No. 4 Mizzou's Season Closes with 3-1 Loss to Purdue

<i>Carly Kan finished with 18 kills on .471 hitting.</i>

Carly Kan finished with 18 kills on .471 hitting.

Dec. 7, 2013

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 4 Mizzou volleyball team saw its season come to a close as it fell, 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 16-25, 25-27), in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night (Dec. 7) at the Hearnes Center. The loss drops the Tigers to 35-1 on the year as Purdue advances to the Sweet 16 and improves to 22-11 on the season. The loss brings to a close the careers of seniors Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), who will finish with 97 wins over their four-year career, the winningest four-year stretch in the NCAA Tournament era.

"Obviously this hurts but I thought our kids did a great job of battling and staying with it all night," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "No one in that locker room should walk out with their head held low. What they accomplished this season was remarkable. They beat everyone on their schedule until tonight. In sports, sometimes it's just not your night and that was the case tonight. I am so proud of what these kids did all year and the mark that Molly and Lisa left on this program is remarkable."

On Saturday, Mizzou was led by Kreklow's 47 assists as she set the ball up to six different attackers. Henning posted 12 kills with seven digs in her final match as a Tiger, while freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 18 kills on a team-high .471 hitting with eight digs. Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) pitched in 11 kills on .269 hitting and classmate Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) added nine kills and three blocks in the loss. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) added a team-high 11 digs.

Purdue's defense was the key to its success as it limited Mizzou to .237 hitting, its second-lowest of the season and just the sixth time in 36 matches that Mizzou failed to hit above .300. The Purdue back line pulled in 58 digs and the front line contributed 12.0 total blocks and forced 20 Tiger attack errors. The loss for Mizzou was its first of the season as the Tigers had lost just eight sets coming into the match.

After Purdue hit .471 en route to a 25-18 set one win, the Tigers began to find a little bit of a defensive groove and forced the Boilermakers into seven attack errors in the second set. Mizzou pulled away late in the frame with a 25-23 set win and took some momentum into the locker room. Coming out of the break, Purdue regained momentum with a 25-16 set win in which it .571, while limiting Mizzou to .083 hitting. Set four was much more competitive as Mizzou rallied from down 21-18 to gain a 24-23 lead, giving Mizzou set point as it looked to extend the match to a fifth set. A kill by Purdue's Kiki Jones tied the set at 24-24 and the Boilermakers scored three of the next four points to fend of Mizzou's attempt to complete the comeback with a 27-25 set win.

Mizzou will host its year-end banquet tomorrow at noon inside the Clinton Club. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.



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