Volunteers Take Five-Setter Despite Little’s Big Day

Friday, October 5-

The Missouri volleyball team lost to Tennessee on Friday in five sets (12-25, 25-23, 25-27, 25-22, 11-15) in a rematch of the Tigers’ SEC opener. Mizzou falls to 12-5 on the season and 4-3 in conference play after the loss.

After upsetting then No. 17 Tennessee in September, the Volunteers were out for revenge. They got it despite reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week Whitney Little putting up 11 blocks for Mizzou.

Little set a school record by putting up her fifth career match with double-digit blocks, all of which came this season. Junior Lisa Henning posted her fifth double-double of the season with 25 kills and 17 digs.

The Volunteers dominated the Mizzou in the first set, jumping out to an early lead that they would never surrender. They finished the match on a 15-3 run and held the Tigers to negative hitting.

The second set was a much different story as Mizzou found an early lead. While they didn’t dominate the way Tennessee did in the first set, they were able to maintain the lead for the whole set as Little picked up three of her blocks in the second set.

In perhaps the most thrilling set of the night, Tennessee snagged an 8-2 advantage. However, the Tigers were able to pull back in the set and it was madness after that. After taking a 12-11 lead, the Tigers managed to fall into a 19-16 deficit. The Missouri front line provided a spark with four straight blocks to take back the lead. However they couldn’t convert on two set points and wound up losing the set 27-25.

The fourth set was tight the whole way with both teams trading slight leads and the set was tied at 20-20. The teams traded points until Mizzou manufactured four straight points. Another block from the Tigers forced a fifth set.

In the fifth and final frame, the Volunteers established a three-point cushion until Henning’s final kill of the night cut the lead to 12-11. That proved to be it for Mizzou as Tennessee scored the final three points to win the deciding set 15-11.

The Tigers will try to rebound Sunday afternoon when they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama at 1:30 p.m.

-Mike Bonomo
23 Sports
Staff Writer