A lineup change is all that Missouri needed to end its losing streak to Nebraska on Wednesday night.
Missouri defeated the Cornhuskers 28-30, 24-30, 30-25, 31-29, 15-9 at Nebraska Coliseum in a Big 12 Conference match.
Missouri (14-4, 7-2) had not defeated No. 8 Nebraska since 1982 and had not won at Nebraska since 1977. The win was the Tigers’ third against the Cornhuskers in volleyball.
The win ended a 44-match losing streak to Nebraska (15-3, 7-2) , but the Tigers said that they were not concerned about the streak.
“I think the kids feel good,” coach Wayne Kreklow said. “That’s always been one of the goals because Nebraska has always set the standard. ”
Lindsey Hunter said that the team had been playing well and hoped to defeat Nebraska.
“That was one of our goals to go for Nebraska, they’ve been No. 1 in the Big 12 for a number of years,” Hunter said. “This is awesome to finally defeat Nebraska.”
After dropping the first two games, Missouri made its second lineup change of the match and moved Lindsey Noll to middle blocker and Lisa Boyd to outside hitter and the Tigers started to play well.
Kreklow said that the difference in the match was finding a lineup that worked well.
“Moving one or two people may not look like much,” Kreklow said. “But when you get bodies out on the floor and having people playing next to each other that don’t normally it can change the dynamics just enough.”
Senior Juliana Godoi said the Tigers began the match showing too much respect for Nebraska and the hitters didn’t attack aggressively. The Cornhuskers entered the match leading the conference in blocking and earned 13.
“We were tipping too much,” Godoi said. “We were not making smart shots and were tight. Before the third game, coach Wayne told us to swing away and try our best shot because we had nothing to lose.”
Missouri set a season high with 106 digs, and three Tigers had at least 20. Godoi tied her career high with 22, Shen Danru tied her careeer high with 20 and Jessica Vander Kooi also had 20, a career high.
Kreklow said that Missouri had been building confidence leading up to the match, beginning with a five game defeat at Kansas State and continuing with a sweep of Texas without senior outside hitter Mary Lauren Smith.
Godoi said that the Tigers learned how to deal with pressure on the road against Kansas State.
“We learned from going five against K State,” Godoi said. “We knew where we made mistakes in the fifth game and we knew we couldn’t do it again.”
Kreklow said that winning on the road gives Missouri the confidence that it can also beat those teams at home.
“I think they feel good about doing it,” Kreklow said. “But I don’t sense the feeling of being overconfident in any means. I think they realize how difficult the Big 12 Conference is.”