MO State HS Sports

Volleyball Splits Opening Day of Xavier Tournament

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CINCINNATI – The University of Missouri Volleyball team (6-2) split the opening day of the 2023 Xavier Tournament Friday at the Cintas Center. 

After falling to Buffalo (7-0) in the morning session, Mizzou swept Bellarmine (2-5) in its afternoon match. 

Buffalo 3, Missouri 0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18)

The Tigers dropped their opener to undefeated Buffalo to commence the Xavier Tournament. 

Dilara Gedikoglu led Mizzou with eight kills while Naomi Franco added a season-best seven on a .267. Franco, a Syracuse transfer, tallied six kills in the final set Friday morning. 

FIRST SET (Buffalo 25-18, Buffalo leads 1-0)

Buffalo opened the match with an 8-2 lead.

A 5-0 Mizzou run trimmed the lead to 10-8 with Maya Sands putting the pressure on the Bulls in the service area. 

Buffalo then regrew its edge to 16-11 to prompt a Tigers timeout. 

The Bulls then scored four of the final five points to take the frame, 25-18. 

Colleen Finney paced Mizzou in the opening set with four kills on a .667 clip. 

SECOND SET (Buffalo 25-19, Buffalo leads 2-0)

The second set started tighter featuring early ties of 5-5, 8-8, and 10-10. The frame in total had five same score lines. 

A pair of kills by Gedikoglu cut the margin to 14-13 and then 15-14. The outside hitter from Alanya, Turkey, had five rally stoppers during set #2. 

A block assist by Jordan Iliff and Finney after an Iliff rally stopper made it a two-point Bulls lead (18-16). 

The Tigers would come as close as 22-19 down the stretch before Buffalo increased it edge to 2-0 after three unanswered points (25-19). 

THIRD SET (Buffalo 25-18, Buffalo wins 3-0)

The Bulls kept their foot on the gas, starting the final stanza up 7-2. 

A kill from Franco coupled with a Buffalo miscue cut the deficit to 16-12.

The Bulls answered with consecutive kills by Katrin Trebichavska and Stacia Gollogly to rewiden the gap to 20-13. 

A pair of Buffalo errors then made the score 23-18 before the Bulls secured the match, 25-18.

Buffalo hit .341 as a team Friday including .409 in the third set. 


  • Graduate student Dilara Gedikoglu led the offense with eight kills, eight digs and two assists.  
  • Naomi Franco added a season-best seven kills (.267) with two digs. Franco recorded six of those seven kills in set #3 Friday.
  • Sierra Dudley passed out 15 assists with six digs.
  • Setter Sarah White, an Ohio State transfer, chipped in a season-best 12 assists with two digs (career high). She tallied nine in the third set. 
  • Maya Sands compiled 10 digs with three service aces. 
  • Madilyn Sell made her 2023 season debut, posting a kill in the third set. 
  • The volleyball match between Buffalo and Missouri was the first in program history. 

Missouri 3, Bellarmine 0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-14)

After dropping their tournament opener, the Tigers bested Bellarmine behind a 3-0 sweep to conclude the first day at the Xavier Tournament with a mark of 1-1. 

Jordan Iliff paced the Mizzou attack with 13 kills on a .290 hitting percentage. 

Morgan Isenberg (.462 and six blocks) and Janet deMarrais (.429) each chipped in seven kills against Bellarmine. Kimani Johnson added six kills on a .333 clip with two blocks and two digs.  

FIRST SET (Missouri 25-17, Missouri leads 1-0)

Mizzou jumped out to a 4-1 edge after consecutive kills from Isenberg. She had five (.571) of her seven total kills during the opening set. 

A 6-1 Tigers swing punctuated by a Maya Sands ace increased the lead to 10-4.

Back-to-back rally stoppers from deMarrais and Dilara Gedikoglu pushed the margin to 20-14 as Mizzou would claim the set on a 4-1 run (25-17).

Missouri hit a match-best .333 to finish with a team hitting percentage of .257 against Bellarmine. 

SECOND SET (Missouri 25-20, Missouri leads 2-0)

In the second frame, the Knights commenced with an early 4-1 edge. 

The Tigers responded with a 5-0 rally to pull ahead 10-6 and prompt a Bellarmine timeout. 

The Knights then utilized an 8-1 run to shift the tables in favor of Bellarmine, 17-13. 

Mizzou was unfazed and claimed the match with nine of the final 10 points to increase the Tiger lead in the match to 2-0. 

Gedikoglu had a pair of aces during a 6-0 sequence when the Tigers jumped ahead 22-19. Isenberg then blasted a kill before back-to-back Sands aces to secure the set, 25-20.

THIRD SET (Missouri 25-14, Missouri won 3-0)

The third frame was a dominating affair by the Tigers behind a .325 hitting percentage. 

A 6-0 run by Mizzou provided an 8-2 lead that grew to 16-5 after another six-spot by Missouri. 

Iliff connected on a kill to widen the gap to 20-9. She had seven kills during the final set on a .500 percentage. 

Kaylen Rush added a service ace to make the score 23-12 before a Knights service error wrapped the match at 25-14. 


  • Jordan Iliff paced the Mizzou attack with 13 kills on a .290 hitting percentage including seven (.500) in the final set. 
  • Morgan Isenberg (.462 and six blocks) and Janet deMarrais (.429) each chipped in seven kills. 
  • Kimani Johnson added six kills on a .333 clip with two blocks and two digs.  
  • Freshman setter Sierra Dudley compiled 31 assists and eight digs with three kills and an ace. It marked her fourth career 30-plus assist match. 
  • Defensive specialist Lauren Forbes grabbed a match-high and career-best 18 digs. 
  • Libero Maya Sands tallied 15 digs, five assists and three aces. She has now registered three aces on four occasions in 2023. 
  • The 3-0 sweep was the third of the season for Mizzou. 
  • The volleyball match between Bellarmine and Missouri was the first in program history. 


  • Mizzou next concludes the 2023 Xavier Tournament Saturday. The Tigers will wrap the tournament against host, Xavier, Saturday at 11 a.m., CT with the match streamed live on FloVolleyball. 


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics