Lisa Henning hit a career-best .722 in the win.
Sept. 27, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - It was another stellar offensive performance for the undefeated Mizzou volleyball team as it hit .559 in a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-18) sweep of South Carolina in its SEC opener on Friday night (Sept. 27) at the Hearnes Center. The win improves Mizzou to a national-best 16-0 and 1-0 in SEC play. The Tigers' .559 attack percentage is the third-best mark in program history and the best ever against a conference opponent, breaking the previous-best mark of .458, set in 2005 against Baylor. The Tigers have now swept a school-record 10 consecutive matches and raised their national-best hitting percentage to .400 in the win. 2,904 fans took in the match on Friday.
"First I want to say thanks to all of the fans that came out tonight; that was one of the better crowds that we have had here in a while and I think it made this a very tough place to play," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "We did a lot of nice things tonight and we were in system a lot, which is evident by our hitting percentage. Molly did a great job of setting up our hitters and we just have a lot of options right now and it makes it hard the other teams to defend. I am pleased with our effort, but we have a very tough week coming up next week that we need to be ready for."
Mizzou's .559 hitting percentage on the night was due in large part to its three outside hitters - Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) - as all three hit .583 or better in the win with just two combined errors. Henning led Mizzou with 14 kills on .722 hitting, a career-best, and Kan pitched in 13 kills on .706 hitting, also a career-best. Wilson was sensational as well with seven kills on 12 errorless attacks. In all, Mizzou committed just seven attack errors on the night, lowering their national-best average to just 2.92 attack errors per set this season.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) continued to set the tempo for the offense on Friday night, spreading 35 assists on 45 Tiger kills while pulling in 11 digs, good for her fifth double-double of the season. She again set up one-on-one blocks for the Tiger hitters all night and anchored an offense that was almost unstoppable as South Carolina dug just 16 of Mizzou's 68 attacks. All-SEC junior Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) also was sensational with five kills on eight swings, but she did commit an attack error for the first time in five matches. She also pitched in seven total blocks (two solo, five assists) as Mizzou had 8.5 total blocks in the win. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) tallied nine digs in the win as well. Also worth noting on Friday is that Mizzou limited USC's Juliette Thevenin, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, to just 10 kills on .208 hitting.
The match opened with South Carolina keeping things close until Mizzou blew the doors off with an 11-2 run to close out the set. SC tied the set at 14-14, but Mizzou used its efficient attack to run off 11 of the last 13 points to close the set, 25-16. Mizzou hit an eye-popping .652 in the first set with 17 kills while South Carolina had just six on .092 hitting.
The second set was similar with Mizzou scoring 19 of the final 15 points to take a 25-14 set win and a 2-0 lead heading into the break. South Carolina again did not break double-figures in kills in the first set with just nine while Mizzou had 11 on just 18 attacks. The Tigers raw way with the third, again tallying 17 kills to clinch the sweep.
The Tigers will face arguably their toughest week of the season next week as they head to Arkansas Wednesday for a nationally-televised match with Razorbacks on ESPNU before coming home Friday to face an Auburn team that has already knocked off perennial power Nebraska this season. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.
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