Sept. 14, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - The Mizzou volleyball program defeated Houston Baptist, 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-18), on Saturday afternoon as it improved to 11-0 on the season. The 11-0 mark to start the 2013 campaign is the best start by a Tiger team since they opened 12-0 in 2005. Of the 11 wins this season, four have come against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last season and six have come away from home, including three true road contests.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was named Rice Invitational Most Valuable Player, her third tournament MVP honor this season. She guided Mizzou to 15.67 kills per set on .367 hitting in the three matches over the weekend. Joining Kreklow on the All-Tournament team on Saturday was senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) and freshman outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii). Henning finished the three matches with 44 kills on .398 hitting while Kan did it all for the digs, averaging 3.11 kills per set on .324 hitting with 3.22 digs per set.
"I thought we played very well as a team this weekend and I think the depth of our roster is paying off," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "We have so many players that are valuable in a lot of different ways and I think everyone has bought into what we are trying to do. This was our toughest weekend yet and we knew the teams that we played were very good, so I am just really proud of the group so far."
Henning led Mizzou with 15 kills on .462 hitting on Saturday against Houston Baptist while Kan added nine kills on .529 hitting. Kreklow quarterbacked the Tiger offense to 48 kills on .436 hitting as she tallied 37 assists in the win. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led the team with 13 digs.
Set one opened with Mizzou getting three big plays from Kan as she tallied a kill, a block and another kill and Mizzou opened a 5-1 lead early in the first. The Tigers continued to fire away at the Huskies as they rode an offensive onslaught to a 25-12 set win. In all, Mizzou hit .577 in the first with 16 kills on just 26 swings, led by five from Henning. Kan also added four on just six attacks.
Houston Baptist played things close in the beginning of the second set until a run midway through gave Mizzou a 12-8 lead. That was all the cushion that Mizzou needed as it claimed a 25-20 set win. The Tigers had 18 kills in the frame, doing so .500 hitting as Kreklow continued to set a balanced attack. Through two sets, Mizzou hit .533 with 34 kills on 60 attacks with just two errors.
Once again, Houston Baptist did a good job of battling in the third set until Mizzou pulled away with too much fire power, claiming a 25-18 set win.
The Tigers will return home for the Mizzou Classic next weekend as they will play SEMO, Towson, Samford and Middle Tennessee State over the course of two days. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.