By: Tanner Dorow
Friday night at the Hearnes Center began with great results for Mizzou volleyball, but ended with a less-than-ideal finish. The Utah Utes came into Columbia to take on the Mizzou Tigers in front of 2,073 fans, and both teams put on quite a match, as Utah edged out a 3-2 win over Mizzou after a full five sets.
The kills came in full force Friday night, as Utah’s junior outside hitter Adora Anae recorded 25 on the night, crushing her previous season-high of 20, which came against Butler on August 27. But Utah wasn’t the only team with effective killing, as Mizzou’s redshirt junior Melanie Crow recorded a season-high 18 kills for the night, beating her previous season high of 16 against Kennesaw State on August 26.
Arguably the most important stat of the night, though, came from errors. Mizzou started the match with a 2-0 lead after winning the first two sets. However, after the third set, which Utah won, Utah actually had more kills in the match than Mizzou, even though Utah was down 2-1 at the time. At the end of the third set, Utah was beating Mizzou in kills 45-38. While the team with the most kills in volleyball is typically the leader, Utah was also beating Mizzou in a category that no team wants to be the leader in; errors. At the end of the third set, Utah was leading in errors, 18-12, meaning that they were giving Mizzou a majority of their points, which was leading to Mizzou’s set wins.
After that, Utah started to settle into the game more, making fewer errors, and causing Mizzou to make many more, which shifted the overall momentum of the match. In the end, Utah beat Mizzou in kills 67-58, and in errors 25-21. Additionally, Utah had 11 service errors compared to Mizzou’s 4 service errors. Utah also had the advantage in digs, 65-55, but Mizzou was able to win the battle at the net, beating Utah in blocks 11-7.
Utah would go on to win the match, winning three straight sets to beat Mizzou 3-2. Scores of each set would be 25-17 Mizzou, 25-22 Mizzou, 25-20 Utah, 25-21 Utah, 15-11 Utah.