No. 16 Kentucky will travel to No. 19 Missouri on Sunday, Sept. 29 for Missouri's SEC opener. Kentucky kicked off SEC play last night with a 3-1 win over Mississippi State at home.
In Friday night's match, Kentucky's Leah Edmond, who has been a key offensive weapon for the Wildcats lately, was taken out of the game with a lower-leg injury for precaution. In her absence, Alli Stumler stepped up with a career-high 20 kills, and Madison Lilley recorded a double-double with 43 assists and 11 digs. The win for the Wildcats extended their SEC winning streak to 26 matches, dating back to October of 2017.
Missouri was one of the final few teams that remained undefeated last week. That was before it traveled to the Baylor Classic. The Tigers lost to Baylor (3-0), and Hawai'i (3-2) for their first two losses of the 2019 season.
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Kylie Deberg and Leketor Member-Meneh command the Tigers' offense with 178 and 110 kills, respectively. They both recorded 20-plus kills against Hawai'i, becoming the first Tiger duo to do so in a match in three years.
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As of Sept. 25, the Tigers lead the SEC with a .348 hitting percentage; Florida is next in line, hitting .286. Though the Wildcats have hit .242 this season, they have produced more kills, assists and digs than the Tigers. The Wildcats also have many more attempts than the Tigers, but with that comes more errors. So, Missouri could have the opportunity to maximize on those attacking errors.
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Kentucky is 7-5 in the all-time series against Missouri, and won the last three meetings in a row. Last season, Kentucky was able to clinch the 2018 SEC Championship after sweeping Missouri 3-0 on the Tigers home court.
Before Kentucky's current 3-0 winning streak against the Tigers, Missouri won five of the six previous matches. The last time the Tigers won was three years ago, Nov. 6, 2016, in Lexington, Kentucky.