The Missouri Tigers volleyball team played their first home game of the year, and their SEC opener against the #10 Kentucky Wildcats (10-2) in a game that would knock the Tigers down to 7-7 on the season, and 0-1 in SEC play.
The Tigers came into this game on a three game win streak, and a championship at the Wolf Pack tournament from the previous weekend. The Tigers showed off their impressive defense, led by Junior Alyssa Munlyn, who has 30 more blocks than anyone else on the team, by recording 50 blocks in their three games at the tournament.
Mizzou came out to an excellent start offensively led by Seniors Sydney Deeken and Melanie Crow, whose second kill gave the Tigers a 15-13 lead in the first set. The Tigers defense preceded to show its dominance with three blocks in the first set which they won 25-18.
The Wildcats showed persistence and controlled the game over the next three sets despite constant rally’s from a resilient Tigers team who was fueled by an energetic crowd at the Hearnes Center. Throughout the game the height and high powered offense of the Wildcats proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome. The Sophomore Leah Edmond led all players with 18 kills, followed by Avery Skinner with 14. The Wildcats also had three players, over six feet, with eight kills, matching Missouri’s Melanie Crow who led the Tigers with eight kills.
After the game Coach Wayne Kreklow talked about his team’s struggles this season and pointed towards the adjustment of playing without Carly Kan, a player who he called “the best ball control player in the league … over her four years”
With this lose the Tigers fall to 5-5 in the all-time series versus the Wildcats. The Tigers look to bounce back against Texas A&M, as they start a three game road trip before returning to the Hearnes Center on October 8th to play Ole Miss.