By: Emil Lippe
The Missouri Tigers volleyball team started off their weekend with a 3-1 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs, improving their record to 18-2 overall and 6-1 in SEC play. It was the second and last meeting that the two teams would have this season; Missouri took both games by scores of 3-1.
At first the Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders, leading the Tigers for a majority of set one. Alex Warren was dominant in the first set, tallying a total of eight kills in the set. Missouri would rally to tie the game up, forcing the set into extra points. After 11 ties throughout the first set, Mississippi State outlasted Missouri to take the first set 30-28.
In the second set, the Tigers found their rhythm and dominated the Bulldogs. Propelled by a late 9-0 run in the set, the Tigers would tie the game up at 1-1 with a 25-12 victory in the second set. Kira Larson led the Tigers with six kills and hit .857 in the set. Larson would finish the night with 15 kills, a game high.
Missouri continued to dominate the Bulldogs throughout the remaining two sets. Fast offensive starts and strong defensive play were the keys for the Tigers, as they tallied a total of 18 blocks on the night, surpassing their previous season high of 14 blocks. Alyssa Munlyn made strong defense a staple of hers throughout the game, as the freshman had nine blocks and eight kills on the night.
Carly Kan had another double-double, putting up 14 kills and 14 digs respectively. Larson, who led the way for the Tigers with her 15 kills also had six blocks. Julia Towler also contributed to the Tigers win, getting six kills and three blocks.
With the win, Missouri extends their winning streak to three games after taking a loss in Tuscaloosa to the Crimson Tide a couple of weeks ago. The Tigers next matchup will be this upcoming Sunday in Gainesville, Fla., as Missouri takes on the Florida Gators, first serve set for 12:30 p.m. The Tigers won their previous matchup with the Gators at home in their first conference win of the season by a final of 3-2.