By: Joey Schneider, KCOU Sports
After losing four of their five previous games, Mizzou Girls’ Volleyball needed a collective team effort to break out of their slump and restore team confidence. Consider yesterday’s home victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks a starting point.
Mizzou swept Arkansas 3-0 to pick up their fifth win in SEC play. The Tigers now boast a 14-11 record on the season, following an effort that allowed the team to work together.
“We needed [this win] emotionally because we’ve been working so hard,” said senior defensive specialist Sarah Meister. “Everyone seemed to have so much heart on the table and they believed in themselves, so I’m really pleased with how we did this meet.”
The Tigers set the tone early on, winning their first match 25-14. While Arkansas made adjustments following the first set, Mizzou grinded out the other two sets with scores of 25-21 and 25-22 respectively.
“We’ve talked a lot about trying to fit the pieces together and tonight we just clicked,” said Meister. “We passed, defended, lofted and set well, and we were able to spread out offense in the middle more. Everything just flowed well [against Arkansas] and it gives our team more confidence.”
One difference maker was sophomore outside hitter Carly Kan, who collected 11 digs and 10 kills in the match to pick up her SEC-leading 15th double-double. Additionally, five Mizzou attackers boosted the offense with at least five kills on ten total attempts.
“Usually we make a lot of unforced errors, but we definitely limited those tonight,” said senior outside hitter Emily Wilson. “We passed really well and that gives us a huge boost to continue our game.”
Mizzou’s defense made their presence known in yesterday’s game as well, limiting any Arkansas outbursts more than four points at a time. The Tigers were also able to stop Razorback senior and offensive leader Meredith Hays, who only had a .091 hitting percentage throughout the three sets.
“Arkansas was a great opponent, and we were able to limit the damage tonight,” said Meister. “We noticed their best player was struggling and we worked hard to take her out of the system tonight.”
The win improves the Tigers to 5-5 in conference play and 6-4 at home. Mizzou Volleyball has four more home games in November, including tomorrow’s contest against Texas A&M at the Hearnes Center at 3 p.m.
“We’re going to watch video and focus on keying in their middles,” said Meister. “They’re an awesome team, so we just have to be ready for whatever they bring.”