“First off, I would like to congratulate Missouri on their success this season and their SEC title,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Tonight was a good experience for our young team. We faced tremendous adversity but our ability to adjust and respond will only be building blocks for the future. I think we saw some things from our team tonight we can use to motivate going forward and other things that we must correct if we expect to close this season on a positive note.”
McVey’s 561 digs thus far in the 2013 season eclipsed her own record set a season ago at 558. The Magnolia, Texas, native also moved ahead of her current head coach into ninth all-time with 1,119 career digs.
Sophomore Taylor Scott quieted the 7,879 fans packed into the Hearnes Center with a kill on the first rally of the match and managed to keep the Bulldogs in the first set with four kills in the team’s first 10 points. MSU managed to frustrate the Tigers several times during the opening frame but Mizzou eventually pulled it out 25-19.
The Tigers quickly opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set and the Bulldogs were never able to close the gap although they forced MU into several errors. Missouri went on to claim the middle set 25-16 as Scott tacked on another four digs.
With the record-breaking crowd at their back, the Tigers held all momentum in the third set and claimed a 25-17 victory en route to securing the school’s first SEC title.
Scott finished with a match-best 14 kills (14-3-34, .324) to go along with nine digs and a block. Fellow sophomore Alex Warren posted five kills and three blocks, while Brooke Sassin earned a start and turned in five. MSU’s lone senior, Dani McCree, posted six kills and a block.
Freshman setter Suzanne Horner turned in 30 assists, two blocks, two kills and a service ace.
The Bulldogs will now travel to Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., for a rematch with the Arkansas Razorbacks (14-12, 7-8) Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. MSU dropped a three-set decision to the Hogs during opening weekend of conference play on Sept. 29.
After the weekend road trip, State will return home to face Alabama (21-8, 8-6) on Nov. 27 for Senior Night when it will honor McCree. The Bulldogs will wrap up the season Nov. 30 at Tennessee (9-19, 1-13).