Troy D’Souza, 23 Sports

Wednesday, November 25–

The Missouri Tigers fell at home to the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies for a chance of outright first place in the SEC. In a tough battle between the top two teams in the SEC, the Aggies were led by SEC Player of the Year Stephanie Aiple, and successfully claimed the SEC championship.

In the first set, the Tigers and Aggies kept the game close as expected. After taking a 14-13 lead, the Tigers began to pull away. They went up 22-18, and Julia Towler went on to have three straight kills to close out the set.

Mizzou started the second set going up 2-1, but a long run by the Aggies put them up 7-2 before a solo block from Regan Peltier stopped the bleeding. The Tigers rallied to cut the deficit to two, but the Aggies took the lead and never looked back as they won the set 25-20, tying the match at one win a piece.

The third set opened with another lead for the Tigers as they went up 9-7. The Aggies responded with a 6-0 run, however, putting them on top 13-9. Mizzou came back to tie it up at 15 apiece before both traded points down the stretch, but the Tigers pulled away with extra points as they won the set 27-25, giving them a 2-1 lead in the match.

In similar fashion, the fourth set stayed close throughout as the teams were tied at 8. Mizzou found themselves up 22-18, however the Aggies never gave up. They went on a 7-0 run to rally and win the set, forcing a decisive fifth set.

After starting down 2-1, the Aggies claimed the lead and never gave it back in the fifth. They went on to win 15-10, giving the Tigers their first home loss of the season.

The loss gave the Aggies sole possession of the SEC championship, while dropping the Tigers out of contention. Kira Larson led the way for Mizzou with 17 kills, many of which were assisted by Courtney Eckenrode, who tallied 34 assists on the night.

Mizzou’s next outing will also be at home in its final regular season game of the year. It will be senior night where the team honors the lone senior, Regan Peltier, as the Tigers host the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Photo courtesy of Scott Retzlaff.