By Eric Short
Taking a break from an up and down SEC schedule, the Missouri Tigers went out of conference and swept Arkansas State 3-0 on Tuesday night at the Hearnes Center.
In a game that Missouri coach Wayne Kreklow called a “must win,” the Tigers (17-8) disposed of the Red Wolves (17-12) easily, winning 25-15, 25-12. 25-17.
“I thought that was one of the better matches we have played in a while, we did a lot of good small ball plays that I was happy with,” Kreklow said. He added that the game set up the Tigers for a weekend that could make or break their postseason hopes when they play the No.13 Florida Gators on Friday and LSU on Sunday.
“This weekend is just going to be a bear and I think this was a great chance for us to challenge and push ourselves,” he said.
Missouri’s two big hitters, sophomore Whitney Little and junior Lisa Henning, set the pace. The pair combined for 25 kills, and Henning posted the match high of 14.
Henning is eager for a rematch against a Gator team that beat the Tigers in straight sets back in September.
“I’m pretty excited for this weekend. We’ve worked really hard, and we are ready to play Florida again.” Henning said.
Junior Molly Kreklow, who had 35 assists and 12 digs, stood out for the Tigers, along with sophomore Sarah Meister, who posted a match high 16 digs.
Wayne Kreklow pointed out that Meister’s played solidly in the back row in the Tigers ‘ last two victories and that she play a key role for Missouri to go forward.
Meister believed the game was a good tune-up, but she also pointed out that the Tigers need to work on a few things in practice before they take on the Gators.
“We’ve been minimizing our errors, which is good and we tightened a lot of things up.” Meister said. “Now we just need to watch some film and work on being able to read what the other team is going to do.”
Missouri will take on the Gators at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Hearnes Center.