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    SEC Volleyball Roundup: Sunday, October 27

    SUNDAY VOLEYBALL SCHEDULE/RESULTS
    Missouri 3, Texas A&M 0
    Georgia 3, Mississippi State 2
    Florida 3, Tennessee 0
    Kentucky 3, Alabama 1
    Auburn 3, South Carolina 0
    LSU 3, Arkansas 2

     

    No. 11 Mizzou Sweeps Texas A&M, Moves to 25-0

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 11 Mizzou volleyball team improved to 25-0 and 9-0 in SEC play after defeating Texas A&M, 3-0 (25-17, 29-27, 25-20) on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 27) at Reed Arena. The win for Mizzou was its first win in College Station since 2010 and snapped a three-match skid against the Aggies. The win was also the Tigers’ 11th away from home this season, the most in a regular season since 2010. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) set the Tigers to 59 kills, the most by any SEC team in a three-set match this season as four Tigers finished with at least nine kills. Mizzou hit .347 in the win and remain as the SEC’s only unbeaten team through the first half of league play.

    “We did a great job of grinding one out on the road today,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “That’s the type of team that doesn’t give you a whole lot, but we stuck to our game and we did all of the little things well today. Our offense was incredibly balanced and we served really tough down the stretch and that stopped them from doing what they wanted to do. That’s a team that beat Florida State in three at home and took Michigan to five, so this is a tough place to win, so I am happy with our effort.”

    The win caps a weekend in which Mizzou, still one of just two unbeaten teams nationally, defeated both of the preseason favorites in the SEC West on the road, dropping just one set. Although Kreklow set a balanced offense with 48 assists on Sunday, it was senior two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) who did a lot of the damage with 15 kills on .312 hitting. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) capped an excellent weekend with 12 kills on .348 hitting and junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added 14 kills on .355 hitting. Junior All-SEC middle blocker Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) tallied nine kills on .421 hitting with a pair of solo blocks and Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) added five kills and three blocks. The Tigers tallied at least 16 kills in every set and did not hit lower than .320 in a frame.

    The Tiger defense again was very good with 51 digs in the match and they did a nice job of slowing attack-heavy All-SEC setter Allie Sawatzky to just two kills and three errors on 12 attempts. Thater led Mizzou with three blocks, including a solo stuff, while Little added a pair of solos as well. Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) added 14 digs to wrap up an impressive weekend for her.

    After opening sluggishly Friday night at LSU, Mizzou came out firing in the initial set Sunday, racing out to an 8-3 lead as four different Tigers tallied kills in that span, forcing a Texas A&M timeout. The Tigers extended the lead to 13-5 after back-to-back stuffs, including a solo by Thater, but A&M ran off three in a row before a kill from Wilson put the Tigers on top 14-8. Mizzou continued to roll from there, opening a 21-11 lead and despite some uncharacteristic attack errors, the Tigers claimed the set, 25-17. Kan led the way with five kills on seven swings with just one error and Henning added four kills on nine attempts. Mizzou hit .379 in the set while limiting A&M to .129 hitting.

    The second set was extremely close as both teams offenses performed at a very high level. The Tigers built a 10-7 lead but the Aggies rallied to go on top 14-13. Things stayed close from there but errors allowed Mizzou to open an 18-16 lead but that was the largest lead either team gained from there. The Tigers wound up getting five set points and used a big stuff from Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Kreklow to win the frame, 29-27. The Tiger offense was unreal in set two with 24 kills on .320 hitting. Henning had six kills in the set while Kan had five as they each led Mizzou with 10 kills on the break. Little as huge as well with eight kills – five in the second set – at the break.

    Mizzou allowed Texas A&M to go on top 5-1 with some sloppy play to open the third set, but a Wayne Kreklow timeout settled his team down and a solo block by Wilson tied the set at eight apiece. The Tigers then gained a two-point edge on an ace from Thater and then Mizzou opened an 18-14 advantage with a kill from Kan as she bumped what looked to be a free ball right to an empty part of the floor for her 11th of the match and that was all that the Tigers needed to pull away with the 25-20 set win to clinch the match.

    The Tigers will be back in action next weekend when they host Ole Miss and No. 15 Kentucky at the Hearnes Center next Friday and Sunday, respectively. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.





    Georgia Picks Up Thrilling 3-2 Win Over Mississippi State

    ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia picked up a thrilling 3-2 (25-16, 25-18, 18-25, 18-25, 18-16) win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 16-7 on the season that includes a 6-5 mark in Southeastern Conference action. Mississippi State drops to 11-11 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.

