Volleyball Wins Tiger Invitational

<i>Caitlyn Vann earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.</i>

Caitlyn Vann earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.

Aug. 28, 2010

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou volleyball team improved to 3-0 in 2010 after sweeping Utah Valley, 3-0 (25-18, 25-12-25-21), to claim its sixth Tiger Invitational Title at the Hearnes Center on Saturday (Aug. 28). Freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was named the Tiger Invitational MVP after spreading 109 assists on the weekend - 38 of which came in the Tigers' win over Utah Valley Saturday evening - as she averaged 12.11 per set over the weekend, a mark that currently leads all Big 12 setters.

Senior libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) was also named to the All-Tournament team after anchoring the Tiger back row all weekend. She pulled in 11 digs on Saturday evening to move her weekend total to 45, averaging 5.00 per set. Junior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as she finished the weekend with 22 kills on .362 hitting. She added seven kills to her ledger while hitting .429 against Utah Valley.

"I was really pleased with how we came out and played tonight," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "The third match of the tournament is always tough. We played really well at noon and mentally it is hard to regroup and get focused for that third match after playing so well. But I thought we did that against a really good Utah Valley team tonight."

For Kreklow, her weekend was capped off with possibly her best performance as she dished a career-best 38 assists. Overall, Kreklow dished 109 helpers on the weekend, pulled in 22 digs and had nine kills on .250 hitting. She also added two blocks, living up to the billing of Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

"What I noticed about Molly this weekend is that she just seemed to get more comfortable with the hitters as the tournament rolled on," Wayne Kreklow said after the match. "She just does so many things well - her defense is good, she reads well and she is really starting to get to know our hitters. We really felt that tempo that we need to feel in our offense today and she was a big reason for that."

Kreklow was not the only Tiger freshman to put together a solid weekend as classmate Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) finished the three matches with 31 kills on .319 hitting. Her 31 kills on the weekend were second-best on the team to only Preseason All-Big 12 honoree Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) who finished with weekend with 32 on .282 hitting. Ampudia finished the match against UVU with nine kills on .282 hitting, but that was overshadowed by the performance of classmate Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa), who led all attackers with 14 kills on Saturday. She also hit .355 and played well in the back row, corralling eight digs.

Another senior, Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) had a fine match at the net for Mizzou on Saturday as she had nine kills on .571 hitting with just one attack error. She also got caught in a back-row rotation for several long rallies and came up with six digs in the match, one off of her career-high seven which was set against Kansas last season.

Staying in the back row, Vann once again led the charge as she finished with 11 digs while Priscilla Armendariz (Blue Springs, Mo.) pulled in 10. Vann averaged 5.00 digs per set on the weekend. Every Tiger that saw time on the floor on Saturday finished with at least one dig as the Tigers reeled in a weekend-high 51 digs, limiting UVU to .178 hitting. Compare that to Mizzou's .340 clip, the Tigers seemingly controlled the net against the Wolverines throughout the match.

In all, the Tiger offense was the storyline of the weekend along with the play of Kreklow. Four Tigers finished the weekend with at least 20 kills while Wilson finished just two shy of that mark with 18. Both Ampudia and Henning finished with more than 30 as the Tigers hit .326 on the weekend, committing just 38 attack errors in 15 sets (2.53 per set).

Also earning a spot on the All-Tournament team were Nevada's Lindsay Baldwin, Maryland's Mary Cushman and Bethany Springer, and Utah Valley's Kat Stevens.

Mizzou will return to action next weekend as it travels to sunny Malibu, Calif., for the Pepperdine Asics Challenge. For all the latest on Mizzou athletics, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.



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