Oct. 18, 2013
Box Score |
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 18 Mizzou volleyball program ran its national-best record to 22-0 and 6-0 in SEC play after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs, 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19), on Friday night (Oct. 18) at the Hearnes Center. The win sets up a battle of SEC unbeatens as No. 2 Florida will come to the Hearnes Center Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. match. The match Sunday will mark the first top-25 showdown at the Hearnes Center since Oct. 25, 2006, when No. 1 Nebraska visited the Tigers, who were then ranked No. 16 nationally.
The win on Friday moves the Tiger senior class - Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) - into a tie for the third-winningest class in program history as they have 84 in their three-plus seasons at Mizzou. The win also improves the Tigers to 6-0 in SEC play, marking the best start in league play in the Kreklow era. The win came in front of 3,272 fans, the second consecutive match with at least 3,000 fans and the fourth time in five matches that at least 2,400 fans packed into the Hearnes.
"This was another tough match; there are a lot of good teams in our league this season and Georgia is a very athletic bunch that did a lot of things really well tonight," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "In the end, I thought our ball control got better and when we are in system, we are very hard to stop since we have so many good swings. Obviously now we turn our focus to a very good Florida team on Sunday. We are expecting a great atmosphere here at Hearnes and we are excited for another great opportunity."
On Friday, Henning was the star with 20 kills on .500 hitting with a team-high 12 digs as she led the team with 23.0 total points while tallying her fifth double-double of the season. She was aided by her classmate Kreklow who notched a season-high 52 assists while guiding Mizzou to .393 hitting, the 19th time in 21 matches that Mizzou has hit at least .333 in a match and the 13th time that it has hit .380 or better. Kreklow also pitched in six kills on .625 hitting with eight digs.
Offensively, Kreklow set up six different hitters with Henning providing much of the damage. But the two-time All-American was helped out by freshman Carly Kan's (Honolulu, Hawaii) 13 kills (.273 hitting) and 10 digs, good for her second double-double in three matches after posting her first of the season at Tennessee a week ago. Junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) pitched in 10 kills on .429 hitting with two blocks and classmate Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added eight kills on .412 hitting. Freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) was also huge in the win, posting seven kills on .312 hitting out of the middle. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) tied Henning with a match-high 12 digs.
The Tigers came roaring out of the gate in the first set and hit .314 with 16 kills as Henning was close to unstoppable with just five kills on nine swings as she helped the Tigers to a 25-20 set win. Georgia then served very tough in the second set and kept Mizzou out of system as it tied the match at one set apiece with a 25-17 set win. But from that point it was all Mizzou and the Tigers announced that emphatically with one of their best offensive outputs of the season in the third set. In fact, Mizzou tallied 19 kills without an error on 37 attacks, good for a .514 hitting percentage as they trounced the Bulldogs, 25-19. They weren't quite as good in the fourth, hitting .375 with 16 kills, but it was enough for a 25-19 set win to clinch the match.
Sunday's match with the Gators will begin at 1:30 p.m. Admission to the match is just $1 and fans with a football ticket stub from Mizzou's game with the Gators Saturday will receive free admission. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.