Volleyball is a game of momentum.
Missouri defeated Kansas 30-16, 31-33, 30-28, 26-30, 15-10 in a match that was full of streaks Wednesday at Hearnes Center.
Kansas (10-5, 2-2) earned a 6-1 lead in the fifth game behind three Janaina Correa kills and Missouri (11-3, 4-1) called a timeout to calm down. The Tigers responded by scoring five of the next six points to pull within one and force a Kansas (10-5, 2-2) timeout. The balanced Tigers offense, featuring four hitters with double-figure kills, led the way. Lindsey Noll, Shen Danru and Mary Lauren Smith all had kills in the streak.
Coach Wayne Kreklow said his team displayed toughness in coming back.
“I’m very proud of the way they hung in, in Game 5,” Kreklow said. “It’s hard to come back. Hopefully, we’ve grown from that. That is a difficult thing to do whether you’re home or on the road.”
The Jayhawks came out of the timeout and earned a point on a Danru service error, her fifth of the night, to lead 8-6. The Tigers responded with another run, scoring five straight to gain the lead for good. After three Kansas mistakes gave MU the lead, Lisa Boyd and Lindsey Hunter teamed for a block and Boyd had two kills to win the match.
Hunter said the team carried their Game 4 struggles into the fifth.
“We said all we could say,” Hunter said. “But you have to do it with your actions. We came out slow and we didn’t expect them to come out as fast. Once we were down 7-2 we focused on it and showed a lot of heart.”
The fourth game was also full of streaks. Missouri took the lead 7-1, with Jessica Vander Kooi leading the way.
After a Smith kill and Sarah Rome missed long, Vander Kooi and Nicole Wilson teamed for a block. Kansas then scored as Wilson tipped a shot out, but Vander Kooi scored three straight points, with two kills and a block. Wilson finished the run with an ace following a Kansas timeout.
After a Wilson kill gave the Tigers a 25-22 lead, Kansas scored six straight and eight of nine to force the fifth game. Wilson, Smith and Vander Kooi all had hits into the net and Hunter was called for a double hit in the run.
Missouri took Game 1 with a 20-7 streak. Smith and Danru led the way with four kills each as the Tigers hit .450. The Tigers’ defense also was strong. They held Kansas to a .053 hitting percentage and recorded three blocks.
Missouri aided Kansas’ Game 2 win with eight service errors. Three of the service errors came in an eight-point stretch that allowed Kansas to tie the game at 26 after trailing 24-20. A Hunter service error gave Kansas a 31-30 lead and after a Smith kill to tie, the Jayhawks scored two straight.
Kreklow said the team didn’t make Kansas earn their points in Game 2, something the team focuses on.