In a matchup between two top-ten teams, No. 3 Kentucky dropped the first set but rallied to win three straight to secure a road victory over No. 9 Missouri in the first of back-to-back meetings.
Highlights!! ??? pic.twitter.com/cnuqaM6KzU
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) October 29, 2020
Missouri took the first set 25-23, an impressive response after losing last week’s SEC Defensive Player of the Week Tyanna Omazic to a brutal leg injury after the second point of the game. It sounded and looked horrible based on her several gut-wrenching “OMG” shrieks and her inability to walk off the court on her own. Even without her on the front line, Mizzou jumped out to an early lead in set one and held off the Cats to take an early 1-0 advantage.
The second set featured 68 total points in a thrilling back and forth as neither team could push ahead by two points. Kentucky’s Avery Skinner (of no relation to head coach Craig Skinner), the team’s best power hitter, played both the front and back lines down the stretch and eventually delivered the winning spike to give Kentucky a 35-33 win in the second set to pull even at 1-set apiece.
Kentucky played its best set yet in the third, controlling the scoreboard throughout, adjusting their blocking strategy while Avery Skinner helped put the Tigers away to give Kentucky a 2-1 lead. The fourth set wasn’t much different as the UK defense held sturdy up top and Missouri’s big hitters, Kylie DeBerg and Anna Dixon, struggled to dominate the way they did in the earlier sets.
Avery Skinner continued her rise into the national spotlight with another huge performance, matching her career-high in kills with 21 — a personal record she set just a week and a half ago vs. Tennessee — while Alli Stumler added 21 more kills of her own and 13 digs. Kentucky’s two star players were awesome in a resounding come-from-behind win in the first leg of their two matchups with ninth-ranked Missouri.
Thursday night, the ‘Cats play again at 9 p.m. on ESPNU for those who’d like to tune in!