No. 18 Utah Tops Missouri Volleyball in Final Game of the Utah Classic

Zac Aron, 23 Sports

The Missouri Tigers [4-6] took the floor for the final time of the Utah Classic on Friday, as they squared off against the host team, the No. 18 Utah Utes. It was their third match of the event. The Tigers, 1-1 in the tournament prior to this match, hoped to defeat the well-balanced Utes in order to finish the tournament on a positive note. Despite the strong effort, the Utes emerged victorious after three hard fought sets.

The first set of the match started off with a perfectly placed serve by freshman Dariana Hollingsworth for an ace. The Tigers scored the next point as well, but the Utes didn’t give up and were able to tie the game up at 4-4, and then took the lead from there. The Tigers did their best to keep the set close, but the Utes showed strength towards the end by having a five-point run that gave them a 23-16 lead. The Utes won the set 25-20.

The Tigers, not giving up after a hard first set loss, began this set by once again scoring the first point and staying tied or ahead of the Utes for their first nine points. After tying the game at nine, Utah showed their teams strength by going on an astounding eight-point run, in which the Tigers used two time outs, to give them a 16-9 lead. Many teams would have given up the set at this point, but not the Tigers. They fought back hard and were able to tie up the score at 21 and kept it tied up until the score was 25-25. Utah then finished the second set by scoring the next two points and won it 27-25.

The third set, much like the first two, started off well for the Missouri Tigers. They were again able to win the first point and were able to use this momentum to pull ahead of Utah 12-7. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this set also repeated the Utes’ ability to go on streaks as they had three five-point streaks within the set. This propelled Utah to a 25-19 victory in the final set.

The Tigers hope to come back from this tournament when they next take the floor in the Nevada Tournament on Friday September 15th against the Pepperdine Waves.