COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Volleyball (18-3, 9-0 SEC) and No. 21 Kentucky lived up to the pre-match hype on Sunday afternoon, delivering a five-set thriller inside the Hearnes Center. The Tigers built an early 2-0 advantage, but the Wildcats responded later with two sets of their own. Mizzou ultimately claimed a 3-2 (25-21, 28-26, 16-25, 22-25, 15-12) match victory following its exciting triumph in the fifth and final set.
The Tigers extended their current winning streak to 13 matches and now stand with the SEC's lone undefeated conference record. Mizzou filled the stat sheet over its five set win, as four individuals finished with 10-plus kills, four Tigers topped double-digit digs and five players recorded 10-plus points.
Senior Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) had a standout day at middle blocker, tallying a career high 14 kills on .524 hitting. Thater also matched her career high in solo blocks (three) and matched her season high in total blocks (six). Sophomore Alyssa Munlyn (Suwanee, Ga.) also shined at the net for Mizzou, producing 11 kills on .421 hitting and eight total blocks (three solo).
Senior Carly Kan (Honolulu) tallied her team-leading eighth double-double this year, finishing with a team high 17 kills and 17 digs. Kan also added two service aces and one block, keying a season high 19.5 points. Five of her 17 total kills occurred in the Tigers' match-clinching fifth set. The Honolulu native's offensive outburst also moved her into 3rd place all-time in Mizzou Volleyball career kills (1,527).
Junior Courtney Eckenrode (The Woodlands, Texas) tallied her third match this year with 50-plus assists. The Tiger setter also added 12 digs on Sunday to secure her third double-double of the season. Junior Sydney Deeken (California, Mo.) stepped in at outside hitter today, recording nine kills, season high 11 digs and season high two solo blocks.
Senior Alexa Ethridge (Lee's Summit, Mo.) continued her consistency in the back row with a team-leading 17-dig effort against the Wildcats. Ethridge has paced the Tigers in single match digs a team-best 16 times this year.
Mizzou hits the road on Wednesday, Oct. 26, with a visit to Texas A&M. The Tigers and Aggies will compete beginning at 8 p.m. (CT) and the match will broadcast live on ESPNU. Mizzou returns home on Sunday, Oct. 30, with a contest against Mississippi State. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 pm (CT).