July 7, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and the USA Volleyball Junior National Team topped both El Salvador and Guadalupe at Tuesday's (July 6) opening round of the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) Continental Championships, placing them first overall in Pool C.
In the two matches, Kreklow has combined to hand out 20 assists while pitching in two points in Team USA's win over El Salvador and adding an ace in the win over Guadalupe. The Tiger freshman started each set in Team USA's opening-round match against El Salvador as she guided the team to a 3-0 (25-8, 25-4, 25-7) win in just 56 minutes. She was one of only four Team USA players to start each of the three sets in the match. More than half of Team USA's points came from El Salvador errors in the match. Kreklow was given rest midway through each of the final two sets - after starting each - as Team USA won easily in all three sets.
In the evening match, Team USA coach Bob Browning used Kreklow as the back-up setter behind Carly Thomas, but Kreklow did see plenty of playing time as she came off the bench to distribute 10 assists in the match and tally a service ace. Team USA topped Guadalupe, 3-0 (25-8, 25-7, 25-6), to gain a commanding lead in Pool C. In all, the match lasted just 51 minutes as both matches combined to take less than two hours.
In all, Team USA outscored its opponents 150-40 in the six sets that were played on Tuesday as its opponents failed to break double-digits in scoring in any of the six sets. Team USA is looking for its fourth-straight NORCECA Continental Championship as it has claimed each of the last three titles in the bi-annual tournament. Team USA is the only team to earn a spot on the podium in each year of the tournament's existence since 1998.
Kreklow and Team USA will wrap up pool play on Thursday (July 8) at 9 p.m. (CT) against Mexico. For all the latest on Kreklow's stint with the USA Volleyball Junior National Team, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.