    “These are all great experiences for us,” said Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke. “We have our sights set on big goals and big things, and the mental challenges are just as important as the physical challenges. I give a ton of credit to Mississippi State. They absolutely amped their game up after half time and went on a hot streak with some really aggressive and scrappy play. This is good for us to continue to have to battle.”

    For the first time this season, three Bulldogs recorded a double-double in a single match. Brittany Northcutt led the Bulldogs with 20 kills and added 18 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Kaylee Kehoe notched a match-high 29 assists and added 13 digs for her third double-double of the year, while Maggie Baumert added 24 assists and 14 digs for her fourth double-double of 2013. Tirah Le’au added 16 kills, while Stacey Smith and Lauren Teknipp each finished with 10 kills. Allison Summers led the Bulldogs with 25 digs. Elena Perri led the Bulldogs at the net defensively, finishing with seven blocks, while Le’au and Smith each notched four blocks.

    The Bulldogs opened up to a 10-6 lead in the first set before Mississippi State fought back to within one at 11-10. Georgia answered with back-to-back points that gave the Bulldogs a 13-10 lead. The Bulldogs had an answer for each Mississippi State point, allowing them to extend their lead to 17-13. Leading 19-14, Georgia rode the serve of Chloe Buckendahl for four-straight points that made it a 23-14 game. Kills by Buckendahl and Northcutt sealed the 25-16 set one win and gave Georgia the 1-0 lead.

    The second set was tight until a block by Teknipp and Perri sparked a 4-0 Georgia run that allowed the Bulldogs to pull ahead 13-8 and force Mississippi State to use a timeout. MSU went on a 5-0 run of its own that brought it within one of Georgia at 16-15, but Jasmine Eatmon found the court that ended the run and put Georgia back up by two at 17-15. Once again, Buckendahl was dialed in at the service line, serving six of the final seven Georgia points that allowed the Bulldogs to take the second set 25-18.

    Mississippi State came back to tie the match at 2-2 after a pair of 25-18 wins in the third and fourth sets that forced a deciding fifth set. Georgia opened up to a 6-4 lead early, forcing Mississippi State to use a timeout. MSU came back and tied the set at 7, 8 and 9 before a pair of Smith and Perri blocks gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 11-9. Mississippi State fought back and tied the set at 11. The teams went point-for-point over the next 10 possessions until kills by Teknipp and Northcutt sealed the 18-16 set five, allowing the Bulldogs take the match 3-2.

    Georgia returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 3 when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols. Georgia won the first meeting between the teams this season 3-0. The match is set to begin at 2 p.m., and will be televised on CSS. The Bulldogs are 0-2 on CSS this season and 1-2 when they play in a televised match.





    No. 5 Florida Volleyball Continues Hot Home Win Streak With Sweep of Lady Vols

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 5 Gator volleyball squad used a sweep of Tennessee Sunday at the Stephen C. Connell Center (25-13, 25-21, 25-15) to continue its undefeated home streak and down the Lady Vols for the first time since 2010.

    Sophomore Živa Recek had a hot hand for the Gators Sunday with a team-high 16 points, tallying 14 kills and three blocks in the Tennessee sweep. Recek notched a .857 hitting efficiency in the first set along with six of her 14 slams. Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette hit .444 and chipped in with nine kills and a solo stuff for 10 points. Freshman right side Alex Holston tied Mallette with nine kills, second most for the Gators Saturday in the sweep.

    Quick Hits:

    • Prior to Sunday’s match on Sun Sports, junior Taylor Unroe and senior Taylor Brauneis were honored for reaching career milestones this season. Unroe became the 12th Gator in program history to reach the 1,000 dig plateau earlier this season, and is currently 8th all-time in digs at Florida with 1,214. Brauneis became a member of the 4,000 assist club and now has 4,331 assists in her career, including 1,999 while wearing the Orange & Blue
    • Sophomore Simone Antwi had a season-best two service aces for the Gators, contributing to the team’s six overall
    • Sophomore Nikki O’Rourke has had a service ace in four of her last six outings for the Orange and Blue (Kentucky, Georgia, Auburn & Tennessee)
    • Živa Recek’s 14 kills Sunday gave her four double-digit kill outputs in the month of October, last in the four-set thriller at Mizzou (15)
    • Recek and Antwi both had a team-best two blocks to lead UF’s defensive efforts
    • Junior Taylor Unroe scopped a team-best 15 digs in the back row for the Gators. Brauneis and Recek has six each for UF

    Home Sweet Home: Florida has strung together an impressive 16-match home win streak dating back to Nov. 16, 2012, including all 12 home matches thus far in 2013.

