Coming off a clean sweep in the Nevada tournament, the Missouri volleyball team lost their SEC opener at No. 10 Kentucky, 3-1, at the Hearnes Center. Since Sunday, Sep. 24, they have scored three straight road wins in-conference.
This was expected to be another strong season for the team, who shared the conference championship with Florida, last season. The 2013 team went 34-0 and won the first SEC championship in school in history. In the school’s sixth year in the SEC, volleyball has won two SEC championships.
In the preseason poll, Florida was named the conference favorite with 139 points, followed by Kentucky with 138 and then Mizzou, with 121.
On the 24th, the Tigers went to College Station to take on the Aggies, who were ranked 4th in the preseason poll.
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After dropping the first set, 25-21, the Tigers took the next three sets to win the match, 3-1.
Preseason All-SEC outside hitter Melanie Crow had 11 kills in the match and fellow first team middle blocker Alyssa Munlyn had a double-double with ten kills and ten blocks.
After winning down in Texas, the team headed to Alabama for a weekend two-step, taking on Auburn and Alabama.
Auburn was named fifth in the preseason poll, and determined to make life hard on the visiting Tigers.
The hosts took two of the first three sets before Mizzou rallied to take the match 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 27-25, 15-11). Munlyn, Crow and Kira Lawson all reached double digit kills while Courtney Eckenrode racked up 43 assists. Riley Sents got 21 digs, her second highest mark of the season.
On Sunday, the Tigers rang in October with a decisive 3-0 win in Tuscaloosa (25-17, 25-15, 27-25). Crow led the team with 11 kills while senior Sydney Deeken contributed eight more on 18 total attacks.
Next Sunday, the Tigers will welcome the Ole Miss Rebels to Columbia followed by the Mississippi State Bulldogs the following Friday. Currently the Gators and Wildcats are tied at the top at 3-0 while Auburn and Ole Miss are tied with Missouri for second at 3-1 early in conference play.