The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Missouri rallies to defeat Alabama 3-2

1394 days ago
Missouri Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mizzou Volleyball (16-3, 7-0 SEC) posted arguably its top victory of the season on Sunday afternoon, rallying from a 2-0 deficit and claiming a thrilling 3-2 (16-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 15-12) victory over Alabama. Sunday's win marked the Tigers' first triumph this year after falling behind two sets to none.

Redshirt junior Melanie Crow (Wildwood, Mo.), redshirt junior Kira Larson (Fargo, N.D.) and senior Carly Kan (Honolulu) each posted double-digit kills to lead the Tigers' offense. Crow matched her career high with a team-high 23 kills, while Larson matched her season high with 16 kills.

Crow also tallied 16 digs, securing her 7th double-double of the season. Junior Courtney Eckenrode (The Woodlands, Texas) was fantastic at setter, recording a career high 57 assists with nine digs. The Tigers' strong defensive effort in sets three-five keyed the exciting comeback. Redshirt freshman Riley Sents (Grundy Center, Iowa) was outstanding off the bench, tallying a career high 10 digs. Senior Alexa Ethridge (Lee's Summit, Mo.) finished with a team-best 17 digs, marking the third Tiger with double-digit digs on the day.

The Tigers struggled across the board in the opening set, dropping their first set in SEC action this season. Mizzou tallied an uncharacteristic 10 attack errors, while Alabama's defense also produced three total blocks. Crow shined for the Tigers' offense, recording a team-high five kills on .500 hitting in the opening set.

Mizzou played significantly better in the second set, as it battled to the end with Alabama. The two teams tallied nine ties and four lead changes alone in the set. Mizzou's defense stepped up with three total blocks, while contributing to six Crimson Tide attack errors. Ultimately, the Tigers let a late three point advantage slip away as Alabama claimed a 25-23 set triumph.

Crow continued her strong match in the second set, recording six more kills. Through two sets played, Crow secured her 14th double-digit kill match this year. Larson recorded five kills in the set, serving as another big contributor on offense.

The Tigers and Crimson Tide's tradition of closely-contested matches continued, as the third set saw 13 total ties and eight lead changes. Mizzou trailed 23-19 in the set, before accumulating an impressive 5-0 run to set up set point. The Tigers had two more set points before finally closing an exciting 27-25 triumph.

Crow and Larson once again paced Mizzou's attack, tallying four kills apiece in the third set. Freshman Andie Hanus (Omaha, Neb.) played a key role into the Tigers' late comeback, as she served throughout their before mentioned 5-0 run.

Mizzou's momentum continued in the fourth set, as it held onto a comfortable lead throughout. The Tigers ultimately tallied a 25-20 set victory with a match-high .387 hitting percentage (15 kills). Crow secured her third 20-plus kill outing of the year after five more kills in the fourth set.

The Tigers tallied eight more kills on .350 hitting in the fifth set, wrapping up their strong attack in the final two sets. Mizzou's 12.0 total blocks against the Crimson Tide marked its ninth 10-plus total block outing of the season. Sophomore Alyssa Munlyn (Suwanee, Ga.) recorded a team-leading seven total blocks, leading the team in stops for the 14th time in 2016.