    Chloe’s a “Mann”ster: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is hitting .471 for her career and is the Florida career record holder in the category. The reigning SEC Player of the Year is the NCAA active leader in hitting percentage and sits just above the NCAA record holder in career hitting percentage, Penn State's Arielle Wilson (.468). Mann needs 116 more attempts to be eligible for the NCAA record (14.5 attacks/reg. season match).

    Not On Our Watch: Florida has forced 17 of its 22 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. UF held Tennessee to a .108 hitting clip for the match Sunday, including a set-best .030 in the third and final set.

    NCAA Numbers: Senior Chloe Mann is second in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.506), while the Gators are also second in the nation with a .334 offensive clip. Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston is fifth in the nation with a .430 hitting percentage and senior setter Taylor Brauneis is sixth in assists (11.75/set).





    Kentucky Registers 15 Blocks in 3-1 Win over Alabama

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A comeback victory in the fourth set capped by two of 15th-ranked Kentucky’s season-high 15 blocks propelled the Wildcats to a 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20) victory over Alabama Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum. Three players registered six or more block assists in the victory including a career-high eight from senior Whitney Billings. Sophomore Sara Schwarzwalder matched her with eight, and senior Alexandra Morgan totaled six.

    The Wildcats (15-5, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) were down 16-15 in the fourth set to the Crimson Tide (17-6, 5-4 SEC) before coming back to score the next three points and four of the final five points to seal the win.

    “I’m real proud of our kids,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “I thought we went soft in set three and Alabama played well. To completely reverse that and play as tough as we did at the end says something about the character of this group. So, proud of them.”

    UK outhit Alabama in three of the four frames and recorded a 15-5 advantage in blocks, including 5-0 scores in the first and fourth sets. In the match, the Blue and White hit .330 with 55 kills, while the Tide hit .195 with 54 kills. Kentucky will hit the road for a pair of tough conference road tests next. UK will take on Arkansas on Friday, Nov. 1 and visit 11th-ranked and undefeated Missouri on Sunday.

    “Alabama’s a good team and they’re tough and they keep coming at you,” Skinner added. “They got us on our heels set three and at the beginning of set four, so we needed to dig down and produce. When you’re able to do that and able to execute and get kills when you needed it, it is an emotional sport.”

    Morgan led the Wildcats with 14 kills with a match high .619 hitting clip. Billings had 12 kills in addition to her eight blocks. Schwarzwalder had 10 kills on .600 hitting reaching double-figure kills for the second time in three matches. Junior Lauren O’Conner posted 11 kills and added four blocks.

    “I saw a little extra in her today,” Skinner said of Morgan. “With her aggressiveness in attacking and aggressiveness blocking, that’s the Zan we need to see day in and day out. But she’s such a presence, such a factor over there every team has to pay attention to her. When she produces like that, it makes us all better.”

    Freshman Anni Thomasson had 10 digs to go along with six kills, while redshirt freshman Kelsey Wolf made her first career start and registered two digs. Sophomore setter Morgan Bergren led the match with 47 assists in addition to contributing four digs, two blocks and two kills. Junior libero Jackie Napper posted a match-high 12 digs in the win.

    UK tallied a 25-17 win in the first set on the strengths of a .520 hitting percentage and five blocks. The Wildcats had 15 kills in the frame and held the Crimson Tide to zero blocks, while the Tide hit .200 with 14 kills. Kentucky was led by Morgan’s five kills on just five attempts and four blocks. O’Conner added four kills, while Schwarzwalder contributed three. UK had an early 4-2 lead in the set, but Alabama rallied to take a 7-4 lead. Kentucky responded by scoring seven of the next eight points for an 11-8 advantage. The Tide got within two at 13-11, but the Blue and White would not let it get any closer and scored seven of the last 10 points to secure the win.

    Billings posted a set-high-tying five kills in the second set with a set-high .556 hitting clip to lead Kentucky to a 25-23 victory in the second frame. Schwarzwalder added three kills and three blocks. The Wildcats, who had 13 kills and hit .250, held the Crimson Tide to a .100 hitting percentage with 13 kills. The frame featured four lead changes and eight ties, with the last even score coming at 19-19. That’s when UK registered three straight blocks – with Schwarzwalder assisting on all three and Billings on two – to take a 22-19 lead. Alabama fought back to get it within one three times, but with a 24-23 lead, a kill from Morgan was the set winner.

