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    SEC Volleyball Roundup: Sunday, November 17

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

     

    No. 7 Mizzou Sweeps South Carolina to Remain Unbeaten

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The seventh-ranked Mizzou volleyball team pushed its streak to 31 consecutive wins after defeating South Carolina, 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-16), on Sunday afternoon. The win improves Mizzou to a national-best 31-0 and 15-0 in SEC play as the Tigers are now just one win shy of clinching the school’s first-ever SEC Championship. The win for Mizzou is also its 15th away from home, their most in the NCAA Tournament era, and remain as one of two unbeaten teams nationally. Mizzou rode a balanced offense, quarterbacked by senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.), as nine different Tiger attackers finished with kills.

    “The challenge for us today was having to travel and come back and play after a huge win at Florida Friday night,” Wayne Kreklow said. “A lot of times, teams can be sluggish or lose focus after a win like that but I thought we did a good job of coming out and setting the tone early. We now have a chance to do something pretty special Friday against Mississippi State, so I hope we can get a huge crowd at the Hearnes Center.”

    Kreklow set up a Tiger offense that hit .466 in the win while Mizzou’s defense, behind six blocks, limited South Carolina to .055 hitting in the win. Junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) led a middle-hitting trio that was unstoppable as she had seven kills on .636 hitting. She teamed with freshman middles Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) and Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.), who had a combined nine kills on 13 swings. Senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) added seven kills on .333 hitting and Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) had a nice match with six kills on .600 hitting. Kreklow spread 33 assists and tallied eight digs with a match-high three blocks in the win. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) also added eight digs. Mizzou forced 25 USC attack errors.

    The Tigers picked up right where they left off Friday night as jumped out to a 9-2 lead and continued to keep the foot on the throttle and opened a 16-5 lead behind a balanced offensive attack and a slew of South Carolina errors. Behind their efficient offense and a stout block, the Tigers ran away with the first set, 25-13. Mizzou hit .591 in the first set with 13 kills and no errors. Little led the way with four while Thater added three as the middle-hitting duo was unstoppable. Mizzou also had four total blocks in the first set, led by three from Kreklow.

    Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) got things started in the second set with a left-side kill and Mizzou pulled away midway through the set, opening a 12-6 lead before a South Carolina timeout. And again, Mizzou kept firing on all cylinders as the Tigers pulled away with a 25-13 set win. The Tigers hit .440 in the second set and subbed out most of its starters before the end of the set. Eight different Tigers had kills through two sets, led by five from Henning and Wilson with four from Thater. Mizzou had just two attack errors through two sets while South Carolina had 18.

    The third set was more of the same for Mizzou as it pulled away midway through the set at 12-6 and ran away with a 25-16 set win. The Tigers could clinch the school’s first-ever SEC Championship next Friday against 6:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center as they face Mississippi State. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter MizzouVB.





    Skinner Wins 200th Career Match as Cats Sweep Ole Miss

    OXFORD, Miss. -- Head coach Craig Skinner won his 200th career match as the University of Kentucky volleyball team earned its 20th victory of the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-21) at Ole Miss Sunday afternoon.

    In addition to Skinner’s 200th career win, all in nine seasons at Kentucky, UK posted its 20th victory of the season for the third straight year and the sixth time in the past seven campaigns. Skinner owns a 200-82 mark and sits nine wins shy of matching Kathy DeBoar’s all-time Wildcat win total of 209, set from 1984-92.

    “It feels good to be associated with so many great players and so many great coaches that have helped us get to this point,” Skinner said. “Kentucky is a great place and I’m honored to be the coach.”

    It was a hard-fought, tight contest for the Wildcats (20-6, 12-3 Southeastern Conference), in their final regular season road contest of the season. The match featured 27 ties and 8 lead changes. The Rebels (13-15, 3-12 SEC) became the first team to score at least 20 points in every set against UK in the Wildcats’ 13 three-set sweeps this year.

    “I thought we played fairly consistent most of the match,” Skinner said. “Our intensity and execution got better throughout the sets. We did a good job of closing them out.”

