|Missouri 3, Florida 0
|Texas A&M 3, Tennessee 0
|Georgia 3, Ole Miss 2
|Alabama 3, South Carolina 0
|Kentucky 3, Mississippi State 0
|Auburn 3, LSU 2
No. 7 Mizzou Sweeps No. 5 Florida in Top-10 Showdown
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 7 Mizzou volleyball team did something that had never been done before as it swept No. 5 Florida, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23), on Friday night (Nov. 15) at the O’Connell Center. The win improves Mizzou to 30-0 and 14-0 in SEC play as it now holds a two-game lead (including the tiebreaker) in the SEC Championship hunt. It was also the first time that Florida has been swept at home in SEC play and just their sixth home SEC loss under head coach Mary Wise. It is Mizzou’s first 30-win season since 1978 and the first in the NCAA Tournament era. The Tigers remain as one of two unbeaten teams nationally. Senior two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way for Mizzou with 17 kills on .500 hitting in the win as she became Mizzou’s all-time career-points leader with a match-high 18.5.
“This is incredible to come down to Florida and get a win,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “This is one of the toughest places to win in the country and we just came down and we didn’t give them a lot. I couldn’t be more proud of what this team has accomplished so far and I am really happy for Molly and Lisa – I’m happy for all for the girls – but those two in particular have put so much into this program. This is a huge win for us.”
Henning, who was seemingly on another planet throughout the match, was set up by senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) all night as she finished with 32 assists, seven kills on .600 hitting with 10 digs in the win. She guided Mizzou to .337 hitting against a team that had held teams to .154 hitting coming into the match. Mizzou has now hit better than .300 in 25 of 30 matches, including both matches with Florida, due in large part to the setting of Kreklow. Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added eight kills on .294 hitting while Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) added seven kills on seven swings without an error in the win. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) struggled on the attack but was huge in the back row with 12 digs while going perfect in serve receive.
Mizzou made a lot of errors early in the first set as Florida jumped out to a 9-7 lead, forcing a timeout from Wayne Kreklow. The Gators went on a four-point run out of the timeout, taking a 10-7 lead before a service error stopped the run. Florida service errors kept Mizzou in the set and the Tigers eventually took a 15-14 lead as part of a 3-0 run after a kill from Whitney Little (Keller, Texas). Things stayed close throughout the remainder of the frame. Florida took a 22-20 lead with its best server – Taylor Unroe – back to serve, but Mizzou won a big point on a kill from Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.). That sparked a 5-0 run as the Tigers pulled away with a 25-20 set win.
The second set was riveting as both teams settled in defensively as there were more extended rallies early in the set. But the Tigers won a lot of the rallies and opened a 10-5 lead after a kill from Thater, who had six kills on six swings in the second. Mizzou was able to keep that cushion but Florida drew as close at 20-19 and 21-20 and rallied to tie the set at 23-23 after a kill from Ziva Recek. But on the next play, Recek sent a back-row attack long and Wilson ended the longest rally of the match with an out-of-system kill on set point as the Tigers escaped with a 25-23 win. Thater led Mizzou with six kills in the frame and Henning added four. Mizzou hit .410 in the frame while Florida hit .286.
Out of the intermission, Florida jumped out to a 5-0 lead as Mizzou made three attack errors early in the frame. Wayne Kreklow called a timeout and Mizzou rallied by scoring the next four points to get back into the set and things stayed close from there. Mizzou gained its first lead at 11-10, but Florida scored six of the next seven points to open a 16-12 lead. But as Mizzou has done all season, they rallied and made things close, shifting the pressure to Florida. Kreklow won two jousts late in the set as Mizzou pulled away, 25-23.
The Tigers will be back in action Sunday at South Carolina for a 12:30 p.m. (CT) match. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter MizzouVB.
Texas A&M Extends Win Streak; Sweeps Tennessee
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M won its fourth consecutive match with a commanding 25-17, 25-14, 25-10 victory against Tennessee this afternoon at Reed Arena.
