Mizzou volleyball did something this weekend in Wichita that it hasn’t done all season. Win a match against a Top 25 opponent. The Tigers did that twice this weekend to punch their ticket to a consecutive Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament. After defeating Kansas on Friday night, the Tigers improved to 22-11 following a 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24) victory over No. 16 Wichita State. It is the fourth time in the program’s last 13 seasons that Missouri has advanced to the Sweet 16. The other years were 2005, ’10, and ’16.
Also, with the two wins this weekend, Coach Wayne Kreklow earned career victories No. 599 and 600. He improved his career record to 600-192 (.758).
“We are thrilled to be able to get out of here with a win,” said Kreklow. “It was a battle.”
**Sydney Deeken: 15 kills, 16 digs, 4 total blocks (third double-double this year)
“When things get hectic we keep our huddle tight,” said Deeken. “That’s our thing, keep the huddle tight. Between plays, whether it’s our point or not our our point, we keep our huddle tight.”
**Kira Larson: 13 kills, 2 aces, 13 digs (second-straight double-double, ninth this year)
**Courtney Eckenrode: 53 assists (back to back 50-plus assist matches), 12 digs (team-leading 11th double-double this year)
**Dariana Hollingsworth: 14 kills, 4 assists, 8 digs
“I’m very very stoked about this win,” Hollingsworth said. “This is my first time getting into the Sweet 16. As a freshman, I’m really thankful that Wayne gave me the opportunity, and that he trusts me to carry a lot for this team.”
**Alyssa Munlyn: 10 kills, 4 total blocks
Mizzou must now fact the overall number one seed, Penn State in the round of 16. While Kreklow wanted to enjoy this weekend, he understands a tall task is ahead.
“They’re (Penn State) a fantastic program. They’re obviously number one. They’re big, they’re physical. It’s going to be a huge challenge without a doubt. I’m just happy that we get a chance to accept that challenge and go see what we can do.”