    The Wildcats hit .263 in the match with 44 kills while holding the Rebels to .137 hitting and 37 kills. Kentucky and Ole Miss each notched eight blocks and three service aces. UK led the Rebels to commit 23 attack errors to Kentucky’s 18, while the Blue and White held a 43-35 advantage in assists and a slight 37-35 digs edge.

    Senior Whitney Billings led Kentucky with 11 kills and contributed eight digs and two blocks. Freshman Anni Thomasson totaled nine kills with six digs, while senior Alexandra Morgan posted six kills on .400 hitting with a team-high six blocks.

    Junior Lauren O’Conner had nine kills on a team-best .412 hitting. Sophomore Sara Schwarzwalder tallied six kills with two blocks and sophomore setter Morgan Bergren notched 38 assists in addition to four blocks, three digs and three kills. Junior libero Jackie Napper had 14 digs with two assists.

    The Wildcats return home for the final three contests of the regular season, with outings against Texas A&M, No. 7 Missouri and No. 5 Florida. The Aggies come to Lexington Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. ET, while the Tigers play their first SEC match at Memorial Coliseum Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m. on senior day. The home, regular season finale is Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. against the Gators.

    UK held a 24-19 lead in the first set, but the Rebels held of set-point four straight times before the Wildcats sealed a 25-23 win. Mississippi closed the set with nine of 12 points before Kentucky’s 25th tally. The run came after a stretch where the Wildcats scored 12 of 16 to take a 20-12 lead. The frame opened with six ties and included a 3-0 run to give UK a 5-4 advantage, its first of the match. The Blue and White had 15 kills on a .333 hitting clip, while Ole Miss posted 14 kills on .276 hitting. Billings, Thomasson and O’Conner all had a set-high-tying three kills, while Morgan and Bergren each assisted on both of UK’s two blocks.

    The second set was a back-and-forth, tight frame which featured 11 ties and five lead changes. It was the final lead change that was the difference maker though, thanks to a 4-0 Wildcat run that put them up, 19-16. Kentucky scored the final two points to win 25-22, after Ole Miss again fought back to cut a four-point, 22-18 deficit to one at 23-22. Billings and O’Conner once again led the Wildcats with four kills each, while Schwarzwalder added three. Morgan had two of Kentucky’s three blocks. In the set, UK hit .167 with 13 kills, but held the Rebels to .024 hitting with 11 strikes.

    Kentucky trailed for much of the third set early, but came back for a 25-21 win. UK took a 1-0 lead for the first time in the match, but a 3-0 Ole Miss run gave the Rebels a 7-5 advantage. The Wildcats would not take the lead again until a 3-0 run of their own gave them a 17-15 lead. Ole Miss would get close, but UK’s lead never was lost. Thomasson tallied five kills on a blistering .833 hitting clip with three digs, while Billings had four kills. Morgan posted three kills and two blocks as Kentucky hit .303 as a team with 16 kills and three blocks.

    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. Tickets for the event are available now at UKathletics.com/tickets.

    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.





    No. 5 Gator Volleyball Rolls Past Crimson Tide for Tenth SEC Sweep of 2013

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 5 Gators notched their 10th conference sweep of the campaign, downing the Alabama Crimson Tide (25-21, 25-23, 25-17) Sunday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center behind the efforts of sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette.

    Mallette struck with a team-high 11 kills, her sixth double-digit kill effort in conference play, good for a .500 hitting efficiency on the afternoon. Mallette’s best two offensive outings in league play have come against the Crimson Tide, as she hit .600 with 10 kills in the first meeting between the two teams in Tuscaloosa Oct. 6. Florida’s defense rallied for 10 blocks against Alabama, including seven in the second set, tying for its third-most in SEC play.

