Basketball begins, Homecoming is a success, and multiple Mizzou sports are in full swing.
October was full of a LOT of action from Mizzou athletics across the board, but being football season, of course that's where the attention is centered. It was a bittersweet month as the Tigers lost a game that crippled their chances for a bowl game all the while winning their first SEC matchup. This was when a lot of the grumblings from the SEC skeptics really kicked in, but I'll try my best to avoid fueling their fire.
Friday, October 5
Softball beats defeats Butler Community College 8-1 as Roth and Hudson power the Mizzou offense by combining for three home runs before suffering a disappointing loss to Jefferson College 4-2. Taylor Gadbois and Nicole Hudson recorded the only 2 runs for Mizzou, as Lindsay Muller gave up 4 runs on 6 hits.
Both of the men's and women's swimming teams placed first in the Show Me Showdown, with the women claiming 10 of 13 events and the men scored 630 points to win the 8th annual meet. The Mizzou swimming program would prove to be on the rise, with both teams being ranked in the top 25 throughout the season.
In what was probably the most exciting matchup for volleyball all year, the Mizzou volleyball team dropped a five setter to Tennessee in Knoxville. Whitney Little had her fifth 10 block match of the season, which was a new Mizzou career record.
The women's soccer team had an exciting 2-1 victory over Kentucky in overtime, with Alyssa Diggs putting up both goals for Mizzou. Mizzou was ranked No. 16 at the time and improved their season record to 11-2.
The women's tennis team opened play at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, with the only Mizzou victory coming for Maria Christensen in singles play. She defeated Maria Sant'Anna of Tulsa with scores of 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Saturday, October 6
The women's tennis team picked up two more singles wins with Maria Christensen and Alex Clark winning their matches against Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez of Arkansas and Margot de Haan of Stephen F. Austin.
So here we are at the Mizzou vs. Vanderbilt game. A game that I, like many other Tiger fans, went into with full confidence that we'd be picking up our first SEC victory and beginning our quest toward yet another bowl game. I started my journey to the stadium by grabbing some beers at Flat Branch and chatting it up with Vanderbilt fans, who were the least confident people I have talked to as fans of a BCS conference team. It wasn't necessarily that they thought they wouldn't beat us, it's that they didn't seem to mind either way. Not saying this is representative of ALL Vandy fans, but that was the impression I got from multiple groups, and I hope ole James Franklin can turn that around for them. Anyway, after about 3 Katy Trail Pale Ales and a couple Honey Wheats, we headed for the stadium.
Mizzou's James Franklin came out absolutely on FIRE, but sprained his knee in the first quarter and didn't returned for the remainder of the game. Mizzou held a 6-0 over the 'Dores (who didn't even have a first down until about halfway through the second quarter) until a safety put two points on the board for Vandy. The 3-2 Tigers were looking pretty solid, with the only points Vandy could score being a safety, but they just couldn't hold on. Mizzou fell to Vanderbilt 19-15 in a weird, sad, disappointing, and alarming game. Berkstresser stepped into the game and did not light up the world, completing only 9 of his 30 attempts for 189 yards (one of which was an 85 yard completion) and a touchdown. Those concerns would carry through the rest of the season as Franklin continues to battle injury, and this Vandy game is a pretty good microcosm of Mizzou's 2012 football season.
Sunday, October 7
Women's soccer defeated Mississippi State 2-0 in Columbia, and improved their season record to 12-2. This team was pretty damn good. Abi Raymer and Taiwo Adeshigbin scored the goals for the 16th ranked Tigers, and hopes continued to be high for Bryan Blitz's team.
After dropping the five setter to the Vols in Knoxville, the volleyball Tigers rebounded with a win over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Lisa Henning was just short of a triple double, and picked up her sixth double double of the season.
Tennis wrapped up the Razorback Invitational by losing all of their events that day. Yes, that sounded negative, but I'm still kinda pissed off after writing about that Vanderbilt game. DEAL WITH IT.
Friday, October 12
Softball picked up two exhibition wins, an 18-2 win over Crowder and a 10-2 win over Heartland. This is pretty much what should have happened, so not much else to say here.
In what was actually a REALLY, REALLY big game for the Mizzou soccer team, the Tigers traveled to Gainesville to take on the No. 9 Florida Gators. After coming out strong and taking a 1-0 lead off of a Taiwo Adeshigbin upper netter. That would be all Mizzou could put in the net while Florida found a way to get the ball in twice. The Tigers would fall to 12-3 overall, but this was still a pretty damn good team, and hopes weren't dampened too much.
Mizzou basketball held "Midnight Madness", in which Keion Bell put on a hell of a show dunking over SIX excited Mizzou students. There is a lot of buzz around this team and the amount of talent it has, and Keion made sure that buzz turned into a straight up boom as a half full Mizzou Arena about tore the roof off the place.
