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Defense ignored as key to volleyball

Defense is obviously a key part of every football or basketball game. In volleyball, however, it’s often overlooked.

But Missouri used strong defense to confound Texas A&M on Saturday night for its four-th straight victory. The streak gives the Tigers much-needed momentum before they trek to Austin, Texas, at 6:30 tonight to play undefeated and No. 9-ranked Texas.

MU golfers finish third at Bluffs

The Missouri men’s golf team finished third out of 13 schools at the Missouri Bluffs Challenge Tuesday in St. Charles.

The Tigers were tied for first with Miami of Ohio going into the final 18 holes, but Memphis, which entered the final round two strokes back, posted an 11-under 273 to jump both teams.

Smith thrives after change

Last season, Brian Smith provided Missouri with a speed rusher off the edge of its defense and the team named him freshman of the year, an honor he shared with fellow defensive end Xzavie Jackson.

After leading the team with eight sacks in 2003, Smith had none in the first two games this season and was making little impact for the Missouri defense.

Game 3 letdown Cougars’ lone slip

Columbia College volleyball coach Melinda Wrye-Washington could have been critical of the Cougars’ Game 3 performance Monday against Missouri Baptist.

It was the No. 7 Cougars’ closest game in their 30-18, 30-12, 30-26 win at The Arena of Southwell Complex. The Cougars fell behind 7-1 but came back to tie at 19. The Spartans also had a mini-rally after falling behind 28-22, scoring three consecutive points before losing the game.

Sooners out for revenge

The rematch of last season’s Big 12 Conference championship game looks like a good opportunity for Oklahoma to get revenge against Kansas State.

The Wildcats demoralized the Sooners 35-7 last year, ending Oklahoma’s perfect season and showing that the Sooners were not invincible before the Bowl Championship Series title game. Oklahoma then lost 21-14 to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, ending its chance to share the national championship with USC.

Missouri men’s golf team second at Bluffs Challenge after first day

The Missouri men’s golf team is tied with Miami of Ohio for the lead at 1-under after the first day of the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in St. Charles.

The Tigers shot the best score of the afternoon round with a 283.

Rucker thrives near goal line

Quarterback Brad Smith has found a reliable, big target down around the goal line in tight end Martin Rucker.

Rucker, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman from St. Joseph, helped jumpstart the Missouri offense, catching two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 30-10 win at Baylor on Saturday night. Rucker has caught nine passes this season, three of them for touchdowns.

Bad aim limiting Tigers’ scoring

The Missouri women’s soccer team fired 21 shots at the Iowa State goal, only to watch them hit the posts, hit the crossbar or fail to elude Iowa State goalkeeper Jo Haig. It was a frustrating end to a frustrating weekend for the Tigers, who fell to Iowa State 2-0 at Audrey J. Walton Soccer Complex.

Young & Restless

It was a key match for the Missouri volleyball team. After the Tigers easily won the first two games against No. 23 Colorado on Oct. 2, the Buffaloes made the third-game close.

MU had a match point at 32-31, but it looked like the Tigers wouldn’t capitalize. Colorado’s best outside hitter, Allie Griffin, leaped for a set on the right side and spiked the ball.

Tigers soccer unable to defeat Kansas

The Missouri Women's soccer team fell to rival Kansas 3-1 on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Soccer Complex, bringing MU's record to 5-7-1, 2-3-0 in the Big 12 and the ninth-ranked Kansas moves to 12-2-0, 4-1-0 in the Big 12.

Big 12 turnover

Missouri took control of its destiny, and it did so in unexpected fashion.

After entering the season known for offensive brilliance, the Tigers have relied on their defense to win and did again Saturday night, securing a 30-10 defeat of Baylor.

Just enough offense

WACO, Texas — After the defense’s lead, the Missouri offense recovered from a sluggish start to make Missouri undefeated in two weeks of Big 12 Conference play.

The Tigers beat Baylor 30-10 at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, taking sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference-North Division for the first time since the conference formed in 1996. The game was a big road win. The Tigers (4-1, 2-0) improved to 5-12 in away games under coach Gary Pinkel.

Highs and lows

Jason Simpson intercepted Dane King’s pass at the Missouri 45 and raced to the Baylor 9 before wide receiver Trent Shelton dragged him down with 2:27 left in the half. The interception was Missouri’s second on the night. Two plays later, Brad Smith found Martin Rucker for a touchdown to put the Tigers up 13-3.

Late start turns into slow start

WACO, Texas – Lost in the late start time against Baylor was Missouri’s quick offensive start.

For only the second time this season, the Tigers failed to score on their first drive and those struggles continued as Missouri scored only three points in the quarter. The Tigers went three-and-out to open the game against Ball State on Sept. 18.

5 keys answered

Missouri showed it could maintain focus with big games looming. The win helps Missouri build confidence before playing nationally-ranked Texas and Oklahoma State in its next two games.

Top performers

Kirsten Seaberg, Hickman: Playing in her last home match, the senior tennis player teamed with Amy Trae to win the deciding doubles match in a 5-4 victory against Hannibal on Monday.

Jennifer Bieberly, Hickman: The sophomore first baseman scored the Kewpies only run in a 4-1 loss to Eugene on Monday. After a single to left rolled beneath the glove of Eugene’s left fielder, Bieberly rounded the bases and scored on the play.

Hickey rolls, Bruins take 6th title

Kara Hickey won’t be seeking her fourth consecutive doubles championship.

Instead, the Rock Bridge senior is trying to become the first state singles champion from Columbia.

Tigers survive Aggies’ rallies

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.

Kewpies defeat Hazelwood East

Despite a 23-8 win against Hazelwood East Friday night, Hickman’s overall play paralleled the conditions of the football field it was playing on: sloppy.

The Kewpies racked up 14 penalties for 145 yards, turned the ball over four times and squandered three scoring opportunities in their opponents red zone.

Bruins victorious against Spartans

It took six weeks of hard work for Bruins sophomore receiver Brandon Gerau to finally have a break out game.

Until Friday, Gerau made 14 receptions for 289 yards, but his only touchdown came in the second week of the season, a 48-yard reception from quarterback Logan Gray.

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