April 22, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- As the spring training period winds down, the Mizzou volleyball team will host a spring tournament this Saturday at the Hearnes Center, beginning at 11 a.m. The four-team event will feature squads from Jefferson College, Illinois State and UMKC. The Tigers met UMKC during the fall last season and blanked the `Roos, 3-0. Each match in this weekend's tournament will be a best of three 25-point sets.
Fans are also invited to join the Tiger volleyball team for lunch at noon on Saturday. In fact, the team has spent this week handing out bags of jellybeans to senior citizens around the community, inviting them to Hearnes Center for lunch and what should be an exciting weekend of volleyball.
Mizzou's first match of the tournament begins at 11 a.m. against Jefferson College. The Tigers will then break for lunch at noon before playing Illinois State at 1 p.m. and concluding tournament play with UMKC at 2 p.m. All matches will be played on the main floor of the Hearnes Center.
So far this spring, Mizzou has had plenty of success. First, the Tigers went undefeated at the Western Kentucky Spring Tournament, winning four matches over teams from Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech. Mizzou dropped its first set of the tournament to Cincinnati, but won each set from that point on as they came back to beat the Bearcats, 2-1, and swept its next three opponents.
Mizzou then traveled to Northern Iowa to take on UNI, Iowa State, Iowa and Wisconsin providing a good spring test for the Tigers against some elite competition. Mizzou finished that tournament 4-4 overall.
Mizzou returns the bulk of its squad that went 18-14 in 2009, including Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia), who led the team with 410 kills in 2009. In fact, Mizzou's top six attackers return in 2010 as it brings back nearly 89-percent of its offense from a season ago, including its top six attackers from a season ago. The Tigers also return 85-percent of their total defense, including libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) who should rank as one of the Big 12's top liberos in 2010.
With the addition of Kreklow at the setting position and another AVCA/Under Armour High School All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) the Tigers should make a run at the Big 12 title and another berth to the NCAA Tournament.
For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.