Nov. 8, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - The seventh-ranked Mizzou volleyball team rode the production of its pin hitters to sweep Auburn, 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-22), on Friday night (Nov. 8) to improve to a national-best 28-0 and 12-0 in SEC play. Mizzou remains atop the SEC standings and is one of just two unbeaten teams in the nation. The Tiger pin hitting trio of All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) and junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) combined for 40 kills on .407 hitting as Henning led Mizzou with 17 on .382 hitting. Kan added 12 kills on .400 hitting while Wilson pitched in 11 on .455 hitting, seven of which came in the clinching third set.
"I was really pleased with our effort tonight," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Auburn is a very good team and had won six of seven coming into tonight but I thought we did really well in the serve-and-pass game today and we did a good job of keeping them out of system. We were in system most of the night and our outsides did a nice job of ending rallies."
Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was great as usual in the sweep, spreading 42 assists on 52 Tiger kills, guiding Mizzou to .357 hitting. She also picked up 10 digs to go along with her 42 assists for her 10th double-double of the season. Kan also had a double-double with 10 digs with her 12 kills. Junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) had six kills on .400 hitting with seven total blocks, two of which were solo as she is now tied for second place in Mizzou history with 37 solo blocks this season. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led the way with 11 digs in the sweep.
Known for its high-octane offense, Mizzou came out firing in the first set and posted 18 kills on .459 hitting as it blitzed the home Tigers to a 25-17 set win. Kan, after posing just six kills in the first meeting between the two teams, matched that total in the first set alone, doing so on just eight swings. Henning matched her with six kill on nine swings and Little added three kills. In all, Kreklow spread 14 assists in the opening frame as Mizzou got kills from five different players.
Mizzou carried that momentum into the second set and immediately opened a six-point cushion at 12-6. But Auburn ran off five of the next six to pull within two at 13-11, forcing a Mizzou timeout. Mizzou responded and reopened a three-point cushion until Auburn rallied with two consecutive points to pull within one at 21-20 after a Mizzou error. It stayed close and the longest rally of the match came with Mizzou up 22-21. After a long rally, the Tigers got a huge kill from Henning to end the rally, putting them on top, 23-21. Mizzou then ended the set with a pair of blocks to escape with a 25-21 set win. Henning had six kills on 10 swings in the second and Kan added four on nine attempts. Through two sets, the Tiger pin hitting combination of Henning and Kan had 22 kills on .528 hitting with nine digs.
Wilson started to assert herself in the third set as she tallied four kills early in the frame as Mizzou ran out to a 11-10 lead. But Auburn used its block to open a 16-13 lead on three consecutive attack errors, forcing a timeout from Wayne Kreklow. That rallied the team as Mizzou scored the next four points in the match to reopen a 17-16 lead, using the block to do so. Although Auburn kept things close, Wilson tallied her seventh kill of the set to open a 21-18 lead, forcing an Auburn stoppage. After Auburn made it close, Henning took over as Mizzou escaped the third set with a 25-22 win. Wilson had seven kills on nine attempts with just one error in the third set.
Mizzou will play at Alabama on Sunday in a crucial SEC showdown at 1:30 p.m. at Foster Auditorium. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter MizzouVB.