    QUICK HITS

    · Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann had four roofs, her most since she had six against Arkansas on October 18. Mann also had six kills to notch nine points for the Gators

    · Mann is now just seven attacks shy (1,493) of being eligible for the NCAA career hitting efficiency record (min 1,500 attempts). The Florida senior boasts a .474 career hitting mark, ahead of current record-holder Penn State’s Arielle Wilson (.468)

    · Florida’s 10 stuffs were the most since 13 in the five-set thriller at Texas A&M Nov. 3. The Gators had a season-high 15 at Ole Miss Sept. 29th. Florida has now had double-digit blocks in seven matches in 2013

    · For the third time in Florida’s last four matches, junior Taylor Unroe has had two or more service aces, as the Gators’ libero had back-to-back aces in the third set for Florida’s 18th and 19th points. Unroe additionally had a team-high nine digs

    · Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette led the Gators with 11 kills and a .500 offensive clip. She added two blocks for a match-high 12.5 points, her fifth time in SEC play with12.5 points

    · Mallette’s .500 hitting efficiency was her second-best of the season next to the outing at Alabama Oct. 6 (.600)

    · Sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi recorded a .455 hitting efficiency, using six kills on 11 attempts with just one error. Antwi has hit .400 or above in four of UF’s last six outings

    · Senior setter Taylor Brauneis had a team-best 31 assists en route to Florida’s .341 offensive efficiency Sunday afternoon





    Georgia Reaches 20 Wins with 3-1 Victory Over Mississippi State

    STARKVILLE, Miss. -– For the second match in a row, the Georgia volleyball team rallied for a win, this time taking a 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18) decision against Mississippi State on Sunday, Nov. 17 in Starkville, Miss. The win completes a weekend sweep for the Bulldogs and a season sweep of Mississippi State. Georgia picks up its 20th win to improve to 20-8 overall that includes a 10-6 mark in Southeastern Conference play. It marks the first 20-win season for the Bulldogs since 2002. Mississippi State falls to 11-17 overall and 2-12 in the SEC.

    The Bulldogs had five players in double figures, with Brittany Northcutt leading the way with 14. Jasmine Eatmon racked up 10 kills and hit at an impressive .692 clip. Stacey Smith ended the match with 10 kills and a .500 attack percentage, while Lauren Teknipp recorded 12 kills. Tirah Le’au finished with 13 kills in the win. Kaylee Kehoe led the team with a season-best 35 assists, while Maggie Baumert finished with 26. Elena Perri and Eatmon led the team with four blocks each, while Northcutt notched her ninth double-double of the season by leading the team with 13 digs.

    After dropping the first set 25-18, Georgia rallied back to take the second set 25-18. Georgia eased out to a 9-4 lead in the second set, before MSU made it a three-point game at 10-7. Georgia answered by scoring four of the next five points that forced Mississippi State to call a timeout trailing 14-8. The teams traded points over the next several possessions until Le’au put down back-to-back kills that gave the Bulldogs a 22-14 lead. A service ace by Baumert gave the Bulldogs set point before a MSU error sealed the 25-18 win and tied the match at one set each.

    The battled continued into the third set, as neither team was able to take control until an 8-0 run by Georgia allowed it to take an 11-6 lead. During the run, Georgia got three kills from Teknipp. A Mississippi State kill broke the run, but Georgia responded with three more points to extend its lead to 14-7. Mississippi State recorded three-straight points that cut Georgia’s lead to three at 18-15 and forced Georgia to use a timeout. At 19-17, Georgia scored back-to-back points that allowed it to retake a four-point lead. The Bulldogs allowed just three more points before a kill by Le’au sealed the 25-20 set three win that put Georgia up 2-1 overall.

    The fourth and final set was another close affair until a Teknipp kill ignited a 5-0 run that put Georgia up 11-7 and caused Mississippi State to use a timeout. MSU got the next point out of the break, but the Bulldogs went on to score four of the next five to extend its lead to 15-9. Mississippi State cut the lead to three at 19-16, but Georgia answered with a pair of points to take a 21-16 lead. The Bulldogs went on to score four of the final five points to win the set 25-18 and the set 3-1.

    Georgia has a bye on Friday before hosting Texas A&M on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m., at the Ramsey Center. The match will be the first of a three-match homestretch that will conclude the regular season for the Bulldogs.