Senior setter Allie Sawatzky directed the Aggies (15-10, 7-7 SEC) to their second highest hitting percentage of the season as A&M outhit the Lady Vols, .413 to .172. The 6-2 lefty led all players with 12 kills while hitting .550 and also dished out 29 assists to record her SEC-leading 17 double-double of the season.
Senior libero Heather Reynolds led the Aggies with 13 digs, and freshman Victoria Arenas pitched in 11. Senior Mariah also had double-figure digs with 10 and served a career-high five aces as A&M also had its second highest ace output of the season with nine.
A&M sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan had nine kills while hitting at a .562 clip and contributed three aces and two blocks to take match-high honors with 13 points.
Tennessee (9-18, 1-12 SEC) led the opening set, 12-11, before A&M scored five unanswered points -- including two aces by Agre and two kills by Sullivan -- to take a lead it would not lose. The Aggies continued to pull away, using a 6-1 spurt to build a 23-15 cushion. The Lady Vols, who were outhit 275 to .148 and trailed in kills, 17-7, scored two points on A&M errors then served into the net to put A&M at set point. Aggie freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty then closed out the set with a kill.
The second set was even at 2-2 when Sullivan and sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak led the Aggies on a 5-0 charge. A&M, which outhit the Lady Vols .469 to .214 in the set, later mounted an 8-0 run to take a commanding 21-7 advantage. Tennessee rallied and got within 23-14 before redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers put A&M at set point with a kill. Darby Graff, a redshirt freshman opposite hitter who was appearing in only her third match of the season, then clinched the set with a kill.
Graff, who would finish the match with a career-high five kills, began a 7-0 run in the third set with a kill which sent Agre to the service line. Agre added two aces during the rally with Sawatzky, Sullivan and Hardesty contributing at the net.
A&M would continue to score series of points and outhit the Lady Vols, .531 to .156 in the set despite A&M coach Laurie Corbelli subbing in numerous players with limited playing experience. Overall, 15 A&M players appeared in the match, including Hannah Hood, Katelyn Labhart, and Graff, who all entered the match having appeared in five or less sets the entire season.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Vrana had come off the bench in the final set and posted a kill that put the Aggies up, 23-9. Tennessee got its final point with a kill before Graff countered with an authoritative kill down the line that put A&M at match point. Tennessee then hit into the net on the final play as A&M completed the sweep.
A&M returns to Reed Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to take on Auburn, and 350 pizza rolls will be given away to fans following the match. Auburn, which upset the Aggies in Alabama earlier this season, held a one-game lead over A&M in the SEC standings entering a Friday contest at LSU.
Georgia Earns 3-2 Come From Behind Win Over Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. – The Georgia volleyball team fought back from a 0-2 deficit to take a 3-2 (21-25, 10-25, 25-11, 25-17, 15-6) win over the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, Nov. 15 in Oxford, Miss. With the win, Georgia grabs a season sweep of the Rebels, marking the third sweep of a conference opponent this year for the Bulldogs. Georgia is now 19-8 on the year and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference action. Ole Miss drops to 13-14 overall and 3-11 in SEC play.
Brittany Northcutt picked up her eighth double-double of the season, recording a team-best 17 kills and adding 15 digs. Lauren Teknipp and Tirah Le’au finished with double-digit kills, recording 13 and 10, respectively. Kaylee Kehoe paced the offense with 25 assists, with Maggie Baumert finishing with 23. Elena Perri led the Bulldogs defensively at the net, finishing with a team-best eight blocks. Stacey Smith was second on the team with four blocks, followed by Jasmine Eatmon with three. Allison Summers led the team with 18 digs.
After dropping the first two sets 25-21 and 25-10, the Bulldogs found their offensive rhythm and made it a 2-1 match with a 25-11 win in the third set. Using the serve of Chloe Buckendahl, the Bulldogs raced out to an early 5-1 lead, grabbing two points off of Buckendahl aces. The Bulldogs strung together three-straight points to extend its lead to 10-3. Georgia maintained the lead and after a kill by Teknipp, Ole Miss used a timeout trailing 18-9. Following the break, Ole Miss got a kill from Aubrey Edie, but the Bulldogs answered with six straight points, including three on Northcutt kills to reach set point at 24-10. Teknipp sealed the 25-11 win with a kill.
