Missouri makes early edge last against Otahkians

Friday, November 1, 2002

The University of Missouri volleyball team opened its trick-or-treat bags at the steps of the Show Me Center Thursday night.

Southeast Missouri State University could only let the Tigers choose what would satisfy them. The 21st-ranked Tigers picked away at the Otahkians and slammed the door in a sweep, 30-18, 30-19, 30-16.

"I felt like we played well," Missouri coach Susan Kreklow said. "We controlled the ball very well."

Southeast (13-11) showed signs of nervousness in the first game and had trouble settling balls that the strong Missouri front line was sending across the net. The Tigers (19-4) went ahead early and Southeast never closed the gap.

The Otahkians settled down and started the second game with a 5-4 lead before Missouri pushed ahead 14-7. Southeast called a timeout to attempt to string together a run before the Tigers could get too comfortable. Plan ruined.

"It's tough to rally against such a great team because they terminate the ball," Southeast coach Cindy Gannon said. "When we gave them opportunities, they took advantage."

The high-powered Tigers gave little hope to the Otahkians and let very little get over the net untouched.

"It's tough to get momentum when they are digging everything up and blocking every ball," Southeast setter Emily Scannell said.

The deciding third game went along the same line, with Mizzou closing out the match.

Southeast was led in kills by Sarah Frost and Jessica Houpt with eight apiece. Scannell had 29 assists and Emily Johnson helped out with 10 digs.

The Tigers were led by Lindsey Hunter, who had 40 assists and ranks second in the nation in assists. Shen Danru added 14 kills and Juliana Godoi contributed 13 digs.

"I wouldn't say intimidation or fear held us back," Scannell added. "It's an opportunity for us to play nationally ranked teams and in the end we are going to benefit from this."

The Otahkians will play at the Show Me Center again today as Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State visits for a 7 p.m. match.

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