WICHITA, Kan. - Mizzou Volleyball (21-11) reignited its rivalry with former Big 12 Conference rival No. 19 Kansas in its 2017 NCAA Tournament opener Friday inside Charles Koch Arena. The Tigers ultimately prevailed, 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-10), over the Jayhawks in a thrilling first round matchup.
The five-set victory advances Mizzou to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year. The Tigers have at least reached the second round of NCAA postseason play in each of their past four appearances (2013, 15-17).
• Kira Larson: 17 kills on .400 hitting, 10 digs (eighth double-double this season) • Sydney Deeken: 12 kills, 9 digs, 2 total blocks • Dariana Hollingsworth: 11 kills, season-high 19 digs (fourth double-double this year) • Courtney Eckenrode: 50 assists, 2 kills, 9 digs • Alyssa Munlyn: 11 kills on .304 hitting, 2 total blocks
Hear From Head Coach Wayne Kreklow - On tonight's victory over the Jayhawks...
"Obviously, we're really happy with the outcome. Kansas is a great team. You always know that when you play Kansas, they're going to be really well prepared and play well. If you're going to beat them then you'll truly have to beat them. You can't give sets away. I thought our players did a real nice job of making big plays when they had to down the stretch. I was really proud of our resiliency tonight and our will to fight. It was a good team win."
• Down 21-18 in the first set, Mizzou bounced back with a 7-2 scoring run en route to the set victory. Munlyn, Larson and Deeken all tallied four kills over the Tigers' opening set win.
• Kansas quickly evened the match at one set apiece following a dominant 25-15 second set triumph. Mizzou's offense struggled from the get go and ultimately produced 10 attack errors over the set.
• The Tigers returned the favor in the third set, however, and recorded an identical 25-15 set victory. Mizzou's offense performed a 180 and tallied a match-high 18 kills on .417 hitting.
• Kansas wouldn't go quietly however, as it evened the match at two apiece following a 25-20 fourth set win. The Jayhawks recorded 17 kills on .400 hitting en route to their victory.
• Aided by a quick 5-1 advantage in the fifth and deciding set, Mizzou set the tone early against Kansas in the closing moments. The Tigers never led by less than three points in the final set and ultimately closed out the Jayhawks, 15-10.
• Larson's team-leading 17 kills marked her 11th double-digit kill match of the season. The Fargo, N.D., native's 10 digs also secured her eighth double-double this year, ranking second-most on the team.
• Eckenrode eclipsed 50 assists for the second time this season and the first time since Aug. 26 against Northern Iowa.
• Kayla Caffey paced Mizzou Friday evening with four total blocks, moving her 2017 season total to 127. That figure moves Caffey into the Top-10 in all-time individual single-season total blocks in program history.
• With four kills, Melanie Crow surpassed 1,300 over her four-year career at Ole Miss and Mizzou (2013-17).
• Entering Friday, Mizzou possessed a winless 0-6 record against nationally ranked AVCA Top-25 teams this season. The Tigers finally broke through with their win tonight against the No. 19 Jayhawks.