Molly Kreklow leads a young, talented bunch in 2012.
Aug. 15, 2012
Mizzou Black & Gold Scrimmage
Date: Aug. 17
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Hearnes Center
Live Stream: Mizzou Network
Twitter Updates: @MU_Volleyball
Game Notes: Black & Gold Notes
What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
The Tigers will begin their inaugural season in the SEC in 2012.
Mizzou was picked to finish fourth in a loaded SEC Eastern Division, trailing league favorite UT, UK and UF.
Tiger juniors Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow were All-SEC Preseason picks.
Kreklow and Henning gave Mizzou an SEC-best two players on the nine-person All-SEC Preseason Team.
Mizzou was the youngest team to qualify for last year's NCAA Tournament and returns five starters from 2011.
Mizzou is coming off of its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 seasons.
The Tigers return four of their top five attackers from last year and 82-percent of their total offense.
Mizzou needs to replace the loss of starting libero Priscilla Armendariz and middle hitter Brittney Brimmage.
Henning was the Tigers' sixth All-American after earning a spot on the AVCA All-America third team last year.
Henning was a unanimous selection to last year's All-Big 12 First Team.
Henning was the first ever Tiger to lead the Big 12 in points per set and kills per set in a single season in 2011.
Henning was just the third Tiger to eclipse 500 kills in a season and set the school record with 523 last year.
The Tigers landed 2010's No. 9 overall recruit in Taylor Simpson, who transferred to Mizzou in June.
Simpson is eligible to play immediately in 2012 and will figure into the mix right away at the OH position.
Simpson and teammate Jade Hayes played together on the USAVB Youth Olympic Team in 2010.
The duo helped Team USA to a silver medal at the Youth Olympics in Singapore.
Whitney Little and Katie O'Brien played with the USA Development team in Italy and Croatia this summer.
Little tied the school record with 138 blocks in her freshman season in 2011.
Both Little and Emily Wilson were members of the All-Big 12 Freshman Team a season ago.
Both Molly Kreklow and head coach Wayne Kreklow participated in the USAVB A-2 program this summer.
A New Era Begins
A buzz has surrounded Mizzou volleyball preseason camp as the team prepares for its annual Black & Gold Scrimmage on Friday, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Hearnes. That buzz will be the Tigers' move to the Southeastern Conference this season. In all, Mizzou has played 61 matches against current SEC schools in program history, compiling a 25-36 overall record. Of course, many of those matches were between former Big 12 foe Texas A&M as Mizzou is 13-13 overall against schools that were in the SEC last season. Mizzou was 1-1 last year against SEC schools, sweeping Auburn and losing to Florida, 3-1, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tigers Picked Fourth in SEC East
The Tigers, in the their first SEC Preseason Poll, were picked to finish fourth in the Eastern Division by the league's coaches. The loaded SEC East features league favorite Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida, all of which rank ahead of Mizzou. The Gators narrowly edged the Tigers in the poll for third place. The Tigers received 37 votes in the poll while Tennessee (12), UK (30) and Florida (35) edged the Tigers.
Kreklow, Henning Land on All-SEC Preseason Team
The Mizzou volleyball program may be new to the Southeastern Conference, but it has already earned the respect of its peers as the Tigers placed two student-athletes on the Preseason All-SEC Team, which was released on (Aug. 7. Juniors Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow were named to the nine-person All-SEC Preseason Team. Mizzou joined Kentucky and league-favorite Tennessee as the only teams to place two players on the All-SEC Preseason Team. Henning is fifth among active SEC players with 789 kills in her career.
Kreklows Participate in USA Volleyball A-2 Program Over the Summer
Junior setter Molly Kreklow and Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow spent 10 days during the summer in Columbus, Ohio, for the USA Volleyball A-2 Program - Molly as a player and Wayne as a coach, albeit of different teams. Wayne coached the Blue Team to a perfect 3-0 record in pool play, but his team lost a semifinal matchup, dropping it to the third-place match, which it won, 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11) over Molly's Red Team.
Little, O'Brien Play Together in Italy, Croatia
Sophomores Whitney Little and Katie O'Brien played with the USA Development/Bring-It Promotions tour in Italy and Croatia this summer. The Tiger duo played with some of the nation's most talented underclassmen over the week-long tour and their team played in the European Global Challenge. It marks the third straight season that Mizzou has had a student-athlete play in the program. Former Tiger Julianna Klein played in Brazil prior to the 2010 season while current Tiger junior Lisa Henning played in China prior to the 2011 season.
Tigers Land Heralded Recruit Taylor Simpson
The Tigers landed a huge commit in the offseason as sophomore Taylor Simpson transferred to Mizzou. Most recently, Simpson played at the University of Nebraska but had transferred to Florida State this summer before committing to Mizzou. She is eligible to play immediately in 2012 and will give the Tigers another solid hitter at the net. She was rated the No. 9 recruit nationally by PrepVolleyball.com before committing to Nebraska in 2010. She is the highest-ranked recruit in program history.
Connection for Hayes and Simpson
Although Taylor Simpson will have to adapt to playing with a new team this season, the transition will be made a little bit easier thanks to a former teammate that is on the Tiger roster. Sophomore defensive specialist Jade Hayes played with Simpson on the USA Volleyball Youth Olympic Team in 2010 and the duo led Team USA to a Silver Medal in Singapore.
