On Friday October 20th, 2017, the Missouri Tigers took on the Georgia Bulldogs at Hearnes Arena in hopes of snapping their one game losing streak and improving their record to 13-8. The Georgia Bulldogs came into this game in hopes of improving their winning streak to two games and improving their record to 14-8.
From the beginning, defensive woes plagued the Tigers. The Bulldogs started the game off with a 3-0 run with kills by Majesti Bass and T’ara Ceasar, respectively, and an attack error by Mizzou’s Kayla Caffey. Mizzou got on the board next with a kill by Sydney Deeken. Throughout the first set, Mizzou was plagued by service errors and Georgia’s service aces. Ceasar attacked the Tigers weak defense and recorded 6 kills. For the Tigers, they went on two 3-0 runs consisting of one kill and service ace from Kira Larson, two kills from Leketor Member-Meneh, and were gifted with two Bulldog attack errors. Despite the Tiger’s efforts, the Bulldogs took the first set with a score of 25-22.
In the second set, the Tigers looked very disoriented despite going on a 2-1 run in the beginning of the set with a kill from Larson and a Georgia attacking error. Georgia took complete control of the second set thanks to attacking and setting errors made by the Tigers and the four kills by Ceasar. At the end of the set, the Tigers attempted to stay alive and recorded a 3-0 scoring run with kills from Larson and Deeken but ultimately, Georgia won the set with a score of 25-18 with a kill by Rachel Ritchie to cap it off. This was the biggest scoring deficit in all three sets in the game for the Tigers.
The third set seemed to be going all right for the Tigers in the beginning. They got on the board first due to an attack error on Georgia’s Ritchie but the Bulldogs responded right after with a kill from Meghan Donovan. The Tiger’s responded with two kills of their own from Deeken and Munlyn and an attacking error on Georgia’s Bass. After that, the scoring flip flopped between Georgia and Missouri until Georgia scored three on two kills from Ritchie and a service ace from Kendall Glover. Larson responded with a kill of her own but Georgia fought back and scored three on Larson’s attack error and a kill from Ritchie and Kendall Kazor, respectively. When it looked like Georgia was going to run away with the third set, the Tigers went on a 5-0 run with a kill from Larson and Deeken and three Bulldog attacking errors. At the end, the set was tied 25-25 and two points were needed to win. Courtney Eckenrode was serving for the Tigers and hoping to keep Mizzou alive and away from a game sweep. Georgia’s Ritchie responded with two kills in a row and the Bulldogs took the third set with a score of 27-25 and the whole game 3-0.
Mizzou’s Kira Larson and Courtney Eckenrode were two of the bright spots in Mizzou’s sloppy performance. Larson recorded 13 kills and 20 assists and Eckenrode recorded 1 kill and a season high 26 assists. For Georgia, T’ara Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie shined with Caesar recording 15 kills and and Ritchie’s 10 kills.
The Bulldogs move on to a 14-8 overall record and a 4-5 SEC record with a one game winning streak. The Tigers move on to a 12-9 overall record and a 5-3 SEC record with a two game losing streak.
The Tigers face the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday October 25, 2017 at 7 PM in Oxford, Mississippi.