by Kaveh Kaghazi
Led by senior Brittney Brimmage, the Missouri Tiger volleyball team improved to 3-0 on the season with a three game sweep over Tulane (25-19, 25-21, 25-14) in its third game of the Tiger Invitational.
“It was a good match for us because things weren’t easy,” said coach Wayne Kreklow. “I think right now that’s something that’s gonna be very helpful for us.”
The Tigers were in control in the first game with freshmen Emily Wilson and Katie O’Brien leading the way. Wilson finished the first game with five kills to lead the team.
“She’s playing at a really high level,” Kreklow said. “She’s doing a great job. What Emily does really well is she’s a very low error hitter. She’s a good example of what you can do if you just play smart.”
Tulane came out strong in game two, taking an early 4-2 lead. It was back and forth until The Green Wave took a timeout trailing 13-8. After a string of Missouri errors, Tulane pulled within one, before Brimmage closed out the set 25-21 with a monstrous kill.
“Tulane is a big physical team, they’re a pretty good ball club,” Kreklow said. “They really kind of put us in some uncomfortable positions.”
The Tigers looked sharp in the third game, cruising to an early 9-4 lead. Brimmage once again took over with three straight kills, putting Missouri up 19-13.
“For her, if she can just get up early and just get up big you know she doesn’t have to hit every ball,” Kreklow said. “It doesn’t have to be a monster shot to be effective because the angles are just so ridiculous because she’s up so high and so early it’s just tough to defend.”
Freshman Whitney Little’s kill sealed the win for the Tigers as they finished with a 25-14 win. Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning tied the team high with 11 kills.
Brimmage finished second on the team with 10 kills with a hitting percentage of .573.
“I just felt really comfortable in the game,” Brimmage said. “My intensity level was real high so I was just ready to get it done.”
The Tigers again went with three freshmen in their starting lineup with Wilson, Little and Sarah Meister.
Henning has been impressed by the early performance Missouri’s young hitters. “(The freshmen) are catching on quickly and by the time conference starts we should be in full swing,” she said.