COLUMBIA, Mo. - No. 22 Mizzou Volleyball (25-5, 16-2 SEC) defeated Tennessee on Saturday evening in the Hearnes Center, 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-16), clinching a share of the 2016 SEC Championship. The Tigers' superb regular season and conference title marks their second SEC Championship in the past four seasons.
Mizzou owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over SEC Co-Champion, Florida, and will earn the conference's automatic qualifier bid for the upcoming 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Mizzou dominated the opening set, claiming a 25-15 triumph over the Volunteers. The Tigers' offense accumulated 13 kills on .400 hitting and four aces to lead their attack. Redshirt junior Kira Larson (Fargo, N.D.) served tough with a team-high two aces. Three Tigers produced three kills in the opening set, led by sophomore Alyssa Munlyn's (Suwanee, Ga.) three strikes on .750 hitting.
In the second set, both teams competed well early with the score tied at 14 apiece. Mizzou responded with a 7-1 scoring run and looked primed to run away with the set. Tennessee wouldn't go quietly however, tallying a big scoring run of its own to even the score at 24 apiece. In extra points, senior Carly Kan (Honolulu) recorded a big kill, followed by a costly Volunteers error clinched a 26-24 victory for the Tigers.
Junior Courtney Eckenrode (The Woodlands, Texas) continued her climb up the Mizzou Volleyball record book, as her 23rd assist of the evening placed her sixth all-time in career assists.
Mizzou wrapped up its memorable night at Hearnes with a dominant third and final set. The Tigers produced 12 kills on .320 hitting to round another outstanding offensive attack.
Mizzou is primed to make its 13th NCAA Tournament since 2000. The Tigers learn their first and second round destination and opponents on Sunday, Nov. 27. Fans can watch the official NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Selection Show live on ESPNU.
Following Sunday night's NCAA Selection Show, stay tuned to MUTigers.com for the latest updates on the Tigers' 2016 postseason run.