What the Tigers Bring Back
It has been well documented that the Tigers bring back the majority of its production from its NCAA Tournament team from a season ago. Below is a look at what the Tiger bring back in 2012:
Mizzou brings back 81.4-percent of its kills from last season
The Tigers return All-American Lisa Henning, who tallied a school-record 523 kills last season
Henning is one of two All-SEC Preseason picks on the Tiger roster this season (Molly Kreklow is the other)
The Tigers bring back two All-Big 12 Freshman Team members in Whitney Little and Emily Wilson
Little set the school record in blocks last year (138) while Wilson was the first Tiger frosh since `06 with 300 kills
The Tigers bring back 94-percent of their assists from a season ago
Mizzou returns 87-percent of its aces from last season
Mizzou returns 66-percent of its total blocks last season
Lastly, Mizzou brings back 71-percent of its total digs last season despite losing its starting libero
Heading into 2012, it is clear that Mizzou brings back a wealth of production from last year's roster, but the Tigers will need to place their libero from last year (Priscilla Armendariz) and one of the nation's most athletic middle hitters in Brittney Brimmage. Below is a look at the things that the Tigers will need to replace this season.
The Tigers will need to replace Armendariz's team-best 494 digs from last season
Mizzou will need to replace 300 kills (on .352 hitting) from Brimmage
The Tigers will also need to replace Brimmage's 98 blocks from last season, which were second-best on the team
There will be no senior leadership on this year's team after the departure of Armendariz and Brimmage
The Tigers will also need to replace Armendariz's reliable passing as she led the team with a .964 service reception percentage last season.
Mizzou has eclipsed the 20-win mark in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005. In 2010, Mizzou won 22 matches en-route to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and last year the Tigers had 21 wins, showing the stability of the program under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow.
Tigers Coming off of Second-Consecutive NCAA Tournament and 10th in 12 Seasons
The Tigers finished last season in somewhat of an improbable spot despite having nine underclassmen on a roster of 11, including seven freshmen. But that didn't stop the talented bunch from qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, marking the second straight appearance and the 10th time in the last 12 seasons, all coming under Wayne and Susan Kreklow.
An Experienced Youthful Group
It is a well known fact that Mizzou was the youngest team (% of underclassmen) to qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season, but heading into 2012, the Tigers boast a roster that is comprised of 10 underclassmen and two juniors, making them the youngest team in the SEC. In fact, Mizzou's roster is 83-percent underclassmen and it is the only SEC roster that does not have a senior. Mississippi State is the next-youngest team in the league as it is comprised of 76.9-percent underclassmen. What is impressive about the Tigers' youth is that they are a very experienced group as well as seven of the 10 underclassmen are sophomores and helped guide Mizzou to the NCAA Tournament as freshmen last year.
Kreklow Nets Win No. 400
Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow earned his 400th victory as a head coach in the Tigers' win over Baylor on Nov. 5 last season. Of his now 401 wins, 134 have come during his time as head coach at Mizzou. He was won nearly 63-percent of his matches at Mizzou.
Kreklows Win No. 750
Mizzou's win at Kansas on Nov. 2 last season marked the 750th career win for Wayne and Susan Kreklow as a pair. The win total dates back to their time as co-head coaches of the men's and women's teams at Columbia College. Of the now 752 wins, 243 of those have come during the Kreklow's 12 seasons at Mizzou.
Notables from 2011
With 21 wins last season, Mizzou has broken the 20-win plateau for the seventh time since 2000. In fact, before Wayne and Susan Kreklow took over the program in 2000, Mizzou eclipsed the 20-win mark just seven times from 1974-1999 and had not done so since 1983.
Of Mizzou's 21 wins last season, 11 came against teams that won at least 20 matches in 2010 and four of those 11 teams won more than 26 matches in 2010.
Mizzou was 7-3 in neutral site matches last season.
Mizzou knocked off a pair of teams - Texas A&M and Oklahoma - that ranked among the RPI top 30.
Mizzou had just one loss to teams ranked outside the RPI top 50 this season and that was to UC-Davis (No. 95).
Mizzou had six wins against RPI top 50 teams and 10 vs. the top 100. Mizzou had just one RPI top 50 win in 2010 and that came on the road against Iowa State.
Sophomore Lisa Henning was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team last season and an AVCA All-American Third Team selection, becoming the first Tiger underclassman to be named to the All-America teams. Henning led the Big 12 in kills per set (4.65) and points per set (5.16) in league play, becoming the first Tiger to ever accomplish such a feat. She also posted the Big 12's top four point performances in league play and the top two kills performances. She gives Mizzou a pair of unanimous All-Big 12 picks in the last two years after Paola Ampudia earned a spot on the 2010 team.
Henning Breaks School Record
Staying on the topic of Lisa Henning, she broke the school record with 523 kills last season and became just the third Tiger in program history to eclipse the 500-kill mark in a single season. What is even more remarkable about Henning is that she had almost 400 attacks than the next-best Tiger last year but still hit .246 on the season.
Kreklow Keeps Digging
Sophomore setter Molly Kreklow broke the Mizzou single season record for digs by a setter in the rally scoring era with her 307 last season. Lei Wang-Francisco held the previous mark with 284 in 2007. The all-time record for digs by a setter in a single season is 334 by Gwen Mullens in 1994, but that was pre-rally scoring.
Wilson Nets 300 Kills
Freshman outside hitter Emily Wilson had 320 kills last season and is the first Tiger freshman since 2006 to break the 300-kill mark in a single season. Her 320 kills this season are the fourth most ever by a Tiger freshman and the second-best total in the rally scoring era. Yvette Buhlig holds the freshman record with 361 back in 1988 while Weiwen Wang (343, 2007) is the only freshman to rank ahead of Wilson during the rally scoring era. She was an All-Big 12 Freshman Team selection in 2011.
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