Sept. 1, 2010
Date: Sept. 3-4
Time: Complete Schedule Below
Location: Malibu, Calif.
Arena: Firestone Fieldhouse
Gametracker (all matches): Eastern Washington
Game Notes: Complete Release in PDF Format
Tiger Invitational Highlights
What You Need to Know
Freshman Molly Kreklow was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week after quarterbacking the Tigers to three wins over the weekend. She leads the league in assists per set (12.11). She also recorded her first career double-double against Nevada and was named Tiger Invitational MVP.
Mizzou currently leads the Big 12 in kills per set (15.33), assists per set (14.33) and ranks second in hitting percentage (.326). The Tigers also rank third in digs per set (15.89) and are one of only three undefeated teams in the league after the first weekend of play. Mizzou and Texas are the only two Big 12 teams to not lose a set in their first three matches.
Freshman Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) put together a fine collegiate debut at the Tiger Invitational last weekend. She became the first Tiger freshman in the rally scoring era - and first under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow - to lead the team in kills in each of her first two matches. She posted 12 against Maryland and 13 against Nevada. She also hit .319 on the weekend.
The Tigers are headed to California for the first time since 2006. The last time Mizzou competed in the Golden State was at the Long Beach Invitational.
Mizzou leads the Big 12 in kills per set, but not one player ranks in the league's top seven attackers.
After claiming the Tiger Invitational title last weekend, the Mizzou volleyball team will hit the road for the Pepperdine/Asics Challenge in Malibu, Calif., this weekend. The Tigers will open play on Friday (Sept. 3) against Eastern Washington. The Tigers will also square off against teams from Rice and Pepperdine. A complete schedule of the tournament is listed below. All times are Central.
6:30 p.m. - Mizzou vs. Eastern Washington
9 p.m. - Pepperdine vs. Rice
Noon - Pepperdine vs. Eastern Washington
2:30 p.m. - Mizzou vs. Rice
7 p.m. - Rice vs. Eastern Washington
9:30 p.m. - Mizzou vs. Pepperdine
Going Back to Cali
The Tigers' trip to Malibu, Calif., this weekend will mark their first trip to the Golden State since 2006 when Mizzou participated in the Long Beach State Invitational. In that tournament, the Tigers bested teams from Alabama State and Villanova while dropping a three-setter to Long Beach State on its home floor.
Last Time Out
Mizzou hit .326 in three matches en-route to claiming its sixth Tiger Invitational title after defeating teams from Maryland, Nevada and Utah Valley. Freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) earned Tournament MVP honors after spreading 109 assists (12.11 per set) in the Tigers' three matches. Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) and Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. Mizzou did not drop a set at the two-day tournament, which was their sixth Tiger Invitational win in seven tries.
Atop the Big 12
After the first weekend of play, Mizzou is one of the three Big 12 teams - joining Texas and Kansas - to finish the first weekend of play undefeated. Mizzou and Texas are the only two Big 12 teams to not lose a set in the first weekend of play as well. Mizzou received 18 votes in the this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll, good for No. 34.
Kreklow Earns Conference Honor
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was honored by the Big 12 Conference this week as she was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week following her performance at the Tiger Invitational. Kreklow averaged a league-best 12.11 assists per set in the first three matches and helped the Tigers rank first in the league in assists (14.33 per set). She also recorded 22 digs and posted her first career double-double against Nevada.
Another Great Debut
Kreklow wasn't the only Tiger to put together a great first weekend in Black & Gold. Classmate Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) also had a fine performance as she finished the weekend with 31 kills on .319 hitting. Her 31 kills were second-best on the team over the weekend, but what is more exciting is that she is the first true freshman to lead the Tigers in kills during each of her first two matches during the rally scoring era. She is also the only athlete to do so under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow at Mizzou.
