COLUMBIA — The Missouri volleyball team is on a small roll with its second sweep in a row.
A 25-15, 25-21, 25-17 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night at Hearnes Center improved the Tigers to 17-8 overall. On Friday, Missouri swept South Carolina in Columbia.
“I thought this was one of the better matches that we’ve played in a while,” Missouri coach Wayne Kreklow said of Tuesday's win. “We have been working really hard on small balls and ball handling in general, and I thought that tonight the kids did a really good job of controlling the ball.”
Kreklow went on to say that playing the Red Wolves was a nice break from SEC matchups for his team. He said that though Arkansas State is a good team, Missouri is going to need to step up their game for their upcoming matches against SEC teams Louisiana State and No. 16 Florida this weekend.
Sarah Meister, a sophomore libero for the Tigers, dominated against the Red Wolves, collecting a match-high 16 digs to go along with five assists and three aces while converting all 24 of her serve receptions.
“I think I played pretty well,” Meister said. “I always think I can give more and do more, but for the most part, I think I played pretty solid. I mean, overall, we all did.”
A few other notable players included junior Molly Kreklow, who made her 16th double-double of the season with 36 assists, 12 digs and three kills. Sophomore middle blocker Whitney Little made 11 kills on 23 attacks with no errors.
Wayne Kreklow said that Tuesday's game showed a great team effort, especially from players like Little and Meister, as well as freshman Lydia Ely and sophomore Jade Hayes.
Junior outside hitter Lisa Henning had another successful game, making 14 kills, six digs and three blocks during the match. Before Tuesday’s match, she was ranked No. 4 on the active kill leaders list in the SEC with 1,182. Henning is also on track to be the first Missouri player to make 500 kills for a second straight year.
“I try to focus on what we need to do to win and not self goals," Henning said. “I do what I can to help my teammates win, and if that means getting a lot of kills or getting a lot of digs, then so be it.”
With only six games left in the season, the Tigers still aren't sure they can qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s still going to be tough,” Wayne Kreklow said. “This (win) was a must-have, and going into this weekend, we’ll do the best we can and hopefully come away with one or two more.”
The Tigers continue their home stand at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Florida. They are set to face Louisiana State at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Hearnes Center.