    Babers Leads Texas A&M to 3-0 Win Against Auburn

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas –- Texas A&M middle blocker Jazzmin Babers (pronounced BAY-bers) posted match highs with 10 kills and nine blocks to lead the Aggies to a 25-19, 28-26, 25-17 victory over Auburn this afternoon at Reed Arena.

    It was the fifth consecutive victory for the Aggies, who improve to 16-10 overall and 8-7 in Southeastern Conference play and also avenge a 3-1 loss at Auburn earlier this season. The Tigers fall to 17-10 overall and 8-7 in league play, dropping into a tie with A&M for sixth place in the SEC standings.

    A&M never trailed in the first set, committing only two attack errors and outhitting the Tigers, .286 to .143 in the frame. The Aggies used a 4-0 run -- including two blocks by Babers -- to build a 10-5 margin. Auburn would cut the lead to 12-10 before a block by Babers and Sierra Patrick sparked a 5-1 run by the Aggies. Stephanie Campbell had back-to-back kills to put the Tigers within 17-13, but it would be the closest the Tigers could get.

    Auburn hit wide on the next play and Aggie senior setter Allie Sawatzky followed with a kill. Senior defensive specialist Kelsey Kinley then recorded an ace to give A&M its largest lead of the set, 20-13. Sawatzky later gave A&M a 22-15 lead after sending a ball deep to the open back corner for a kill. Auburn then countered with a kill and then got within 22-17 as an A&M attack sailed long, marking the Aggies’ first attack error of the set. The teams began trading points, with Babers getting a kill down the line to put the Aggies at set point. Auburn blocked an A&M attack on the ensuing play before Patrick closed out the set with a kill.

    Babers finished with four blocks in the set as A&M outblocked the Tigers, 5-1.

    There were 17 ties and three lead changes in the closely contested second set. The Tigers had jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the start, but A&M fought back and took its first lead at 8-7 following a block by Babers and sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak. A&M later held a 13-12 lead after freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty hit high off the block for a kill, but the Aggies then committed back-to-back errors to return the lead to Auburn, 14-13.

    The Tigers used a 4-1 run to build a 20-17 lead and maintained a 22-19 advantage when Aggie sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan got a kill on the slide attack and Sawatzky followed with a kill. Following an Auburn timeout, the Tigers committed an attack error, knotting the score at 22-22. A&M served long but Sullivan tied the score once again with a kill on the slide. Campbell hit long on the next play, putting A&M at set point, but she redeemed herself with a kill to keep the Tigers alive, 24-24. Lowak then tooled the block for a kill, putting A&M at set point for the second time, and Auburn burned its second timeout, having been outscored 6-2 down the stretch.

    Lowak hit into the net following the timeout, but Babers put the Aggies at set point once again, getting a kill from the right-side pin. Auburn, which was outhit .300 to .250, fought off the third set point with a kill by Katherine Culwell, tying the score at 26-all. Babers kept the lead for the Aggies and put A&M serving for the set for the fourth time after hitting high off the block on the slide attack to put A&M up, 27-26. Sullivan, who had six kills in the stanza, then capped the win for the Aggies, stuffing preseason All-SEC selection Camila Jersonsky’s attack for the set-ending solo block and giving A&M a 2-0 lead in the match.

    Auburn scored the first point of the third set with a kill, but it would be the Tigers’ only lead in the frame. Babers gave A&M a 2-1 lead after teaming with Patrick for a block, and after Auburn tied the score with a kill, Babers gave A&M the lead for good with a booming, untouched kill to midcourt.

    The Tigers were within 12-11 before the Aggies went on a 5-1 run, with four of A&M’s points the result of Auburn miscues. Auburn, which was outhit, .345 to .050 in the frame as A&M once again limited its attack errors to two, got within 18-15 but could not get any closer. Babers later got a kill and followed with a block to put A&M ahead, 22-16. Following an Auburn kill, Babers countered with her 10th kill of the match, and Sullivan and Patrick combined for a block to put the Maroon and White at match point. Patrick then caromed a kill off the Auburn block to seal the victory.