Georgia’s momentum continued into the fourth set at the Bulldogs took an early 12-5 lead that forced Ole Miss to use a timeout. During the stretch, Georgia got four kills from Northcutt, along with kills from Le’au, Smith and Teknipp. Ole Miss made it a six-point set at 12-6, but Georgia got the point back on a service error by Ole Miss. Holding a 14-9 advantage, the Bulldogs put together three-straight points to give them a 17-9 lead. Trailing 20-12, Ole Miss rattled off three points that cut Georgia’s lead to 20-15 and caused the Bulldogs to use a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Bulldogs scored five of the final seven points to seal the 25-17 win and tie the match at two.
Georgia and Ole Miss traded points over the opening possessions of the fifth set, before a Northcutt kill sparked a 5-0 run that forced Ole Miss to burn a timeout. The run continued after the break, as two errors and a block by Perri and Le’au put the Bulldogs up 12-4. Georgia allowed just two more points before a Le’au kill and a Ole Miss error sealed the 15-6 set five win and the 3-2 come-from-behind match win.
Georgia returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 17 when it travels to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. Georgia is looking for a sweep of the Bulldogs, as it took a 3-2 win over Mississippi State earlier this year.
Alabama Volleyball Sweeps South Carolina for 21st Win
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mattie Weldy paced the Alabama volleyball team with 11 kills, as the Crimson Tide posted a 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-18) Southeastern Conference win over South Carolina on Friday night. With the win, Alabama improves to 21-7 overall and 8-5 in SEC play, remaining in fourth place in the conference standings. The Gamecocks drop to 12-15 overall and 3-11 in conference play.
Weldy was the only player to reach double figures in kills for the Tide, as Katherine White, Brittany Thomas and Krystal Rivers had seven kills each. White had a .417 hitting percentage with four total blocks including a solo and three assisted. Thomas finished the night with nine digs to match Kryssi Daniels for team-high honors.
Andrea McQuaid had four kills on seven attempts to hit .571 in the match, while adding six digs. Sierra Wilson chipped in the 34 assists and five digs, while Bria Green had a kill and eight digs.
Alabama finished the night with a .206 hitting percentage, while holding South Carolina to a .177 mark. Alabama was being out-hit .171 to .158 after two sets, before posting a .346 hitting percentage in the third set. South Carolina had six blocks compared to five by the Tide and Alabama out-dug the Gamecocks, 46-43.
South Carolina’s Juliette Thevenin led all players with 18 kills, after posting 16 kills through the first two sets, including nine in the first. Thevenin, who hit .310 in the match, notched a double-double as she also led all players with 11 digs. Dessaa Legros finished the night with 10 kills and Jacqy Angermiller led the Gamecocks with four assisted blocks.
After trailing early in the first set, Alabama went on a 7-0 run to take a 10-7 lead. The lead reached as many as four points (16-12) after a kill by Rivers and an error South Carolina’s Angermiller. The Crimson Tide led 24-20 before South Carolina went on a 5-0 run to take a 25-24 lead. A serve error ended the Gamecocks run, before Bama collected three of the next four points to win the set 28-26.
The second set saw the teams go back and forth until the Tide scored back-to-back points for a 21-19 lead. Bama’s biggest lead of the set for either team was 23-20, when a kill by Weldy gave the Tide a 3-point lead. South Carolina answered with three straight points, before a kill by Weldy and a block by White and Weldy ended the set for a 25-23 Crimson Tide win.
With the score tied 7-7 in the third, Alabama went on a 4-0 run thanks a kill by McQuaid, a couple errors by South Carolina and a kill by Thomas. South Carolina got as close as three at 18-15 following a kill by Legros, before the Tide stretched their lead to 23-17 following a solo block by White. After a Bama serving error, a hitting error by Legros and a block by Weldy and White ended the set with a 25-18 Alabama win, closing the match out in three sets.
