By Eric Short
The Missouri volleyball team bounced back from a rough loss to Texas A&M at home on Friday with a three-set sweep, 25-15, 25-23, 25-11, of Georgia Sunday afternoon at the Hearnes Center.
As usual, the Tigers blocking was what propelled them to victory. Missouri recorded 15 team blocks with sophomore middle blocker Whitney Little leading the way for the Tigers with 10.
As good as Missouri’s blocking was, Georgia’s sloppy play was eventually what doomed them against the Tigers. The Bulldogs had 28 errors compared to Missouri’s 13 and had a hitting percentage of just .030%.
In addition to pushing the Tigers to 12-4 and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference, it was a record setting afternoon for Little. Little tied the Missouri record for 10 block matches in a career (four) currently held by former All-American Christi Myers. Even more impressive is that Little tied the record in just eight games.
“It feels good, we work on blocking so much in practice and it is nice to see all of it pay off,” Little said of tying the record. “I’m very driven right now, I really want to be the best.”
After being run out of the gym by Texas A&M on Friday, junior outside hitter Lisa Henning knew that she and her teammates had to pick it up.
“In practice on Saturday, we focused on the little things and they really came together,” said Henning, who had a double-double with a team-high 12 kills and 10 digs. “We weren’t right on Friday but we knew we couldn’t dwell on the past so we just focused on the little things.”
Other major contributors for the Tigers included junior setter Molly Kreklow, who had 30 assists and four kills, and freshman outside hitter Regan Peltier with five kills, three digs and two blocks.
Coach Wayne Kreklow was especially pleased with the freshman’s play.
“I thought Regan made some really nice plays, a lot of good small ball plays,” Kreklow said. “ She has been doing a good job of listening to older members of the team.”
The Tigers next game will be against Tennessee on Friday, Oct. 5 in Knoxville. The game is a rematch of the five-set thriller on Sept. 12 that gave the Tigers their first win as a member of the SEC.
Missouri’s next home game is Sunday, Oct. 14 against Mississippi State at 1:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center.