Tigers beat OU in final home game

Thursday, November 25, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:25 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

It may have seemed like a routine blowout of a bottom-feeding team. But for the Missouri’s volleyball players, it was much more than that.

The No. 24 Tigers beat Oklahoma 30-18, 30-20, 30-18 on Wednesday at Hearnes Center in what was the final home game in senior Jenny Duitsman’s career, the last home game of the year at the Hearnes Center and the win that may have put the Tigers safely in the NCAA Tournament.

“This was a game we had to win,” Duitsman said. “Without this, we’d be kind of on the edge.”

The win gives the Tigers a 19-7 overall record and a 14-5 mark in the Big 12 Conference, with one game Saturday at Kansas State left in the regular season. MU, which is tied for third in the Big 12, will find out if and where it will play in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Oklahoma dropped to 11-17, 3-16.

Missouri had the Sooners on their heels for the duration of the match. They recorded only eight kills for the first game and couldn’t control many of the Tigers’ spikes. MU built early leads and ran away with all three games.

“At this time of year, anybody you play, particularly the teams that are out of contention, are extremely dangerous,” associate coach Wayne Kreklow said. “What we wanted to do is dictate the tempo early.”

Junior outside hitter Shen Danru led the Tigers with 15 kills and no errors for a .517 hitting percentage. She also had four aces. Oklahoma didn’t have oneplayer hit double figures in kills.

Duitsman, Missouri’s only senior, finished the first game with a kill on Senior Night. She finished with a season-high five kills.

0The only adversity the Tigers faced all night was at the beginning of the second game, when the Sooners took advantage of some Missouri errors and took a 5-2 lead. The Tigers quickly responded with an 8-0 run and the Sooners didn’t get closer than within four points for the rest of the game.

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