Tiger Volleyball Blanks Ole Miss

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Molly Kreklow spread 40 assists and guided the team to .347 hitting on Sunday.</i>
Molly Kreklow spread 40 assists and guided the team to .347 hitting on Sunday.

Sept. 16, 2012

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou volleyball program continued its hot start in SEC play by sweeping Ole Miss, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-18), on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 16) at the Hearnes Center. The win improves the Tigers to 10-2 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play, marking the first time since 2005 that the Tigers have opened conference play 2-0. The Tigers hit .347 with 47 kills over the three sets on Sunday while limiting Ole Miss to just .179 hitting. The Tigers have now held their opponents to under .200 hitting in nine of 12 matches this season, winning eight of those.

"I am very happy with our performance this week," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "To rally and beat Tennessee the way we did Wednesday and come back and play a good Ole Miss team today, we needed to be ready to play and I thought we were. I thought we played a pretty complete match and I think it showed with the type of numbers that we put up offensively. All in all, you couldn't ask for a better opening week in the SEC. Now we need to shift our attention to Florida."

The Tigers dominated play at the net on Sunday, hitting .347 with 47 kills, just one off of their three-set best this season. Aside from the efficiency that the Tigers showed, they also showed a balanced offense as three attackers finished with at least nine kills and all three hit better than .300. Sophomore middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) was the highlight of the match as she posted 13 kills, one off of her career-high, on .722 hitting as she did not commit an error on 18 attacks.

After posting 26 kills on .292 hitting against Tennessee Wednesday, junior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) posted 13 kills on .312 hitting on Sunday while corralling nine digs, just missing her third double-double of the season. For the week, Henning averaged 4.88 kills per set on .299 hitting with 20 digs over the two matches, making her an SEC Player of the Week candidate. Sophomore Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was also very good, posting nine kills on .500 hitting with four blocks (two solo, two assists).

Junior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) may have played one of her best matches of the season statistically as well, spreading 40 assists over the three sets (13.33 per set) while guiding the team to a .347 attack percentage. She also added a pair of kills, two aces, four digs and a block. Defensively, sophomore Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) was very good as well in her second career start at libero as she corralled a match-high 14 digs.

Mizzou opened the first set on fire, connecting on its first three attacks and wound up hitting .364 in the first with 16 kills en-route to a 25-17 set win. As good as Mizzou was in the first set offensively, it was even better in the second set as it hit .382 with 18 kills on just 34 attempts as the Tigers pulled away with a 25-19 set win. Following the intermission, Mizzou's passing broke down a little in the third set, but the Tigers recovered and wound up hitting .294 with 13 kills as they won the final frame, 25-19.

Next up for the Tigers will be their first road weekend in SEC play as they head to No. 13 Florida next Friday and LSU on Sunday. Friday's match with the Gators is a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament opening round in which Florida won, 3-1, at Northern Iowa. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.



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