Missouri 3, Arkansas 0 Dec.
Missouri 3, Arkansas 0Dec. 3, 2005
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 10 Missouri Tigers held all the cards and all the aces Saturday night in second-round NCAA action against Arkansas. A season-high 14 service aces lifted the Tigers past the Lady Razorbacks, 30-25, 30-16, 30-11, in a three game sweep.
The service aces set a personal NCAA tournament record for Mizzou (24-4) who moves on to face the winner of No.7 Hawaii and Texas in State College, Penn. Arkansas fell to 21-12 on the season.
Junior Abbie Booth set a Tiger NCAA tournament record with six service aces, tying her personal best for the regular season, set Sept. 14, against Iowa State. The team's 14 service aces, shatters the previous Mizzou NCAA tournament record of seven, set against, Arkansas on Dec. 12, 2004.
In addition to the aces, Mizzou also set a Tiger NCAA tournament match record for hitting percentage, .505. The Tigers held the Lady Razorbacks to a .226 hitting percentage.
Mizzou had nearly five players with double-digit kill totals. Sophomore Na Yang led the way with 13, and was followed by senior Shen Danru (11 kills), senior Lisa Boyd (10 kills,) junior Jessica Vander Kooi (10 kills, 2 service aces), and junior Nicole Wilson (9 kills, 1 service ace).
Senior setter Lindsey Hunter had 46 assists, and also tallied three kills and four service aces in the sweep. Sophomores Kele Brewer and Christiana Lawrence led Arkansas with 10 and eight kills consecutively. Despite the strong effort from the Lady Razorbacks, Mizzou's service aces and 57-team kills proved to be too much.
Tied 10-10 in game one, the Tigers scored five straight, relying on two service aces from Booth, as well as kills from Wilson and Vander Kooi, to pull ahead 15-10. The Lady Razorbacks made sure the lead wouldn't last long, responding with a 6-1 run highlighted by two Brewer kills to tie the score at 16. Mizzou answered, scoring 12 of the next 17 points, aided by two kills apiece from Na and Vander Kooi. Again, Arkansas refused to give up, notching four straight points in the face of defeat. Mizzou senior Shen Danru's kill shut the door on game one, 30-25.
As the momentum began to shift, the Tigers ran with it, leading almost all of game two, and forcing a 19-10 lead on the Lady Razorbacks on the strength of two service aces by Vander Kooi and a game high five kills by Boyd. Down the stretch of game two, the Lady Razorbacks could draw no closer than 10 points behind. Late game service aces from Hunter and Booth propelled the Tigers to 30-16 game two victory.
By the time Arkansas scored their first point of game three, Mizzou had already scored seven. Three early service aces from Booth paved the way for a 9-2 run to open the third game. This forced the Lady Razorbacks behind what would become an insurmountable deficit. An avalanche of Tiger kills and service aces, and a Mizzou NCAA tournament game record for hitting percentage (.640) allowed the Tigers to take game three in dominant fashion, 30-11.
A crowd of 2,490 came out to witness the Mizzou sweep. The Tigers will now take their show on the road, heading east to the campus of Penn State University for their match next Friday. Currently a time for the match has yet to be determined.
Mizzou Head Coach Wayne Kreklow
Opening Statement "I think obviously we're really pleased with the way we played here tonight. Being able to come in and do what we did tonight against a very good Arkansas volleyball team was something I did not expect in the least bit. I thought the match would go like the first game, back and forth, both teams making a lot of great plays. I think the story of the match was the serving, I thought we just had a phenomenal serving night and I think in games one and two we consistently took them out of system and just made it really difficult for them to establish any kind of rhythm. I think you could see that wear them down and I think they lost momentum and lost confidence and it was just a really difficult situation for them to be in. But again very, very pleased with the way our players played and responded and just couldn't be happier with what these guys did."
On His Team's Performance "I think Lindsey did a nice job tonight of using both Lisa and Nic. Boyd hitting .714, Nic .538 that's unbelievable numbers for two middles. But again, a lot of that was because we had great passing, we had great back row play from Abbie, Tat, Shen, and Jess. A lot of times we had Lindsey in positions where she had a lot of options and I think when you give a good setter the ball in a good spot and give her a lot of options, a lot of good things are going to happen. Fortunately, we had enough balance and we have a lot of great hitters and it just really puts a lot of strain on the opposing defense when you've got several people at any point in time that can put the ball on the floor."
On her game plan "After watching tape, we were able to realize that there were a few passers that are a little bit inconsistent, so I was just trying to go for those people rather than going at the libero. That was No. 1 who I was going at because we knew that she wasn't a great passer."
On the Win "It's really satisfying. We are a really good team and we've proven it many times this year. We're really pleased to be going to the sweet 16 and I think we have a really good chance of getting even farther then that if we just play our game, so we're really satisfied."
On staying competitive "It comes everyday in practice, we can't get too complacent. I think we do a really good job of pressing on teams and not getting complacent, when as you saw in game three, we were up by a lot but we didn't settle down at all, we just kept pushing at them. That's something we really stress to just keep pushing at them. That's got to come everyday in practice, we have to recreate those situations and make opportunities for ourselves to do well next weekend."
Arkansas Head Coach Chris Poole
Opening Statement "I think Missouri played great. I think in game one we played pretty close and certainly I think they took it up a level in games two and three and we didn't match that level. We were competitive in game two with our hitting percentage but so many other things were lacking. Our blocking and passing were not very successful."
On the Missouri Fans
"I don't think the fans ever allowed us to get back in it. The fans were outstanding, and when we got down, they helped keep us down. We were not able to get back into the groove at all and that's not to say what they were doing on the court wasn't terrific too but we just didn't get our game faces on. The fans were outstanding keeping them motivated and keeping them into it. The most frustrating thing is to not be able to get control of things on our side of the net." Karla Crose On Missouri's serving
"They had really good serves. we normally get into a really good rhythm with our passing and they're serving never allowed us to do that. We set ourselves into a hole. They're a very aggressive serving team and we just couldn't do anything tonight." Christina Lawrence On the overall feeling
"It was pretty frustrating and it's hard when you don't think you've played as hard as you could have. They're a great team. They came out ready and just beat us."
On next year
"For the young players, the experience was important. I know coming here, I didn't know what the tournament would be like until I got here and saw how good the atmosphere was. I think this game will motivate us for next year."
-- Courtesy Josh Fowler, Missouri