    Babers finished with a career-high and match-high 15 points. The redshirt freshman was the only player to post double figures in kills, tying her career high with 10 while hitting .529. She also tied the team season high for blocks in a three-set match with nine, a feat she also accomplished in A&M’s SEC season-opening sweep against Georgia. As a team, A&M finished with a three-set season-high 13 blocks, while Auburn posted four blocks.

    Sawatzky dished out 33 assists, and senior libero Heather Reynolds had a match-high 16 digs as A&M outhit Auburn, .308 to .14, for the match

    Campbell and Kathia Rud led Auburn with nine kills apiece, and Culwell had a team-high 15 digs for the Tigers.

    A&M closes out the road portion of its regular season schedule next week, as the Aggies travel to both No. 17 Kentucky and Georgia Friday and Sunday, respectively. A&M concludes the regular season with a home match against South Carolina, Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. at Reed. It will be “Senior Day,” and A&M seniors Mariah Agre, Kelsey Kinley, Heather Reynolds, Allie Sawatzky and Ashley Vrana will be honored.

    Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter by following @AggieVolleyball.





    Ehrle's Career Day Vaults Volleyball Past Tennessee

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Emily Ehrle belted a season’s best 18 kills on a season-high .341 hitting percentage as the LSU volleyball team recovered from a slow start to secure a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Tennessee [13-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 15-13] Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    In the process, LSU (16-10, 6-8 SEC) put a season’s long three-match losing streak in the rearview mirror and earned its eighth five-set victory of the season. The Tigers also ended a four-match skid to Tennessee (9-19, 1-13 SEC) which dated back to the 2011 season.

    Ehrle, a sophomore transfer from Texas Tech, got her 18 kills on an efficient 41 swings with only four errors. Her previous season-high was 10 kills during LSU’s opener versus Texas-San Antonio on Aug. 30.

    “Emily did a phenomenal job and certainly is the MVP of today’s match,” head coach Fran Flory said. “I thought Malorie was able to find a great rhythm with her and found the tempo that we needed to find for Emily to be successful. Emily also did a great job of seizing the opportunity and added beyond the number of she kills she had with her mentality and trust with the fact we were going to win.”

    LSU’s offense grinded out 56 kills and overcame 33 hitting miscues en route to a .117 hitting clip compared to 53 kills and .110 hitting ratio for the Lady Vols.

    Malorie Pardo handed out 47 assists to go along with 15 digs to give the junior setter her seventh double-double in her last eight outings since Oct. 25.

    A key for the Tigers was an 18-11 blocking edge. Briana Holman equaled her career-best and was involved in 14 stuffs. The 14 blocks also enabled Holman to move past Julie Stempel (1988) and set a new program single-season mark for a freshman.

    Cati Leak provided 17 kills, nine digs and four blocks. She has ripped double digit kills in four of her last five matches. Off the bench, Khourtni Fears garnered seven kills and four blocks. Madi Mahaffey also chipped in five blocks.

    LSU’s back row was sparked by Haley’s Smith career-high 26 digs. It marked the sixth time in her career that Smith has collected 20-plus digs. She also converted on 20 of her 21 reception attempts. Lauren Whalen tacked on 11 digs, two aces and was flawless on her 22 receptions en route to her fourth perfect passer mark of the season.

    “Laura served extremely tough,” Flory said. “Aces are one thing, but she was able to able to get Tennessee out of system with her serve and create blocking opportunities for us. You have to credit our serving and our back row defense in our blocking stats. Haley had a strong effort. She did a great job of responding to what was in front of her and fought through plays by making key touches when we needed them most.”

    Tennessee was led by Jamie Lea’s 16 kills and five blocks. She had to work for her 16 spikes on 51 swings coupled with 13 hitting errors and was bottled up for a .059 attacking percentage. Whitney Heeres and Ashley Mariana came away with 13 kills each. The Lady Vols also received a double-double from Lexi Dempsey (43 assists, 15 digs) whereas Ellen Mullins sprawled out for a match-leading 27 digs.

    LSU travels to take on No. 5 Florida, the fifth ranked opponent the Tigers will face during the 2013 season. Friday’s first serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT with live audio and live stats available for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.

    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.