Sep 5, 2013
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Mizzou volleyball team topped defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion Fairfield (25-16, 25-11, 25-17) in its first true road match of the season on Thursday night (Sept. 5) at Alumni Hall. The win improves the Tigers to 5-0 on the season as senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) led Mizzou to a balanced attack that got kills from seven different players and hit .341 as a unit. Kreklow spread 37 assists on 42 Tiger kills in the win. The loss for Fairfield was just its eighth home loss in the last seven seasons.
"Fairfield is a good team - they won their league and brought back six starters from last year - so this is a very good win against a team a that was picked to win their league again, so I credit the team for getting a good road win," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "It was one of those situations you are nervous about, bringing in a team into someone else's gym, but I thought we handled it really well. You never quite know what to expect playing on the road, but I was pleased with our effort and execution."
Kreklow was key for the Tigers all night, anchoring a great offense. Two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Spring, Mo.) tallied 10 kills on .304 hitting while freshman outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Haw.) posted 10 kills on .471 hitting. The middle hitting duo of All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) was also outstanding, combining for 12 kills on just 24 swings with five blocks. Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) also had a very good match, tallying six kills on .455 hitting in just two sets. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led the way with 41 digs as Mizzou out-dug Fairfield, 41-33. Henning and Kan pitched in eight digs apiece and frosh Loxley Keala (Honolulu, Haw.) pitched in five digs with her family in attendance.
Mizzou opened a 4-1 lead in the opening frame, but allowed Fairfield to hang around, but after Fairfield went on top briefly at 7-6, the Tigers rallied to take a 13-7 lead after an ace from Meister. That was all the cushion that Mizzou needed, running away with the set, 25-16, punctuated by a Thater kill, her fourth of the set as she led Mizzou with 5.5 total points in the first, doing so on .500 hitting.
The second set was controlled by Mizzou almost from the onset as Fairfield used both of its timeouts before reaching 10 points as the Tigers opened a 16-9 lead after a kill from Little. Following the timeout, Mizzou continued to roll before closing out the set with a 25-11 win. Kreklow had 14 assists and guided a well-balanced attack to 15 kills and no errors on just 26 attacks in the second, good for a .577 clip as the Tigers ran away with the set.
Fairfield hung tough out of the intermission, but ultimately, the Tigers had too many weapons as Kreklow continued to set a well-balanced offense. In fact, Mizzou opened an 18-12 lead and then ran away with the set before subbing out the starters while up 21-13. They wound up winning the set, 25-17.
The Tigers will continue play in the Northeast tomorrow as they take on Yale at 6 p.m. in their first match of the Yale Invitational. Yale is the defending Ivy League Champion, posing a tough road test for the Tigers early in 2013.For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.