Volleyball suffers fourth home loss to Missouri



By Lamar Smith

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No. 18 UK (18-8) squandered a seven-point fifth-set lead as the Missouri Tigers (23-4) squeaked past the Cats (25-27, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 16-14). UK came in having won five of its last six before Sunday’s loss.

The five-set match was competitive throughout, with both teams alternating wins during the first four sets. The fifth set seemed to follow the trend of the previous four sets, and UK was going to close out the win on their home floor. However, this did not happen and the Cats blew a 13-7 lead in the deciding set by allowing the Tigers to go on a 7-0 run before winning the set and the match.

Kaz Brown, a sophomore middle blocker (12 kills and 5 blocks), talked about the disappointing loss and wasting a six-point lead in the fifth set.

“I mean in a game like that where you have that big of a lead, it’s definitely a mental thing. I don’t think we came with the correct mentality and I think we started playing scared at the end and I think that’s everybody on the court and on the bench so I think we just need to change the mindset,” Brown said.

Anni Thomasson and Morgan Bergren both had double-doubles. Bregren had 16 kills and 13 digs, while Thomasson had43 assists and 14 digs. Ashley Dusek had a match-high 26 digs and both Sharay Barnes and Emily Franklin had 8 digs.

“Missouri stuck some tough serves on us and got us out of system which kept us at times from doing what we wanted to do,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “We didn’t step up and change the momentum when we needed to and the bottom line is we need to be more competitive and more aggressive in those situations to not allow any opponent to do that to us.”

Coach Skinner spoke about the adjustments his team plans to make after losing as the Cats face Texas A&M at College Station after dropping the team’s previous match in a four-set loss at Memorial Coliseum.

“Well I have no doubt our team will be ready to battle on Wednesday night and I know they don’t want to feel that again so they’ll be ready to compete and get after it. It’s not physical or drills or skills, it’s about looking someone in the eye and saying bring it on and that’s what I think our team will do on Wednesday,” Skinner said.

A win against Texas A&M on Wednesday could move the Cats into a tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference with a 12-3 record.