No. 10 Volleyball stumbles at No. 11 Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri's Na Yang and Shen Danru combined for 35 kills to lead 11th-ranked Missouri over No. 10 Texas 30-28, 30-22, 30-28 on Sunday in Big 12 volleyball action at the Hearnes Center. Dariam Acevedo had 16 kills to lead the Horns, while Brandy Magee added 12 kills and four blocks in the loss.
The loss snapped Texas' (21-4, 15-3 Big 12) nine-match winning streak and also negated UT's ability to claim outright possession of second place in the Big 12 standings. Missouri (20-4, 14-4 Big 12) pushed its home winning streak against the Longhorns to six matches, dating back to 2000.
Texas, which entered the match second in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage (.178), allowed Missouri to swing for a .349 mark, the highest percentage against UT this season. UT had a .268 efficiency for the match, which was elevated by the team's .372 third-game performance.
UT out-blocked Mizzou, 8.5 to 4.0, led by Magee and Lauren Paolini, who each had four. Leticia Armstrong had three in her first match back after missing two with an injury.
Yang, who hit .258 with 14 kills in the teams' first meeting on Oct. 12 - a three-game Texas victory, exploded on Sunday, hitting .372 on 43 attacks with seven kills in the deciding game. Danru, who had six kills and hit .043 on 23 attacks in October, swung for a .458 attack efficiency on 24 kills on Sunday, and also had eight kills in the third game, including the game-winner.
Both teams' offenses came out strong in game one as the squads traded side outs until 6-7 Mizzou when Magee swung for two kills and combined with Paolini for a block to put the Horns up 9-7. The Tigers came back with a 3-1 run of their own to re-tie the score at 10-10 before Texas rolled out a 5-2 run to gain its biggest lead of the game - three points - at 15-12. However, the Longhorns had four attack errors in the next their five points to allow Mizzou back in at 18-17 before a Lisa Boyd kill tied the score at 18.
The teams traded five side outs but a UT attack error at 22-22 gave MU a one-point lead and after a Horn ball-handling error and a Danru ace put the Tigers up by three, UT called a timeout. The Longhorns came out of the break and put together a 5-2 run to tie the score at 27-27 and a Magee ace gave UT its first lead of the game since the teens. The lead was short-lived, though at Missouri came out of their timeout and scored the next three points to take the game, 30-28, capping it with an Abbie Booth ace on game point.
Missouri rode its momentum from game one into game two, jumping out to an 8-3 lead as Yang had three kills and Vander Kooi two in the run. UT rebounded with a 4-1 run to pull within two points at 9-7, but the Tigers responded with a 3-0 run to regain a five-point lead at 12-7 and then continued to build it advantage to eight points - at 17-9 - behind a 4-0 run. Christian helped UT claw back into the game, connecting to two kills and combining with Armstrong on a block to go with a Magee ace, as the Horns trailed by four at 17-13. After a Vander Kooi kill, Booth had back-to-back aces to put Mizzou back up by seven at 20-13.
Another 3-1 run but MU up by nine at 23-14, but Texas mounted a 6-1 run to again pull within four at 24-20, forcing a Missouri timeout. An Acevedo kill put UT down by three at 24-21 out of the break, but UT came back with a service error and Mizzou rallied with a 5-1 run to close out the game and take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
After pulling out to a 5-2 lead to open the third game, Texas let MU back in as the Tigers tied the score at 5-5. UT then used a mini 3-1 run to gain a two point lead at 9-6. After trading sideouts, back-to-back Christian kills put UT up by four at 12-8. The teams traded another series of sideouts and at 14-11 UT, Texas ran off three straight points to move ahead by six at 17-11.
Missouri rallied and used a 6-2 run to pull within two points at 19-17, forcing a UT timeout. Vander Kooi had an ace coming out of the break, and after a UT attack error and another Vander Kooi ace, Missouri took the lead at 20-19. Texas traded points with MU and then took a two-point lead at 25-23 after a Magee kill and a Magee-Paolini block, and Texas twice more had two point advantages. However, at 27-25, Missouri strung together four straight points to go ahead by two and hold game point at 29-27. An Acevedo kill saved one game point, but Danru connected on the cross-court winner to lead Missouri to the straight-set victory.
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 23, when they travel to Norman, Okla., for a showdown with the Oklahoma Sooners at 7 p.m. UT closes out the 2005 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 26, when they host top-ranked Nebraska in a 6:30 p.m. Senior Heather Schreiber will be honored in a brief ceremony before the match.