Alabama will return to SEC play on Sunday when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the No. 5 Florida Gators. First serve for the match at the O’Connell Center is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. The match will be televised on CSS and ESPN3.com with Larry Vettel and Missy Whittemore calling the action.
Season-High 19 Blocks Fuels UK’s Sweep at Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A strong defensive outing from the University of Kentucky volleyball team, which included a season-high 19 blocks while holding Mississippi State to just .008 hitting, led UK to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 24-14) sweep Friday night at MSU’s Newell-Grissom Building.
The Wildcats (19-6, 11-3 Southeastern Conference) limited the Bulldogs (11-16, 2-11) to a .008 hitting clip, the lowest for a UK opponent since MSU hit -.026 on Oct. 12, 2012. The 19 blocks was the most since UK recorded 20.5 on Oct. 21, 2011 and the most in a three-set match in the 25-point, rally scoring era in Wildcat history. The three Bulldog blocks are tied for the third-lowest total for a UK opponent on the year.
“I’m really happy with our blocking, that was a huge advantage for us,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “To have 19 blocks in three sets is a big deal. Our offense wasn’t smooth, so it was great to be so effective at the net. The blocking of Zan and Whitney was really sharp tonight.”
UK posted a 36-28 edge in kills but was held to a .186 hitting clip. Kentucky notched three services aces and limited Mississippi State to two aces and five errors, while the Wildcats held a slight, 58-56 advantage in digs.
Morgan recorded a career-best 11 blocks, while Billings tied a career high with eight. Morgan’s 11 blocks are the most from a UK player since she notched 10 nearly a year ago, on Nov. 18, 2012. She added seven kills on .438 hitting, while Billings posted six kills in addition to eight digs.
For the fourth straight match, freshman Anni Thomasson led UK with nine kills. The reigning SEC Player of the Week also tallied 14 digs. Sophomore setter Morgan Bergren dished out 27 assists in addition to having eight scoops. Sophomore Kayla Tronick tallied three kills with a season-high four blocks and redshirt freshman Kelsey Wolf had five digs. Sophomore Shelby Workman came off the bench to post three kills with two digs and a career-high-tying two assists while junior Lauren O’Conner totaled four kills. Junior libero Jackie Napper notched 20 scoops with three assists.
Kentucky’s final roadtrip of the regular season concludes Sunday at Ole Miss. The Wildcats and Rebels square off at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The opening set was a back-and-forth affair early, with 12 ties and four lead changes before UK notched two straight points to take a 16-14 lead. It was the first two-point advantage for either team in the contest, and while the Bulldogs got within one twice more, the momentum was on the Wildcats’ side of the court. A 17-16 lead quickly turned into a 20-16 edge. Kentucky rattled off eight of the final 10 points to secure the 25-18 win. Morgan posted four kills on .571 hitting, while Billings and Thomasson each notched three. The Blue and White, with a 14-11 edge in kills, hit .270 and held their hosts to .075 hitting while out-blocking the Bulldogs by a 4-2 margin
It was another tight affair in the second frame, and the Wildcats found themselves down for much of the contest. After it took a 4-3 lead, UK found itself down, 7-4. Kentucky battled back, and after tying the set four times, finally took the lead at 16-15. An 18-16 advantage was the result of a 4-1 Wildcat run, and the lead quickly turned to 21-17. MSU wouldn’t give up though, and UK’s lead was cut to one at 21-20 and again at 22-21. That’s when the Blue and White tallied the final three points, the last two courtesy of Bulldog attack errors, to earn a 25-21 victory. UK hit just .114 in the frame with 24 kills, but it held MSU to .029 hitting with 22 kills and 10 attack errors. The Wildcats had seven blocks and did not allow the Bulldogs to have any. Billings, Morgan and Tronick each totaled three blocks.
