Mizzou vs. Kansas: Live blog of the Big 12 conference opener

Just got into Hearnes Center (a little early—the match doesn’t start until 6:30) and Kansas is out practicing on the floor. A couple of pregame notes to pass along:

  • For every ticket sold to tonight’s match, $1 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.
  • When Mizzou beat Fairfield last weekend, it was Wayne Kreklow’s 400th win as a head coach.
  • Mizzou ranks 17th in the nation in kills per set with 14.12. Lei Wang-Francisco and Kate Harris have combined to have 13.44 assists per set.
  • With 0.92 blocks per set, Amanda Hantouli ranks third on the Mizzou all-time list in that category.
  • Caitlyn Vann ranks second all-time at Mizzou with 3.81 digs per set. Topping the list is Tatum Ailes at 4.58 digs/set.
  • Mizzou leads the all-time volleyball series with Kansas, 46-33. Since the creation of the Big 12 in 1996, KU has won just four times in Columbia, with the most recent being 2007.
  • Four teams from the Big 12 are in the current AVCA top 25: Texas (No. 2, six first place votes), Nebraska (No. 8), Iowa State (No. 10), and Baylor (No. 24). Kansas State and Texas A&M also received the 26th and 28th most votes, respectively.

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Tigers take the floor wearing pink jerseys for the “Dig for the Cure” game. They look pretty sweet.

Good crowd filing in, and it’s nice to have the Point Mizzou band here too. Match starts in about five minutes.

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MU Men’s Basketball guard J.T. Tiller is getting in on the fun—a group of VolleyZou members have “NO CURE 4 JAYHAWKS” painted on their chests, and Tiller has 4 painted on his chest (that’s his # for the basketball team).

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On the floor to start: Ampudia, Medrano, Wilson, Vann, Klein, Wang-Francisco. Vann serving to get it underway.

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KU gets off to a good start, up 10-6 as Coach Kreklow calls for a timeout.

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Catie Wilson has once again played very well to start off this match with four kills so far. She’s been great since the start of the year and has already been key in bringing Mizzou back to being down just 15-13 going into a KU timeout.

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KU responded well to Mizzou’s rally and now leads 21-16. The set’s not over, though.

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Kansas takes first set 25-19. Catie Wilson (5) and Rosa Medrano (3) led Mizzou in kills.

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Quick start for Mizzou in the second set as the Tigers go up 4-0 into a KU timeout.

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First set stat notes:

  • KU hit .378 in the set while Mizzou hit .212. Given that KU’s seasonal hitting percentage is much lower, I’d expect them to fall back to earth as the match goes on.
  • Mizzou also didn’t have a single block in the set—something that’ll have to change as we get deeper into the match. As I typed that, Lei Wang-Francisco records Mizzou’s first block.
  • Catie Wilson hit .571 in the set. That’ll work.

6-5 Mizzou right now.

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Oh yeah, this set is going much better for Mizzou. Lots of good swings coming from the outside—especially Paola Ampudia. 11-6 Tigers as KU calls for another timeout.

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Kansas trying to make a comeback here. Mizzou went up 19-12, but a 4-0 KU run has cut it to 19-16 with Mizzou calling a timeout.

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Mizzou had a set point at 24-17, but a big KU rally cut it to 24-22 heading into a Mizzou timeout. Pretty impressive comeback by KU, but Mizzou is still just one point away from getting the set tied up at 1.

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And there it is—Mizzou takes the second set 25-22.

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Stat notes from the first two sets now:

  • Mizzou didn’t hit any better in the second set at .159, but KU hit just .024.
  • Paola Ampudia, Rosa Medrano, and Julianna Klein provided most of the offense.
  • Caitlyn Vann already has 10 digs, and she’s done a great job keeping points alive so far.

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8-6 lead to start the set for Mizzou—KU has had quite a few errors early on.

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Quick set going on here, with Mizzou holding a 16-15 lead.

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An ace by Catie Wilson puts Mizzou up 19-16 as KU finally calls a timeout. Contributions coming from all over in this set—a very nice team effort.

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A couple of errors by the Tigers have allowed KU to cut the deficit to 21-20 as a timeout is called by Mizzou.

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Real good set here—it’s now tied at 23 with KU serving.

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Paola Ampudia comes in with a huge kill to make it 24-23, but a net violation makes it 24-24. Win by two.

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Rosa Medrano with a kill to make it 25-24, but then hits it into the net on the serve. 25-25 now…

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Lei Wang-Francisco set Julianna Klein BEAUTIFULLY for two straight kills to give Mizzou a 27-25 win in exciting fashion.

Mad props to the crowd at Hearnes—on those last two kills, this place exploded. The decibel meter hit 107 after the kills.

So Mizzou will carry a 2-1 set lead into the fourth and possibly deciding set. This has been, to say the least, a very fun match. Great atmosphere, competitive volleyball…and watching MU men’s basketball player Kimmie English run up and down the aisles high-fiving students after Klein’s last kill was awesome to see.

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Stat notes from the third set:

  • Paola Ampudia came up big with five kills in the set to give her a total of 14 on the match. Julianna Klein also added five in the set to give her 10 for the match.
  • Mizzou hit .351 in the set, while KU hit .286.
  • The 3.0 team blocks Mizzou had were the most of any set today, with Ampudia and Amanda Hantouli leading the charge.
  • Catie Wilson is hitting .438 for the match. Again, that’ll work.

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After a slow start, the Tigers have picked it up. A Wendy Wang kill gave Mizzou a 9-8 lead and that was followed by a powerful strike by Julianna Klein to make it 10-8.

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16-15 Jayhawks. Kansas isn’t going down without a fight.

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Okay, Julianna Klein is absolutely KILLING the ball. Her last two kills have been really, really impressive. 19-18 Mizzou right now.

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Klein with another kill to tie it up at 20. She has 15 on the match now.

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Timeout Mizzou with the Tigers losing 23-21. These last two sets have been incredibly even, that’s for sure.

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A net violation ties it up! 24-24. This match has been craaaaaaaazy good.

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25-24 Mizzou now. Tigers will have the serve after the timeout. The point to make it 24-24 was one of the best points Mizzou has had all year just keeping the play alive and eventually forcing an error from KU.

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Tigers win by a score of 26-24 and take the match 3-1. H-U-G-E.

One response to “Mizzou vs. Kansas: Live blog of the Big 12 conference opener

  1. Pingback: A long—but fulfilling—week « JJ's convergence blog

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