MINNEAPOLIS-No. 15 Mizzou volleyball saw his season come to an end with a Sweet 16 loss at No. 2 Minnesota, 3-1 (15-25, 25-21, 19-25, 14-25), on Friday evening in the Sports Pavilion, home to the second-seeded Gophers. Mizzou was led by 20 finishs and a double-double from senior Oh Carly kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) who ends her career with 1,677 finishs and 1,445 digs, ranking second and fourth, respectively, in school history. Mizzou ends the season 27-6, while Minnesota goes to 28-4.
Kan and the Mizzou senior class-Mb Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.), Rs Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Lou Ethridge (Blue Springs, Mo.)- ending their career as the winning four-year class in school history with 105 wins. They won two SEC championships and went to three NCAA Tournaments. The 27 wins on the year are the fifth most in school history and the senior class has three of the top five win totals in school history.
Melanie Crow (Wildwood, Mo.) added 12 finishs ,seven digs and two blocks and that threw in seven finishs.278 hit with two blocks and a pair of aces. Ethridge posted 19 digs, just missed her third 20 digs of the year, but it was her best four-set total of the season. Junior setter Courtney Eckenrode (The Woodlands, Texas) posted her seventh double-double of the season with 36 assists and 11 digs.
The second-seeded Gophers ran to an 8-4 lead early in the first set despite Mizzou getting a few early blocks. The Tigers made three unusual striking mistakes in the play, forcing Coach Kreklow to call the timeout.
Minnesota kept the foot on the gas going 15-7, but Mizzou cut the lead to 15-12 using back row strikes from Kan. But as quickly as Mizzou got back into it, Minnesota ran out a 5-0 run and that put the set away with the Gophers taking the first frame, 25-15.
Mizzou played better to open the second frame behind Kan’s strike and opened a 13-10 lead after a few strong serves from Kira Larson (Fargo, N. D.). Mizzou grew the lead to 14-10 from the timeout after a finish by Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.), but Minnesota scored the next five points and finished in the top 17-16. Mizzou then got back-to-back finishs from kan and Crow and an ace from that to open a 19-17 lead.
The trade of runs continued as Minnesota tied the set at 19-all after a few finishs, but Mizzou answered right back and that stole momentum, taking set two, 25-21.
After the break, Minnesota raced out to an 8-3 lead as it hooked up for finishs on the first six swings. Mizzou fought to come back in the set and came as close as 14-10, but the Gophers sidestepped from there and won the third, 25-19. Minnesota kept it going in the fourth set and walked away with a 25-14 set win to close the game.