After coming off of a victory against Auburn, Tennessee was looking to tame another set of Tigers.
However, the Vols were clawed by Missouri on Friday evening, losing 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 17-25, 20-25).
The loss brings Tennessee’s record to 15-9 (5-6 SEC). This is just the second home loss for the VolleyVols.
Missouri (20-4, 11-1 SEC) was able to take the first set with a lot of help from Tennessee. Service errors plagued the Vols throughout the match, but were particularly troublesome for Tennessee at the beginning of the match. The Vols committed six service errors, allowing the Tigers to take the first set in comfortable fashion.
The second set was a different story, as Tennessee appeared to bring much more intensity and emotion.
“I think we knew our energy in the first set was good, but not good enough,” sophomore hitter Erica Treiber said. “We needed to step it up.”
And step up they did, as the Vols opened the second set on a 7-1 run. Although the Tigers rallied and eventually led 22-20, Tennessee maintained its poise and won narrowly, 25-23.
From there, it was all Missouri.
The Tigers took the third set 25-17. Once again, the Vols fell victim to mental mistakes, committing 11 errors in the third set.
The fourth set was much closer then the third. Neither team could grab the momentum, as the teams traded blows into a 12-12 tie. That’s when the theme of the night returned, as Tennessee’s errors allowed Missouri to string together a run that put the set out of reach.
“We knew [Missouri] is a very low error team,” Tennessee head coach Rob Patrick said. “And we knew if we were going to have a chance in this…we couldn’t make a bunch of unforced errors.”
The Vols committed a total of 25 hitting and 17 service errors on the night.
Even in a loss, Sedona Hansen —who was named SEC Freshman of the Week last week— continues to be a bright spot for the VolleyVols, as she put up another double-double with 45 assists and 13 digs.
Tennessee’s next game is at Texas A&M on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics