Eleanor Sheahan – 23 Sports

Friday’s game was the sixth time this season that the Missouri Tigers have played a five-set match. Unfortunately, after winning the first two sets, the Tiger’s lost the next two and fell 13-15 in the fifth set against the Gators. 

Starting off the match, the Mizzou Tigers were the dominant team. The Tigers caught an early lead 13-6 and were able to outlast Florida for the rest of the set. Mizzou went up 25-23 in set one. 

Set two was no different for the Tigers. Mizzou’s offense continued to control the floor. From Hollingsworth-Santana and Dixon on the right side, Dillon in the middle, and Deberg on the outside, Florida struggled to hold on. Mizzou took another set 25-23. 

After trailing Mizzou for the first two sets, Florida began to bite back. The Gators top hitters marked a .433 hitting percentage and took the third set 25-19 over Missouri. Trying to end the match in the fourth set Missouri left it all on the floor. The Gators and the Tigers went back and forth until Florida got the last two points, 27-25, forcing the game into a fifth set. 

In the race to fifteen, Missouri clinched a 13-10 lead. However, the Gators went on a five-point streak and stole the match right out for under Missouri. Florida beat Mizzou 15-13 in a thrilling five-set match. 

Despite the loss, Mizzou’s Outside hitter Kylie Deberg posted 25 kills, 13 digs, and claimed her sixth double-double of the season. Teammates Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana acquired 17 kills, Claudia Dillon obtained 11 kills, and Anna Dixon followed with 10 kills. 

Headed into Saturday’s match the Tigers hoped to change the tides. Unfortunately, the Gators were ready for Missouri’s heat and absolutely shut down the Tiger’s offense. With not one hitting error made by the Gators, Florida swamped Missouri 25-10 in the first set. 

Luckily, Missouri was able to get some of their mojos back in the second and third sets. Deberg with 14 kills, Dillon with six, Dixon with four, and Hollingsworth-Santana with four, these players were once again the team’s top tigers. 

The Gators gave Missouri no chance to fight back in this match. Florida took set two 25-19 and ended the match in the third set 25-18 over the Tigers. 

While Florida hit for .714 in the first set and overall .513, Missouri hit for .094 in the match and made an extensive amount of hitting errors totaling 21 for the match. 

Missouri was extremely off on Saturday and is going to have to reset or change things up before playing Texas A&M on March 19th. Mizzou is back at Hearnes Center for the next two matches and then will head to Mississippi State on March 24 for the final series of the regular season.

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