Sept. 13, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - The Mizzou volleyball program improved to 10-0 after defeating Conference USA favorite Rice, 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-13), on Friday night (Sept. 13) in its second match of the Rice Invitational. The win was the second of the day for the Tigers who rode another dominating offensive performance to the sweep. In fact, Mizzou hit .411 in the three-setter while limiting Rice to .092 hitting. Senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Mizzou with 13 kills on .458 hitting in the win.
"We knew coming in that today was going to be a tough day having to play two very good teams, but I thought our kids handled it very well," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Rice was picked to win their league this season, so to come in here and play as well as we did says a lot about how our team prepared all week. We have an early match tomorrow against Houston Baptist, so we'll get ready for that one."
Henning's performance was aided by the setting of senior Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) who anchored a potent Mizzou offense all night as she spread 36 assists on 46 Tiger kills while guiding the team to .411 hitting, its ninth match this season hitting better than .300. Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) also posted double-digit kills with 10 on .292 hitting in the win. Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) continued her fine play as of late with seven kills on .316 hitting and Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) added six kills on just nine errorless attacks. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led Mizzou with 11 digs and Kreklow tallied her third double-double of the season while adding 10 digs to her 36 assists.
Mizzou picked up right where it left off against NC State earlier in the day, jumping all over Rice to take a 7-2 lead in set one, forcing an Owl timeout as Wilson and freshman Emily Thater
(Springfield, Mo.) each tallied a pair of kills in that span. Rice rallied to cut the lead to just two, but Mizzou reopened a five-point lead at 16-11. Mizzou used its block down the stretch and closed it out with a 25-16 set win. Mizzou hit .345 in the first set, highlighted by four kills from Wilson. The Tigers held Rice to .027 hitting with five total blocks in the first set.
After a tough first set, Henning came out firing in the second and got Mizzou out to a 7-4 lead with four kills early in the frame. The Tigers kept the foot on the gas and opened a 14-6 lead after a kill from Kan on an out-of-system swing from way off the net that she drove into the middle-back part of the floor. But the story of the second set was Henning, who had seven kills in the frame as Mizzou claimed a 25-15 win, taking a 2-0 break into intermission. Mizzou hit .429 in the second and nearly went the entire set without an attack error until Kan put an out-of-system swing into the net on set point. Henning and Kan each led Mizzou with eight kills through two sets.
The Tigers picked up right where they left off in the third, opening an 8-3 lead and they did not look back, claiming the third, 25-13, to move to 10-0. The Tigers will play Houston Baptist tomorrow at 11 a.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.