Saturday, October 13
In one of the most bizarre sporting events I've ever attended, the Missouri Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide battled it out in severe weather conditions, so severe that Memorial Stadium was evacuated for about 20 minutes and the sellout crowd of 71,004 was let back into their seats. Well, sort of. Actually, raise your hand if you went back in the stadiu-I KNOW YOU'RE LYING BECAUSE I WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE STADIUM. Right before kicking an extra point that would have put the Tide up 28-0 on the Tigers, there was a lightning strike pretty much right next to the stadium that forced the gameday staff to follow procedure and get everyone out of the stadium. When everyone was told they could go back in, maybe a few thousand returned to their seats. Those that didn't return missed a Marcus Murphy kick return that put Mizzou within 21, and a couple of good drives by the Mizzou offense that only netted three points. Mizzou ended up losing the game 42-10, but the experience was actually kind of cool. Wow, did I just sound like a loser saying that or what?
Sunday, October 14
The soccer team wasn't scared of the Tide, and avenged the football team (ha) with a 2-1 victory in Tuscaloosa. Dominique Richardson scored the winning goal in the game's final minutes, and the Tigers improved to 13-3 overall and 8-2 in conference play.
Mizzou volleyball swept the Mississippi State Bulldogs and improved to 14-5 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. Lisa Henning, an All American, led the Tigers with 14 kills.
Friday, October 19
The 16th ranked Mizzou soccer team fell 2-1 to those WPS Hogs at Walton Stadium. After leading 1-0 on an early Abi Raymer goal, the Hogs ripped off two unanswered goals to drop the Tigers to 13-4 overall.
The volleyball team lost to Ole Miss in Oxford 3-1, but Henning continued to be a beast with 21 kills and 14 digs. All American being All American.
Saturday, October 20
Mizzou swimming and diving was back in action as the men and women both claimed decisive victories over the Bears of Missouri State. The women won a 176-66 victory, which is uh, not close. The men were a little more competitive, but the Tigers still came out on top 131-117.
Mizzou football had a MUCH, MUCH needed bye week after playing Alabama the previous Saturday.
Sunday, October 21
Women's soccer dropped a disappointing game against LSU, losing 3-1 in Columbia. After Kaysie Clark scored Mizzou's only goal, there were many near chances in the last few minutes of the game, but none of the other Tigers of Missouri could get it in the goal.
Women's volleyball didn't fare any better, getting swept by No. 13 Florida in Gainesville. Whitney Little was the lone bright spot for the Tigers, posting a double double with 10 kills and 10 blocks.
Wednesday, October 24
The volleyball Tigers were swept once again by UGA. Henning and Little continued to be the stars for Mizzou, but without receiving any kind of assistance on offense from anyone else, they couldn't do enough to keep the Tigers from getting swept in their second consecutive SEC road trip.
Thursday, October 25
Kaysie Clark has found a knack for putting the the ball in the net, but the Tigers have found a knack for losing as the No. 24 Tigers dropped a 2-1 contest against No. 13 Texas A&M. Clark scored tied the game in the 82nd minute, but the Tigers couldn't hold as the Aggies scored the game winner in overtime.
Saturday, October 27
YAYGOODNEWS! It's Homecoming for Ol' Mizzou, and the pitiful Kentucky Wildcats were in Columbia for a brief visit. In a game in which Berkstresser started and struggled, Franklin finished, and Lawrence shined, the Tigers posted their first SEC victory EVER in front of a sellout crowd (who was still pretty pissed off about an early start). Lawrence rushed the ball 23 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and the only thing Kentucky could do was turn the ball over and continue to give him a chance to carve them up. The Tigers were actually kind of struggling in the beginning with Berkstresser under center, but James Franklin entered the game with a calming demeanor and righted the ship. We all made sure to enjoy this one, because it did keep bowl aspirations alive, and we Tiger fans weren't exactly sure how many more SEC games we'd win this season.
Sunday, October 28
Women's volleyball loses yet again, being swept by the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, and SURPRISE, Lisa Henning was about the only Tiger that played well. She posted 13 kills, and was pretty much the only offense Mizzou could muster.
Monday, October 29
BASKETBALL?! How is that already starting?! The Tigers opened exhibition play against Northwest Missouri State at Mizzou Arena with a 91-58 victory, and Keion Bell and Earnest Ross didn't tamper any expectations. Bell put up 20 points, and Ross shot absolutely LIGHTS OUT, scoring 22 and hitting 6 of the 10 three pointers he shot.
Tuesday, October 30
Women's basketball had a strong start to their season as well, winning their first game of the year 75-50 over Lincoln as Sydney Crafton led the way with 28 points. The Lady Tigers wanted to have a new look this season after an abysmal final season in the Big 12, and winning your first game (exhibition or not) by 25 points is a pretty good confidence booster.
Wednesday, October 31
Women's soccer allows us to end the month of October on a high note, winning their first game of the SEC tournament over Kentucky 2-1 in Orange Beach, Alabama. Notching the 14th victory of the season made the Tigers tie for second all-time for total wins in a season at Mizzou. Alyssa Diggs and Haley Krentz scored the two goals the Tigers needed to advance to face top seeded Florida on Nov. 2nd.