The third set was capped by an impressive 9-0 run by the Wildcats to secure a 25-14 win and the sweep over the Bulldogs. UK’s 9-0 tally came on the heels of a 4-0 MSU run, which brought the Bulldogs to within one at 14-13. The two squads traded points before Kentucky’s match-ending streak. The run was fueled by two kills from Thomasson and a kill and service ace from Billings. Mississippi State also committed three attack errors, including the match-clincher. In the decisive third frame, Thomasson had six of UK’s 12 kills, while the team had eight blocks, six from Morgan. The Blue and White hit .171 with 12 kills, but once again limited the Bulldog offense to six kills on a -.067 hitting clip.
Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. The regional will get underway Dec. 13, with semifinal contests at 5 and 7 p.m. ET, while the regional final will commence Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. 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.
Auburn Volleyball Battles Back for Five-Set Win at LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. - In one of the most improbable comebacks anyone can remember, the Auburn Tigers fought off nine LSU set- or match-point chances and held on for a 3-2 win (26-24, 18-25, 18-25, 28-26, 15-11) in SEC volleyball action Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers (17-9, 8-6) hit just .122 in the match but came up with some huge plays at the most opportune times and fought off four set points in the first set and five match points in the fourth, then took an early lead in set five and never looked back.
"It was an ugly match on our side, and there's a lot of things we need to do a lot better," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "But the thing we were able to do was battle. We battled at some really important times. We stayed aggressive. And when you do that, you can earn some points. Again, it's not always going to be pretty, but I was proud of the way we battled through a tough match."
Auburn was down 24-21 in the first set and facing three set point opportunities for LSU, but kills from Courtney McDonald, Camila Jersonsky and a block by Jersonsky and Emily Klitzke tied it up, then two straight swings from Katherine Culwell gave the Tigers a first-set victory, 26-24.
Set four was an even more dire situation. Leading the match 2-1, LSU led the fourth game 24-20 and had four chances at match point. A Jersonsky kill and a Klitzke/Jersonsky block made it 24-22, and a controversial over-the-net call on an LSU swing that would have ended the match gave Auburn another lease on life at 24-23. From there, Jersonsky tied it up with another kill, then put down two more, including the set-winner, to send the match to a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth, Auburn jumped out to a 4-1 lead and never trailed, despite LSU pulling within a point at 9-8. Three LSU errors increased Auburn's lead to 13-9, and kills by Jersonsky and Culwell put the match away to give the Tigers their first win in Baton Rouge since 1999.
Jersonsky led the Auburn attack with a career-high 19 kills, including seven in the all-important fourth set. Four Tigers had double-doubles on the night: Culwell (15 kills, 22 digs), Kathia Rud (14 kills, career-high 21 digs), Chelsea Wintzinger (34 assists, 13 digs) and Alyssa Ivey (25 assists, 13 digs). Wintzinger moved into fourth place all-time at Auburn with 2,552 career assists. Stephanie Campbell also added 12 kills on the night.
Senior Sarah Wroblicky was a defensive standout in the match, posting a career-high 33 digs, the fourth-highest dig total in Auburn history and the most since the 25-point rally scoring era began in 2008. Wroblicky also moved within two digs of fifth all-time at Auburn; she now has 1,183 for her career.
The Tigers shattered the team digs record for the rally scoring era with 112, 15 more than the previous high of 97 against Georgia in 2007. It was just shy of the all-time, all-era record of 117, set against Central Florida in 1986.
LSU's defense, meanwhile, was spectacular. The purple and gold Tigers had 20 blocks in the match, including 10 from freshman Briana Holman, who had 13 kills for a kills-blocks double-double. Desiree Elliott had eight blocks to go with 13 kills, and setter Malorie Pardo had eight blocks with 50 assists. LSU also posted 111 digs with 32 coming from Katie Lindelow.
Auburn hit just .122 for the match, a season-worst in a winning effort. LSU was less than spectacular themselves at .172. Auburn had 67 kills to LSU's 60 and one more dig than their opponent (112-111), but LSU won the blocking battle 20-9.
Auburn will wrap up the weekend road trip Sunday afternoon in College Station, Texas, as the Tigers face Texas A&M at 1:30 p.m. Live audio and live stats will be available at AuburnTigers.com.