Volleyball Sweeps Mississippi State Friday

COLUMBIA, Mo – The University of Missouri volleyball team (14-9, 6-6 SEC) completed a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-18, 25-18) of Mississippi State (11-11, 4-8 SEC) Friday evening in front of a crowd of 3,114 at the Hearnes Center. It marked the third-straight home crowd of 3,000 plus fans.

The Tigers were led by junior Jordan Iliff’s double-double consisting of 15 kills and 13 digs. Iliff hit a season best .619 clip to go with two aces, two blocks and an assist. 

Graduate student Dilara Gedikoglu contributed 11 kills, three aces, two digs and two assists while connecting on a rate of .429.

Sophomore Janet deMarrais clocked 11 kills (.357) for her 13th straight match with double-digit kills. The Colleyville, Texas, product, added seven digs to go with a block and an assist. 

Senior Naomi Franco notched two kills to secure 500 in her collegiate career. 

Missouri hit a season-best team hitting percentage of .458. The Tigers hit over .345 in all three sets including a .625 in the third frame while committing just eight errors over the match. 

FIRST SET (Mizzou 25-15, Mizzou 1-0)

After trading points early, Mizzou gained an early 8-4 lead thanks to a pair of Gedikoglu kills as part of a 6-2 run for the Tigers, capped by a block assist by Iliff and Colleen Finney.

Missouri continued the rally, with back-to-back Iliff aces which gave the Tigers a 12-6 lead (4-0 run) and brought on the first Mississippi State timeout.

Mizzou continued to build onto its lead, with deMarrais tallying two kills over a trio of Missouri points to put the Tigers up 19-9.

Iliff then blasted kills on consecutive plays to give Mizzou a 22-12 advantage.

Finney hit her team-leading fourth kill to clinch the frame.

Iliff (.333) and Gedikoglu (.429) each chipped in three rally stoppers a piece as Mizzou hit .345 to commence the match. 

SECOND SET (Mizzou 25-18, Mizzou leads 2-0)

The Tigers and Bulldogs exchanged points early, with seven ties over the first 14 points. 

Mizzou rattled off five straight points with kills from Iliff, Dudley and deMarrais to climb in front 12-7. Gedikoglu also added an ace during the sequence. 

deMarrais added another kill followed by a Bulldogs error for a 15-9 lead heading into the media timeout.

MSU then compiled five of the next six points to cut Missouri’s edge to 16-14.

The Tigers would answer with consecutive terminations from Iliff and deMarrais before a Lauren Forbes ace to extend the margin to 19-14 and prompt a Bulldogs timeout.

A kill from deMarrais along with a pair of rallystoppers from Gedikoglu put Missouri ahead 22-17.

Three straight points, capped by a block assist by deMarrais and Madilyn Sell clinched the second set for Mizzou.

Missouri was led by deMarrais and Iliff (.833) who each had five kills in the second set.

THIRD SET (Mizzou 25-18, Mizzou wins 3-0)

A kill from Gedikoglu provided Mizzou their first lead of the set, 5-4.

Missouri then widened the gap to 12-9 after a 3-0 run that featured kills by Finney and deMarrais bookending a Maya Sands ace. 

Kills from Franco, Gedikoglu and Iliff then helped Missouri to a 15-13 edge heading into the media stoppage.

Out of the break, Missouri gained a four-point lead as Iliff registered her 13th kill of the evening, and Gedikoglu hit a pair of kills, forcing the Bulldogs to call timeout at 18-14 Tigers. 

MSU responded with back-to-back points out of their timeout trimming the deficit to 18-16.

Missouri then answered with four of its own, all kills courtesy of Iliff (2), Finney and deMarrais to take a 22-16 lead.

A deMarrais rally stopper brought on match point (24-18) before Franco hit her 500th career kill to complete the sweep of MSU.

Iliff helped lift the Tigers in the third frame with a match-high seven kills, connecting at a .667 clip.

GAME NOTES

  • Jordan Iliff completed her fifth double-double of the season, compiling a team-high 15 kills along with 13 digs.
  • Jordan Iliff hit a season best .619 clip to go with two aces, two blocks and an assist. 
  • Friday’s match marked Jordan Iliff’s seventh 15-plus kill outing of the year and extended her double-digit kill streak to nine matches.
  • Sophomore libero Maya Sands registered 20 digs for her 12th match of the season with 20 or more digs. The sophomore has registered 20 or more digs in seven of the last nine matches, including each of the last three contests.
  • Maya Sands also added three assists and an ace Friday. 
  • Freshman setter Sierra Dudley posted her 12th match with 40-plus assists with 43 Friday. Dudley also added two kills and two digs.
  • Sierra Dudley has now posted 30 or more assists in 11-consecutive matches.
  • Janet deMarrais extended her double-digit kill streak to 13, finishing Friday with 11 on a .357 hitting percentage. The Colleyville, Texas, product, added seven digs to go with a block and an assist.
  • Dilara Gedikoglu also notched 11 kills, hitting a season best hitting clip of .429. She also had three aces (career-best, ninth time), two digs and two assists.
  • Colleen Finney added eight kills (.429) from the middle to go with a pair of blocks. 
  • Naomi Franco notched two kills Friday to reach 500 career kills. She notched 479 kills over three seasons at Syracuse prior to transferring to Missouri.
  • Lauren Forbes chipped in three digs and an ace Friday.
  • Missouri registered a season-best hitting percentage of .458, the first .450-plus match since the Tigers hit .526 against Kansas City on Sept. 14, 2019.
  • The Tigers had four hitters (with 10 or more attacks) hit over .357 Friday. 
  • The sweep was Mizzou’s sixth in 2023 and third in SEC play. 
  • With two more wins, the Tigers can match their overall win total from 2020 (16-8, 15-7 SEC). 
  • With the win, Missouri moves to 16-4 all-time against Mississippi State.
  • The Tigers also improved to 10-2 against the Bulldogs at home at Hearnes. 
     

LOOKING AHEAD

  • Missouri next continues its five-match homestand at the Hearnes Center, hosting Georgia (15-8, 6-5 SEC) on Sunday. First serve is set for 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. 

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