By: Logan Ball
The Missouri Tigers (11-3, 2-0 SEC) have proven yet again how well this team plays in the difficult stretches as they collected a hard fought win against an Ole Miss (11-4,0-2 SEC) team that would not seem to go away.
The tone was set early in the first set, as the two SEC competitors kept the score tight with several long rallies.
Missouri started to pull away towards the end of the first set, but the Rebels sprung a minor comeback to tie things at 20.
However, redshirt junior Melanie Crow, the Ole Miss transfer, decided her former team didn’t deserve the win. She complied a tremendous stat line of three kills and an ace in the final five points as Mizzou would go on to take the set 25-23 capped off by a Crow kill.
The second set started off a little differently as Ole Miss started with a convincing 5-1 run. Nevertheless, a handful of failed serve attempts by both teams would keep the score close with a slight advantage to Mississippi.
Senior Emily Thater played a crucial role in the Missouri revival with three impactful blocks in the match and several key kills, including the kill to secure the second set off a misplay by Ole Miss.
As excited and energized as the crowd in the Hearnes Center had been, the third set proved to be the most crucial given the intensity of the crowd and the athletes as well.
Key substitutions of freshman Riley Sents and junior Courtney Eckenrode brought a much needed second wind to the Tigers, who found themselves down yet again in the early part of set three.
A necessary late Tiger rally near the half way point of the set brought them within two points of the lead -a lead they would not earn until the score stood at 25-24 with a Tiger advantage.
A nifty set over the net by junior Sydney Deeken would complete yet another come-from-behind win for Missouri with their depth and smart play playing a pivotal role in the Tigers’ second conference win.
Mizzou is back in action Friday, Sept. 30 as they travel to Arkansas (3-10, 1-0 SEC).