By Ryan Williams
On Sunday, the South Carolina Gamecocks (16-9) traveled to Coulmbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers (17-6). An important conference game, Mizzou and South Carolina come in with conference records of 9-4 and 8-5, respectively. The Tigers have been hot recently, winning their last three matches in SEC play. Their wins during that stretch have come over Alabama, Georgia and Alabama again. That last win was a sweep over the Crimson Tide at the Hearnes Center.
The Tigers controlled nearly all of the first set, holding a consistent three or four point lead throughout it. In fact, they held that four point advantage to the very end, winning the set 25-21.
However, the second set was the one that really defined the match. After losing the first set, South Carolina came in with great resilience. They controlled most of the set, holding a consistent lead. However, when set-point came, they were unable to hold it while leading 24-18, as Missouri ended the set on a 9-1 run and won the set 27-25. Leketor Member-Meneh and Kylie Deberg led the way, combining for 30 of the Tigers’ 51 kills. When asked if Missouri is currently playing their best volleyball of the season, Deberg said after the game, “I think we are really showing what we can do and how we can play as a team. We weren’t really thinking about the deficit during the second set, just like, ‘How can we get one more point, then one more, then one more, and so on.”
Missouri rode the momentum from the second set comeback and completed the sweep by winning the third set 25-21. The Tigers move to 18-6 (10-4 in SEC play) and will face the 17th ranked Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Wednesday. The Gamecocks move to 16-10 (8-6 in SEC play) and will face the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Friday.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org