The Missouri volleyball team set multiple season highs against Colorado, unfortunately they were all in error categories.
The Tigers lost to Colorado 30-20, 28-30, 30-23, 27-30, 12-15 Saturday night at Hearnes Center.
MU (16-3, 10-3) had 51 errors on the night–28 attacking errors, 17 serving errors, and 8 blocking errors–all of which were season highs.
“I think the story of the night was too many unforced errors,” coach Wayne Kreklow said. “17 serving errors, that is outrageous. You are not going to beat anybody, let alone a good Big 12 team missing 17 serves.”
In Game 2, Colorado’s final two points came from MU serving errors.
Lindsey Hunter, a senior setter, said the team was being timid when they served.
“A lot of us are getting timid,” Hunter said. “After you miss one you go back there and get a little timid.”
Unforced errors often changed the momentum of the match and gave the Buffaloes (11-7, 7-6) a clear advantage. At times MU played its normal high quality game, but at other times the team looked like it didn’t deserve its No. 8 ranking when they hit the ball into the net or out of bounds.
“The cumulative effect of those unforced errors is like getting punched in the gut,” Kreklow said. “It just takes any kind of momentum and any kind of wind out of you. It allows the other team chances to get back in.”
Kreklow said one of the reasons the Buffaloes won was because they limited their unforced errors.
“Colorado did a good job in the games that they won of not making unforced errors,” Kreklow said. “We weren’t getting let off the hook like we were letting them off the hook.”
Senior middle blocker Lisa Boyd said that some of the team’s errors might have come from trying to hard to compensate for earlier errors.
“Things weren’t really falling for us tonight,” Boyd said. “Once you are behind, you kind of want your one serve, your one kill to put us back in the game and so I think we were trying too hard almost.”
Senior setter Lindsey Hunter also admitted it was an off night for the team.
“You can’t be perfect every game and every single ball,” Hunter said. “Tonight we were just off a little bit. We are working really hard physically, but mentally we are making a few more mistakes than we usually do.”
When the Tigers were not changing the momentum of the match with their errors, Colorado’s coach Pi’i Aiu helped to slow things down for the Buffaloes. Aiu argued multiple calls that paused the game and was given a yellow card in Game 4. Players said they were unaffected by his stalling tactics, but Kreklow thought it did.
“We are a rhythm team,” Kreklow said. “When he consistently stopped the game time and time again for extended periods you take that away us and I thought that had a huge impact on the way we played.”
Jessica Vander Kooi, a junior outside hitter, led the team with 19 kills, while Hunter had a team-high 13 digs.