    The 25-20 win for the Wildcats in the fourth set came in comeback fashion. UK trailed 16-15, but rallied to score the next three points to take an 18-16 lead. Kentucky and Alabama traded points until, at 21-19, the Blue and White notched four of the final five points to claim the match. Billings posted four kills in the frame as UK hit .355 with 14 kills, compared to Alabama’s .189 hitting clip and 15 kills. For the third set in the match, the Wildcats outblocked the Crimson Tide, with a 5-0 advantage in the final stanza. Billings and Schwarzwalder each accounted for three block assists.

    The Wildcats suffered a 25-18 defeat in the third set, in which the Crimson Tide out-hit them .381-.222 and registered three blocks to UK’s two. While Kentucky had 13 kills to Alabama’s 12, UA had four service aces, while UK had none. Morgan’s four kills led UK and O’Conner had two blocks. The Wildcats were down 4-2, but responded with four of the next five points to take a 6-5 lead. Alabama scored the next three points to take an 8-6 lead they would never yield.

    Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Seattle, Wash., from the Lexington Region. This marks the second time in three seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.

    Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.





    Auburn Earns Road Sweep at South Carolina, 3-0

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Auburn got its first sweep in Southeastern Conference volleyball play this season, taking down South Carolina 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) on Sunday afternoon at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

    The Tigers (13-8, 4-5 SEC) won at South Carolina for the second-straight time and fourth time in the last five trips to Columbia. In an extremely tight match, Auburn was able to fight off late pushes in all three sets by the Gamecocks (11-11, 3-6 SEC) and come away with a weekend split.

    "I thought we did a really good job finishing all three games," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We had some breakdowns in the middle of each game, but mentally, it's big for us when we can overcome some breakdowns to stay strong. I thought the outsides did a really good job swinging when we were out of system."

    Katherine Culwell picked up her ninth double-double of the year with a 12-kill, 12-dig performance that also included a pair of service aces. Kathia Rud also had a double-double, her sixth of the season, with 10 kills and 11 digs, and Camila Jersonsky led all hitters with a .389 percentage, putting down 10 kills on the day. Freshman Stephanie Campbell also contributed nine kills in the match.

    Sarah Wroblicky paced the defensive effort for the Tigers with a 14-dig performance along with a pair of assists. Emily Klitzke was big at the net for Auburn, posting a career-high five blocks along with three kills, and Courtney McDonald contributed four blocks as well.

    Alyssa Ivey led the Auburn setters with 23 assists and five digs, and Chelsea Wintzinger was critical in all areas with 19 assists, six digs, two aces and a kill.

    South Carolina was led by senior Juliette Thevenin, who had 15 kills and 12 digs in her final match against Auburn. Darian Dozier had 10 kills on the day, and Kellie McNeil had 34 assists along with six digs and three kills.

    All three sets saw one team build a lead only to see the opponent mount a big comeback. Carolina jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, only to see Auburn rally for a 14-9 lead.However, the Gamecocks clawed their way back to tie things up at 21-21 before a pair of Gamecock errors and an ace by Wintzinger gave the Tigers a chance at set point. A kill from Rud put the opening set away to give Auburn a 25-22 win.

    Set two was very similar. The Gamecocks jumped out to an early five-point lead, but the Tigers fought back to take the lead for the first time at 12-11. Auburn's lead extended to 20-17 after a 3-0 run that included two-straight blocks from Klitzke and McDonald, and the Tigers held off another late push to take another 25-22 win and a 2-0 lead.

    Auburn jumped out to an early lead in set three, pushing ahead by as many as six points at 11-5, but the Gamecocks scrapped their way back and eventually tied the match at 19-19. However, Carolina would never take the lead as the teams kept trading sideouts until a Rud kill gave Auburn a match point try at 24-22. After the Gamecocks fought off one attempt, a ball-handling error call gave the Tigers the game at 25-23 and a sweep in the match.

    The teams were nearly even statistically with Auburn out-hitting Carolina .228-.216 and putting down just three more kills than the Gamecocks (46-43). Auburn had one more dig (52-51), and the teams were even in blocks with six apiece. The Tigers did have five service aces on the day, compared to just two for Carolina.

    The Tigers will have a split weekend in SEC play next week. Auburn will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday, Nov. 1, then head back home on Sunday to host Mississippi State. Sunday's match vs. the Bulldogs will begin at 3 p.m. and be televised by CSS.





