By: Luke Johns
COLUMBIA, Mo.—After a trip to Gainesville, Fla. Sunday resulted in a disappointing three games to zero loss, the Missouri Tigers volleyball team looked to get back to their winning ways as they welcomed the Alabama Crimson Tide to town.
After the first set began as a back-and-forth contest, Mizzou gained ground and led both 18-11 and 24-20 in set one. However, Alabama was able to chip away at the lead and tie it at 24. After some lengthy and extremely intense extra play to determine a two-point lead, Alabama completed the comeback taking the set 35-33. Alabama Redshirt Junior Krystal Rivers’ 12 first set kills were instrumental to the Crimson Tide first set comeback.
Both teams came out firing in the second set. The score was tied at 15 until Mizzou pulled away winning by a score of 25-20.
Alabama jumped out to an early lead in the following set, but Mizzou fought back and was able to take the lead at 19-18 late in the set. Down the stretch Alabama was able to squeak by winning 28-26 thanks in large part to Rivers’ two kills during the final few points.
After the demoralizing third set loss, Mizzou led 22-15 prompting Alabama to call timeout. After the timeout, Alabama made it interesting but the Tigers persevered and through quality team play was able to win 25-19.
In the winner-take-all fifth set, Mizzou had control from the get-go and never looked back. The Tigers and their .438 fifth set hit-percentage rolled to a 15-10 fifth set victory, ultimately winning the match.
Mizzou [19-3, 7-2 SEC] will resume play Sunday against Tennessee.