COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou volleyball team earned its fourth-consecutive Tiger Invitational Championship after defeating Tulane, 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-14), and North Dakota State in the championship match, 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-17), on Saturday (Aug. 27) at the Hearnes Center. Tiger sophomore Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) earned Tournament MVP honors while both Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) and Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
In all, Mizzou hit .415 over the course of the tournament while limiting its opponents to .119 hitting. Kreklow led a balanced attack all weekend long as she averaged 12.42 assists per set while quarterbacking a Tiger attack that saw three Tigers compile at least 30 kills on the weekend. Sophomore Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way for the Tigers on the weekend with 47 kills on .402 hitting along with 23 digs and seven blocks. Wilson, making her Tiger debut this weekend, was nothing short of sensational as well, hitting .488 with 46 kills and seven blocks. Brimmage led the team with a .538 hitting percentage on the weekend with 33 kills and nine blocks as well. Freshman Katie O'Brien (Dallas, Texas) pitched in 23 kills on the weekend as well.
Defensively, Mizzou played well all weekend. The Tigers as a team averaged 2.50 blocks per set and 11.83 digs per set. Senior libero Priscilla Armendariz (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way with 44 digs on the weekend while freshman Jade Hayes (Ozark, Mo.) pulled in 30. The Tigers' block was led by freshman Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) who had 15, averaging 1.25 per set.
In game one Saturday against Tulane, the Tigers topped the Waves behind a strong offensive performance as they hit .407 in the win. Wilson led the Tigers in the match with 11 kills on .471 hitting and Henning also pitched in 11 kills, doing so on .391 hitting. Brimmage shined in the win over Tulane as well, tallying 10 kills on .533 hitting. Kreklow quarterbacked the efficient Tiger attack with 37 assists and a pair of service aces as well.
The highlight of the Tulane match came in the first set when Mizzou hit .472 with 19 kills and just two errors. After committing six errors in the second set and hitting just .292, the Tigers came back in the third and hit .429 en-route to a 25-14 set win, clinching the match, Defensively, Armendariz led the way with nine digs in the match.
In the nightcap, the Tigers topped North Dakota State in a battle of unbeatens, 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-17). The first set was tightly contested as Mizzou squeaked out the extra-point win, but after that Mizzou seized hold of momentum and controlled play at the net. The Tigers' second set was by far its most dominant of the tournament offensively as they totaled 17 kills on 33 swings without an error, good for a .515 hitting percentage.
Henning once again led the Tigers in kills with 13 against the Bison while pulling in 11 digs, good for her first career double-double. Wilson added 12 kills on .440 hitting and Brimmage once again was stellar with 11 kills on 17 errorless swings. Kreklow dished 39 assists in the win and had two more service aces as well.
Henning was one of three Tigers with double-digit digs as she was joined by Armendariz, who pulled in 11, and Hayes, who tallied a career-best 10. Mizzou also served tough on the weekend with 21 service aces, good for 1.75 per set.
Mizzou will be back in action next week as it takes on Middle Tennessee State on Thursday in Murfreesboro before taking part in the Blue Raider Bash over the weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.