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Mizzou advances to second consecutive Sweet Sixteen

2189 days ago
Missouri Athletics
Photo: Missouri Athletics

WICHITA, Kan. - Mizzou Volleyball (22-11) punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 Saturday evening, following a 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24) victory over No. 16 Wichita State. The Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season and the fourth time in program history (2005, '10, '16-17).

Heading into this weekend's first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the 2017 Tigers were winless against Top-25 ranked opponents. Mizzou turned around its fortunes at the perfect time, earning victories over No. 19 Kansas and the No. 16 Shockers over its recent two-night stretch.

With the two wins this weekend inside Charles Koch Arena, Coach Kreklow earned career victories No. 599 and 600. He improved his 18-year collegiate coaching career record to 600-192 (.758).

#ShowMe Top Performers

Sydney Deeken: 15 kills, 16 digs, 4 total blocks (third double-double this year) Kira Larson: 13 kills, 2 aces, 13 digs (second-straight double-double, ninth this year) Courtney Eckenrode: 53 assists (back to back 50-plus assist matches), 12 digs (team-leading 11th double-double this year) Dariana Hollingsworth: 14 kills, 4 assists, 8 digs Alyssa Munlyn: 10 kills, 4 total blocks

Hear From Head Coach Wayne Kreklow

On tonight's win... "Obviously, we're thrilled to be able to get out of here with a win. It was a battle. It was one of those epic matches that could've gone either way. We knew coming in that if we could get by the first night against Kansas, we'd most likely face Wichita State the second night. It was one of those matches where every set could've gone either way. Both teams were making great plays. It was just a fantastic match."

#Mizzou Takeaways

  • Mizzou maintained its perfect marks this season with a pair of situational records. Following its victory over the Shockers, the Tigers are now 9-0 this year when leading a match 2-0 overall. Additionally, Mizzou is now 10-0 this season when holding a 2-1 match advantage.
  • The Tigers entered Saturday evening with a tall task, as the Shockers were one of the nation's hottest teams. Wichita State hadn't lost a match since Sept. 17 and hadn't dropped a set since Oct. 27. Mizzou was able to end both of the Shockers' impressive streaks with its first set victory and overall match win.
  • Following two double-doubles against Kansas in round one and three additional double-doubles tonight, Tiger individuals have amassed 35 total double-doubles over the program's NCAA postseason history.
  • Larson paced the Tigers in the impressive individual accolade, earning double-doubles in both matches this weekend (17 kills, 10 digs vs. Kansas / 13 kills, 13 digs vs. Wichita State).
  • With an electric crowd on-hand, the two teams produced nine ties and six lead changes over the first set. Mizzou looked destined for an easy opening set triumph, as it possessed a late 19-14 advantage. Wichita State stormed back, however, courtesy of an 8-2 scoring run. The Tigers had a run of their own up their sleeves to ultimately take the set, 25-23.
  • Seven Tigers produced a kill in the first set, leading to 19 total kills on .304 hitting. Mizzou's defense limited the Shockers to only 11 kills on .158 hitting.
  • After an impressive 19 kills in the opening set, Mizzou's offense one-upped itself with 20 additional kills over its second set victory. The Tigers' defense also remained tough on Shockers hitters, as they produced only 12 kills on .163 hitting.
  • Hollingsworth was electric offensively over the Tigers' second set win, tallying a team-best six kills on .455 hitting. Munlyn, Larson and Deeken were also strong with their attack, producing four kills apiece.
  • Hollingsworth's 10 kills through two sets of action secured her seventh double-digit kill match this season.
  • The Shockers' defense came alive in the third set, highlighted by five total blocks against Tigers attacks. Mizzou was limited to 12 kills (10 errors) on .057 hitting over its third set.
  • The Tigers' offense responded once again in the match-clinching fourth set, adding 18 kills on .317 hitting to their night totals.

Up Next

Mizzou advances to its second-straight NCAA Regional and will travel to State College, Pa., next weekend (Dec. 8-9). The Tigers will face No. 1 national seed Penn State in their Sweet 16 matchup. First serve next Friday is TBD.