36 points. That’s the number of points Missouri errors gifted to Ole Miss on Wednesday night during the Tigers’ four set loss to the Rebels.
The Tigers committed 36 errors in the match, a new season high for Missouri.
“Ole Miss played better volleyball than us today,” interim head coach Joshua Taylor said. “We were making bad swings and passes. We were not playing good volleyball.”
Taylor was visibly upset with the performance and explained that the Tigers will work on everything possible before their next match.
“I didn’t say anything to the team yet,” Taylor said. “There’s not much you can say in these moments that mean much. After matches like that, things I say will go in one ear and out the other because the players are already mad at themselves and they don’t need me saying much.”
The Tigers didn’t play bad all night. The Rebels stood no chance in the first set as the Tigers posted a .459 hitting percentage with only one error. Missouri led the entire set, eventually winning 25-18.
However, Missouri came out for the second set and struggled immediately. Eight hitting errors and two service errors quickly put Missouri in a hole they could not climb out of as they finished the set hitting only .182. The Tigers went on a 4-1 rally late in the set to close the gap to three, but lost 25-20.
“Ole Miss blocked well and it was hard to score points,” Taylor said. “It led to us making mistakes in transition because we tried doing too much.”
The third set continued the theme from the second. By the 12-6 mark, Missouri had already committed seven hitting errors and a service error, gifting Ole Miss eight points. The Rebels used this to their advantage to keep a three point edge the entire set, ultimately winning 25-22. The Tigers struggled to hit efficiently again, finishing at .162 for the set.
“We struggle a lot with ourselves when things aren’t going the right way,” Missouri outside hitter Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana said. “I feel like we took too long to regroup and come back together as a team.”
Missouri began the fourth set much like the previous two. A low hitting percentage and a combined nine errors made the Tigers have to work to catch up. Down 18-14, Missouri went on a run led by Kylie Deberg. The Tigers tied the set at 21-21, but two more errors and a block by Ole Miss put the Rebels ahead 24-21. However, Deberg led the charge again to extend the match into extra points. Missouri had set point at 27-26 but was unable to capitalize. Ole Miss ultimately won the set 29-27, ending the match.
“Ole Miss played a great match defensively,” Hollingsworth-Santana said. “They weren’t letting anything drop as opposed to us. We were not on it like they were.”
A right ankle injury kept the Tigers second leading point getter, Tyanna Omazic, from competing in Wednesday night’s match. The middle blocker hurt her ankle during Sunday’s match against Texas A&M in warmups and then again during the game.
“Getting (Omazic) healthy is important,” Taylor said. “Claudia (Dillon) did a good job but (Omazic) brings experience we needed tonight.”
Taylor said he expects Omazic to return for the Tigers’ next match.
With the loss, Missouri dropped to 2-2 in conference play and 11-4 on the season. Ole Miss improved to 4-0 and is now only one of two undefeated teams left in the SEC play. The other team is Kentucky., the Tigers’ only other SEC loss.
Deberg led the team in kills once again with 25. Hollingsworth-Santana finished second on the team in kills with 12.
The Tigers get the weekend off but will be back in action at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 against Auburn in Alabama.