Missouri used the highest-scoring game in its volleyball history to finish a sweep against Texas and continue its win streak.
The Tigers defeated the Longhorns 30-19, 30-26, 42-40 at Hearnes Center on Saturday. The victory was Missouri’s (13-4, 6-2) seventh straight.
Lindsey Noll moved outside for the first time this season, replacing Mary Lauren Smith who was out with an abdominal strain.
Smith aggravated an upper abdominal strain before Wednesday’s game at Kansas State. The strain affects her ability to swing on hitting attempts and her return is not certain, coach Susan Kreklow said.
Shen Danru said that Smith helped the team without playing.
“She gave us more information on the other team, and she always encourages us,” Danru said.
Although Smith is an integral part of the team, the Tigers’ strength is depth and if a key player gets injured, somebody is ready to replace them, Noll said.
Kreklow said she was impressed with Noll’s move from the middle. Noll was second on the team with 13 kills.
“You take a middle blocker and put her on the outside and tell her to swing at high balls,” Kreklow said. “That’s a really challenging thing for an attacker to do.”
Noll said her teammates had confidence in her and that helped her with the move.
“I was a little nervous in that I haven’t played the left side in a while,” Noll said. “I played outside last year, so I felt like I had experience and the coaches did a good job in preparing me.”
Missouri came out flat in the third game letting the Longhorns (9-7, 4-3) take control early and running to a 27-23 lead.
The Tigers responded with three straight points, causing the Longhorns to call timeout.
Texas missed on five game points before Missouri won the game on its seventh game winning chance. Wilson earned a kill to give MU the 41-40 lead and Godoi served an ace to finish the sweep.
“Any time you get down in the latter part of a game in rally scoring, it’s tough to come back,” Kreklow said.
“We just kept battling and stayed focus on controlling the ball which allowed us to run our offense.”
Missouri contributed to the early deficit by committing six serving errors in the game.
Danru missed a serve on one match point that would have tied it at 37. Lisa Boyd contributed two of the Tiger’s serving errors in the game.
“We’re going back there (to serve) trying to take them out of their offense,” Kreklow said.
“Going back there and serving aggressively, you will miss one or two, and hope that your team can play around them.”
After a double hit on Texas gave Missouri the ball with a 10-8 lead in the first game, Wilson served six points to give the Tigers control.
Missouri ended the game on a 21-11 streak.
“Our defense is just phenomenal,” Noll said. “They pick up everything. Our blocks did a good job setting up so our defense could get around them.”
Missouri’s defense continued to play well in the second game as the Tigers used a 9-2 streak to take the lead 26-20. Tomic, who entered the match ranked second in the conference in kills per game, had four in the first two games. She finished the match with 12.
Lindsey Hunter led Missouri with 49 assists.