Aug. 4, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou volleyball program will start its preparations for the upcoming 2010 season on Monday (August 9) with the start of official practice. The team will practice daily until the season-opening Tiger Invitational on August 27.
The Tigers are coming off of an 18-14 season while the 18 wins were the most by a Tiger team since 2005. Also, Mizzou returns nine letterwinners and five starters from last year's roster as it will look to make a push towards an NCAA Tournament berth in 2010. The Tigers also return five seniors to the court in 2010. One of those five seniors is Big 12 Player of the Year candidate Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia), who led Mizzou with 410 kills last season. Over her last 16 matches in 2009, no player in the Big 12 had more kills than Ampudia as she earned first team All-Big 12 honors and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Mizzou also returns its active leader in kills, points, attacks, service aces and sets played in senior Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa). Klein and Ampudia will serve as one of the best 1-2 punches in the Big 12 this season. Other key returners include libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.), who has started 52 straight matches at libero and ranks third all-time in digs, and Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.), who is the program's sixth-most efficient hitter all time. Wilson had more kills (220) last season than her first two seasons as a Tiger combined.
Also, practice will be the first official action for four Tiger newcomers, including setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.), who will assume the starting setter role after the departure of four-year starter Lei Wang-Francisco. Kreklow is the No. 20 recruit nationally and played with the USA Volleyball Junior National Team over the summer, guiding it to the NORCECA Continental Championship Gold Medal. Kreklow joins freshman Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) - who is the No. 50 overall recruit nationally - to comprise the No. 14 overall recruiting class in the nation this season. Both Kreklow and Henning were Under Armour/AVCA High School All-Americans as well. Henning was the only All-American from the state of Missouri.
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