Sept. 4, 2010
MALIBU, Calif. - The Mizzou volleyball team improved to 5-0 in 2010 after sweeping Rice, 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25), in match four of the Pepperdine Asics Challenge on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 4) at Firestone Fieldhouse. The sweep is the Tigers' fifth of the season and they hit .357, marking the fourth straight match that they have eclipsed the .300 mark.
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) dished a career-best 47 assists, including a career single-set high 18 in the second set, as she quarterbacked a Tiger offense that got kills from seven different attackers. Even libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) was credited with a kill as an overpass found the floor in the third set.
Leading the Tiger offense was senior Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) as she notched 15 kills on 32 swings with only four errors, good for a .344 clip. Fellow outside hitter Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) finished the match with 14 kills on .393 hitting as she had just three errors on 28 attacks. Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) added 10 kills on .381 hitting. In fact, six Tiger hitters finished with attack percentages better than .300.
The Tiger back row was also a high-point in the match as it corralled 51 digs in the match, 18 of which came from Vann. Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) pitched in 10 more digs while Kreklow finished one shy of her second career double-double with nine. Klein also had seven kills without an error on 21 attacks.
Mizzou began the match by winning the first set, 25-18, on a balanced offensive attack that was led by Ampudia, who finished the set with four kills on five total attacks, good for a .600 attack percentage. Henning also pitched in four kills while Klein added three on five errorless attacks. The Tiger back row also collected 15 digs in the set while limiting the Owls to .167 hitting. Kreklow dished 14 assists in the first set, anchoring a Mizzou offense that hit .281.
Kreklow led an even more impressive offensive attack in the second set as she dished 18 assists - pushing her match total to 32 - while quarterbacking a Mizzou offense that his .450 in the frame, totaling 19 kills on 40 attacks with just one error. Ampudia continued to lead the charge for the Tigers in the second frame as she totaled six kills on 15 attacks without an error. That offensive attack was all the Tigers needed to pull away from Rice, 25-21, in the second.
The Tigers were locked in a tight one with Rice in the third set and actually trailed 24-21. But Mizzou rallied to come within a point and the biggest play of the match came with the Tigers trailing 24-23. Three straight times, Rice saw its left side hitter facing the solo block of Ampudia and the first two times she neutralized the attack until the third time when she sent a solo block back to the floor, evening the score at 24. Mizzou won three of the next four points from there and claimed the final set, 27-25, earning the match win.
Mizzou will play Pepperdine at 9:30 (CT) for the Pepperdine Asics Challenge title. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.