After a perfect 4-0 weekend, the Missouri Tigers jumped to No. 17 in the AVCA Poll, their highest ranking of the season. For her performance in the Tiger Invitational, Andrea Fuentes was named the SEC Overall Player and Setter of the Week.
Fuentes has been fueling the Tigers’ offense, accounting for a minimum of 30 assists in every match this season. Fuentes tallied three 40-plus assist matches over the weekend at the Tiger Invitational. It is her second week in a row being recognized in the SEC Weekly Awards.
During the Tigers’ 3-1 win over Northern Iowa on Friday night, Fuentes posted her first career double-double, a 40 assist and 17 kill performance.
“This is a great honor for Andrea,” interim coach Joshua Taylor said Monday in a press release. “She’s doing a tremendous job of running our offense right now.”
The Tigers had a .396 hitting percentage over the four game weekend. That included a .526 hitting performance against UMKC on Saturday, that tied for the sixth best hitting percentage in a single match in program history.
“She’s giving our attackers a lot of great first balls and a chance to succeed at a high level,” Taylor said. “This past weekend, however, was a true team effort and I think we have a lot of players doing awesome things.”
Missouri’s offense has been flourishing because multiple players have been able to get involved. During Sunday’s straight-set victory over Boise State, Leketor Member-Meneh tied Kylie Deberg for kills, the first time all season Deberg didn’t lead the team in kills by herself.
This has allowed for a balanced offensive attack that keeps defenders guessing. It is the reason why the Tigers have now hit over .500 in three of their eight matches so far. The offense has been running so smoothly that the Tigers have yet to play more than four sets during their undefeated start.
The 8-0 start has also gained attention of coaches around the nation. The Tigers now sit at No. 17 with 528 votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll, almost double the 280 votes that placed the Tigers at No. 21 last week.
The Tigers can make an even bigger leap this weekend in what is perhaps the toughest two-game stretch of the entire season. The Tigers will head to Waco, Texas, to face two other undefeated teams, No. 5 Baylor and No. 13 Hawaii. Besides Missouri, there are only nine other undefeated teams left in the country.
The Baylor Classic begins at 6 p.m. Friday with No. 5 Baylor and wraps up with No. 13 Hawaii at 1 p.m. Saturday.