Tigers survive Aggies’ rallies

Sunday, October 10, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:50 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

With Missouri’s lead cut to 19-15 in the first game of the night, a bad pass threatened to bring Texas A&M even closer.

Then sophomore Abbie Booth stuck her fist at the ball in desperation, sending it over the net.

The ball fell without being touched for an MU point. It was that kind of night for Missouri.

“She was so excited about that because it was her first kill (in her career),” senior middle blocker Jenny Duitsman said.

The Tigers won their fourth straight match with a 30-18, 30-22, 27-30, 30-21 victory against No. 15 Texas A&M on Saturday night at Hearnes Center.

Junior middle blocker Lisa Boyd had the Tigers’ best day. She finished with a career-high 21 kills and a .486 hitting percentage. Junior setter Lindsey Hunter had 68 assists, one shy of her careerhigh. For the match, the Tigers had a .331 hitting percentage and held the Aggies to .203.

The Tigers were also able to contain Texas A&M’s Melissa Munsch, who was a second-team All-American last season. Munsch had 13 kills and a .179 hitting percentage, well below her season average.

After Booth’s unconventional kill in Game 1, the Tigers went on a 10-3 run to close the game. The Tigers also won Game 2 handily.

“The first two games were awesome,” Hunter said. “The middles on the other side were guessing, and we were out-quicking them.”

But the Aggies came out well in the third. MU held a four-point lead twice, but A&M got a kill and a block from Munsch after the score was tied 27-27 and won.

“I think they probably got chewed out a little bit,” Duitsman said. “We had a lot of mental errors and hit too much into their block.”

The Aggies continued their momentum by taking a 9-3 lead in Game 4, but this time MU was able to fight back. The Tigers caught and passed A&M and finished the match on a 6-0 run.

The victory came in front of the largest crowd in MU volleyball history, 2,683. It was “Bust the House” night at Hearnes Center, in which the athletic department sold tickets for $1 each.

With the win, MU improved to 10-4 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference and took over sole possession of fourth in the Big 12 standings. The Tigers had been tied with the Aggies (8-5, 4-3) coming into the match.

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