Sept. 10, 2011
DENVER, Colo. - The Mizzou volleyball team rebounded from its second loss of the season by sweeping Denver, 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22), in its final match of the Denver Pioneer Classic on Saturday night (Sept. 10). Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Mizzou with 11 kills in the match while senior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) also had a fine match with nine kills on .300 hitting. Mizzou is now 11-2 on the season.
In all, Henning and classmate Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts over the weekend as the Tigers finished second in the tournament. Kreklow was great on Saturday night as well with 29 assists and five kills while pitching in five service aces. In fact, Mizzou as a team had a season-best 10 aces against Denver. The Tigers were able to win the match without having a single player reach double-digits in digs as Henning led the way with nine.
Aside from Henning, Brimmage and Kreklow on Saturday, the Tiger offense got good contributions from freshmen Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) and Katie O'Brien (Dallas, Texas). Wilson tallied seven kills and three blocks while O'Brien tallied four kills and two aces. Defensively, freshman Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) led the Tigers with six blocks in the match (one solo, five assists).
The Tigers won the first set, 25-23, behind a strong effort from Henning. They actually fell behind 6-1 in the early going before the serving arm of O'Brien got the Tigers on a 5-1 run. The set stayed tight from there, but the play of Henning seemed to be the deciding factor as Denver had no answer for the Tiger sophomore. Kreklow also served very well late in the set to help the Tigers pull away. Kreklow aced the Pioneers to put Mizzou up 23-20 and then Kreklow's next serve forced an overpass that was buried by Little to put Mizzou on top 24-20. Denver tried to mount a comeback but a kill from Henning ended the set.
Henning was phenomenal in the first set, tallying four kills on just seven swings to lead the Tiger attack. Brimmage was also very good with three kills on seven swings while Wilson and Kreklow each pitched in two kills each. Henning also led the Tigers with four digs as she was clearly the best player on the floor in the first set.
Mizzou then ran out to a 5-1 lead in the second set before eventually opening its largest lead of the match at 10-3. The Tiger attack fired on all cylinders in the second set as they never trailed and ran away with the second, 25-18. Henning continued to put up good numbers for the Tigers in the second as she tallied three kills on just five attacks with three digs while Brimmage led the Tigers with four kills on just five attempts in the second. Mizzou hit .462 in the set as it tallied 13 kills on 26 attempts with just one error. Wilson also had three kills, including the set point.
Coming out of intermission, Mizzou looked like it did early in the first set as it fell behind, 6-1, due in large part to a pair of DU service aces. But the Tigers got things together and rallied behind the play of Henning and Kreklow as they eventually tied the set at 18-18 on a kill from Kreklow. Mizzou earned its first lead of the set since the 1-0 mark at 21-20 after an ace from Kreklow. The teams eventually ended up tied at 22 but Mizzou ran off the final three points of the set to complete the set, 25-22.
Mizzou will be back in action next weekend as it will play American, Western Kentucky and Villanova in the American Classic in Washington, D.C. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.