    Elliott Sparks LSU Volleyball to Win over Arkansas

    BATON ROUGE -- Desiree Elliott provided a spark off the bench and ripped 10 kills on a .300 hitting percentage over the final three sets to propel the LSU volleyball team to a crucial 3-2 comeback victory over Arkansas [25-20, 14-25, 25-27, 25-20, 15-12] Sunday at the Maravich Center.

    With the win, LSU (14-6, 4-4 SEC) put a season’s long three-match losing streak in the rearview mirror. The Tigers also emerged with their sixth five-set victory of the season and have picked up 13 wins during the last 16 meetings with Arkansas (13-9, 6-5 SEC) dating back to the 2005 season.

    “I absolutely think putting in Desi was a vital part of winning this match,” head coach Fran Flory said. “She changed the tempo of our offense. When Desi is playing hard and fast and we can get the ball to her correctly, she is awfully difficult to defend. We just haven’t been able to do that. She had it today, and I am thankful for that. The bottom line is that this team finally fought through a match and believed in the end. They were able to make some plays. Certainly, Arkansas gave us some points down the stretch and made some huge errors in key situations. I think what we have been preaching all week – being resilient, tough, and owning contact. That’s what we were able to do today.”

    Elliott was one of four players to register 10-plus kills for LSU. Briana Holman also tacked on 10 kills on a .300 hitting clip to go along with nine blocks from the middle blocker position.

    The Tigers also received double-doubles from Cati Leak (13 kills, 18 digs), Katie Lindelow (10 kills, 10 digs) and Malorie Pardo (51 assists, 13 digs). The 18 digs for Leak were a career-high, while Lindelow came away with her fifth double dip in her last seven outings. Pardo also compiled three kills on four errorless swings and equaled a career-best with five blocks.

    Helen Boyle came away with eight kills and 16 digs whereas Khourtni Fears chipped in six kills.

    LSU’s offense grinded out 60 kills and a .170 hitting percentage compared to 59 kills and a .139 hitting ratio for Arkansas. Both teams were forced into 30-plus attack errors.

    Meredith Hays paced the Razorbacks with a match-leading 22 kills but was limited to a .149 hitting clip on her 67 swings. She added 11 digs and five blocks. Emily Helm stretched out for a match-high 28 digs, while Ana Sofia Jusino collected nine blocks to lead the Arkansas defensive effort.

    After falling behind 2-1, LSU found its offensive rhythm and exploded for 19 kills on a .308 hitting percentage during the fourth set. The two teams traded 10 ties and five early lead changes. All square at 11-11, LSU ripped off seven of the next eight points to surge ahead by an 18-12 margin. Elliott and Holman fueled the spurt with two kills apiece. The Razorbacks got as close as 21-19, but LSU answered with a Pardo second-contact kill coupled with a Holman-Pardo block and a Boyle kill to push the advantage back to 24-19. After an Arkansas sideout, Leak smashed her fifth kill of the frame, a crosscourt spike, to wrap up the 25-20 win.

    Arkansas jumped out to a 3-1 edge to start the decisive set five. However, LSU’s charged back behind six blocks, five of which involved Holman, to ignite a flurry of 11 of the next 16 points and take a 12-8 lead. The Razorbacks were able to close the deficit down to two points on three occasions, the latest coming at 14-12. However, an Arkansas serving error vaulted LSU into the winner’s circle.

    “Briana was frustrated the whole match,” Flory said. “She finally decided that she was going to get past the frustration and move on to the next play. That is part of the message we have given the team all week. You can’t fix what is already done. You can respond to what is in front of you and take care of the next opportunity. I thought Madi Mahaffey made a huge difference in channeling the ball blocking wise. She blocked a couple balls, and she made those kids change shots.”

    LSU wraps up a three-match homestand and opens the November portion of its schedule Friday against No. 5 Florida. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. with live video and live stats available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live. Admission to all 2013 home matches is free compliments of the Advocate's “Geaux Free” program.

    Desiree Elliott will continue LSU’s legacy of serving the community. She is teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul and Bishop Ott Shelter Program for her season-long senior class philanthropy project. The Tigers will be collecting items ranging from children’s clothes and shoes along with baby supplies and toys at every home match as part of the “Geaux Kids” initiative. Fans will be able to donate items inside the “Geaux Kids” boxes located at the Tiger Fan Zone

    For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.