Mizzou Volleyball’s Two-Headed Monster Slays Bulldogs

Ryan Peraino has the coverage at the Hearnes Center for Missouri vs. Miss. St.

Sunday, October 14-

The Missouri Tigers volleyball team took down the Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-19) to improve to 6-3 in SEC play and 14-5 on the year. Strong play from Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow propelled Mizzou, who won a key home game before a four-game road trip.

Henning led the Tigers with 14 kills, while Kreklow provided 29 assists on the afternoon. Defense has become Missouri’s calling card all season, and that didn’t change on Sunday. The Tigers went over the 10-block mark for the seventh straight match, posting 12. Missouri leads the SEC in blocking this season.

The Tigers opened the match strong. Mizzou jumped out to an 11-6 lead and never looked back, taking the set 25-15. Henning struggled early, but strong defensive play and timely kills held Mississippi State in check.

The second set was a very different story. The teams battled back and forth with multiple rallies. Mizzou took a brief 18-14 lead late in the set, but the Bulldogs evened the score at 19-19 with a run of their own. Henning and Kreklow responded for Mizzou, teaming up on several occasions to give the Tigers a two-set advantage.

A similar tale unfolded in the third set. Mississippi State threatened to cut the set deficit with an early run. Down early 12-6, Mizzou stormed back to even the score late. The Tigers separated themselves late in the set, sweeping the Bulldogs in what turned out to be a hard-fought contest.

Coach Wayne Kreklow told mutigers.com that he felt like his team played with less intensity as the match went on. Luckily, the Tigers were able to take the victory in three sets and avoid further fatigue.

Missouri gets a much-needed rest before hitting the road. The Tigers play four matches in nine days, a trip that is sure to test them physically. Mizzou has struggled away from the Hearnes Center, with a 4-3 road record.

The Tigers look to improve on that mark at Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

-Chinmay Vaidya
23 Sports
Staff Writer