Home-court advantage served Missouri well, as they topped Missouri St. in a sweep (30-27, 30-18, 30-26) to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers (23-4) and Bears (24-9) battled through the first 32 points of the first game tied at 16. MU then went on a 4-0 run and took six of the next seven points to get a comfortable lead and never trailed again, to win it 30-27. Tiger senior Lisa Boy had six kills in the game, while sophomore Tatum Ailes recorded seven digs. For MSU, Adeana McAfee had eight digs, while Katie Werges paced the offense with six kills.
In game two, it was also neck-and-neck early on. The Tigers and Bears were tied 11-11 before the Tigers pulled away again, winning the next six points to take a 17-11 lead. Missouri went on to win the game 30-18. Jessica Vander Kooi and Shen Danru recorded five kills apiece in the second game. Werges again led the way for MSU with five kills in the second game, while Erin O’Connor had four digs.
In the third game, it stayed closer later, but MU pulled out a 30-26 win. The Bears crept to within a point at 22-21, but the Tigers held off the Bears to get the match-clinching win.
Four Tigers finished with double-digit kills: Vander Kooi and Danru had 13 apiece, Nicole Wilson had 11 and Na Yang had 10. With Vander Kooi’s second kill of the game, she reached the 1,000 mark for her career.
Ailes finished with 13 digs and Abbie Booth had 10.
Erin O’Connor led the way for Missouri St. with the games only double-double—she had 13 kills and 15 digs. Katie Kreimer had 13 kills and McAfee had 13 digs.
MU will face Arkansas on Saturday afternoon at 5:30, to advance to the round of 16. The Razorbacks beat St. Mary’s .