LEXINGTON, Ky. – Mizzou volleyball (3-11, 0-1 SEC) went toe-to-toe with No. 7 Kentucky (8-3, 1-0 SEC) in the first SEC match of the season, but a first-set comeback propelled the Wildcats to a razor-thin 27-25, 25-23, 25-22, sweep on Friday night.
Junior Anna Dixon led the Tigers once again, producing 14 kills to reach double-digits for the ninth-straight match. Graduate Brynn Carlson added another eight terminations while freshman Kayla Burbage chipped in six from the middle.
Kentucky had a trio reach double-digit kills with Azhani Tealer leading the Wildcats with 14. Madi Skinner added 12 and Alli Stumler 10 to help the seventh-ranked ‘Cats escape Mizzou’s upset bid.
Mizzou came out of the gates hot in the first set, building a 19-11 lead on the strength of four aces as a team and five kills from Dixon. Kentucky, however, found its footing and slowly chipped away, pulling level at 24-24 before eventually completing the comeback for a 27-25 set.
The Tigers would produce a comeback of their own in the second, erasing an 18-12 deficit to lead 21-20 before Kentucky capitalized on a service error at 23-23 to close out the set. Mizzou also led in the third, building a 19-15 edge before a 7-0 run helped the defending national champions eke out the sweep.
Anna Dixon: 14 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks
Brynn Carlson: 8 kills, 1 block
Kayla Burbage: 6 kills, 5 blocks
FROM THE BENCH
Coach Taylor on team’s fight and improvement…
“Although the result isn’t what we wanted, I am so proud of this group. Our girls trusted and applied their training and played courageous volleyball. This team is improving and we are looking forward to a week of training before our SEC home opener in Hearnes next week.”
- Freshman middle blocker Trista Strasser produced a career-high four aces in the match.
- The Tigers had nine aces as a team, matching their season high.
- Sophomore libero Emily Brown reached double-digit digs for a fourth-straight match with 12 against the Wildcats.
- Burbage’s five blocks marked the third time this season the rookie has produced five or more rejections. She is averaging 1.04 blocks per set on the season.
Mizzou returns home next Thursday, Sept. 30, and Friday, Oct. 1, to host South Carolina in the Hearnes Center. Thursday’s match is Gold Rush with free gold COMO t-shirts and free mac & cheese.