match.

Mizzou looks ahead to next week as they host Arkansas at home. The game will take place at 5:00 p.m. CT Wednesday and 6:00 p.m. CT Thursday at the Hearnes Center and the match will broadcast live on ESPNU, while Thursday’s finale will air on SEC Network.

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