Tigers in the Big 12 Ranks
After the first weekend of play, the Mizzou volleyball team found itself ranked very highly among Big 12 schools in several different categories. Mizzou ranks first in the league in kills per set (15.33) and assists per set (14.33) and ranks second in overall hitting percentage (.326). The Tigers also rank third in the league in digs per set (15.89), due in large part to libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) who ranks third among Big 12 players with 5.00 digs per set. Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) leads the league with 12.11 assists per set while both Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) rank in the league's top 10 in kills per set. Senior Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) also ranks second in the league in hitting percentage at .517.
Tigers Efficient Over the Weekend
A key to the Tigers' success at the Tiger Invitational was their ability to hit efficiently. In fact, the Tigers hit .326 on the weekend, including a .419 clip against Nevada, which was their best since a 2006 contest with Arkansas State. That mark is the second-best by any team in the Big 12 this season. Each of the six players that totaled more than five kills over the weekend had at least a .250 hitting percentage while three of those hit better than .300. MU committed just 4.22 errors per set last weekend.
Tigers are Balanced
Mizzou relied heavily on the arm of Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) last season, but in the first weekend of 2010, Mizzou boasted a much more balanced attack. In fact, four players finished the Tiger Invitational with at least 20 kills while a fifth - Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) - finished two shy of that mark with 18. Also, both Ampudia and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) finished with more than 30 kills on the weekend showing that the Tigers will have plenty of options this season.
Vann Takes Her Spot in Record Book
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) finished the Tiger Invitational with 45 digs (5.00 per set), earning her All-Tournament honors. In her first match of the season against Maryland, Vann pulled in a season-best 19 digs which moved her into sole possession of second place on the Mizzou career digs list. Her career total now sits at 1,405, trailing only former Tiger Tatum Ailes for first all-time.
Wilson Hits Her Way Into Record Books
Heading into the season, senior middle hitter Catie Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) ranked sixth on the all-time hitting percentage list at Mizzou. But after the first weekend, Wilson has climbed to fifth after hitting .571 at the Tiger Invitational, moving her career clip from .279 to .285. She has a ways to go to crack the top four (Diane Berg, .308), but with a few more weekends like the last, Wilson could crack the top four.
Big Weekend for Brit
Junior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage (East St. Louis, Ill.) .362 with 22 kills en-route to being named to the Tiger Invitational All-Tournament team. Brimmage, who has always been one of the best pure athletes on the team, seems to be primed for a breakout season. Cobra Magazine selected her to the All-Preseason third team over the summer.
Back Row Play for Jules
Senior Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) showed why she is one of the best all-around players in the country at the Tiger Invitational. Not only did she finish the tournament with 26 kills on .297 hitting, but she also reeled in 27 digs, which was second-best on the team over the weekend behind only Caitlyn Vann. She also boasted a .971 serve receive percentage on 35 chances, an impressive mark for the outside hitter. She also led the team with 14 kills against Utah Valley.
Paola On Pace
After the first weekend of play, senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) looks to be on pace to live up to her Preseason All-Big 12 honor. In fact, she led the Tigers with 32 total kills and 36 points in the opening weekend. She also ranks seventh in the Big 12 in attacking (3.56 kills per set). Her 36 points over the weekend leave her just one shy of 500 for her career. Only three other current Tigers (Klein, Wilson, Wang) have surpassed the 500-point mark, making what Ampudia has done that much more impressive considering she has played just 35 matches at Mizzou.
Support From Tiger Nation
After the opening weekend of play, Mizzou currently ranks seventh overall in average attendance after averaging 1,633 fans per match over the weekend. A season-high 1,872 fans watch the Tigers top Utah Valley on Saturday night. Not only that, but the Tigers' student group, the VolleyZOU, came in numbers as well with more than 300 VolleyZOU members showing up for each match, showing unrivaled support from Tiger nation. In fact, few schools have ranked as highly as Mizzou in average attendance since 2000. In each season since the Kreklows took over, Mizzou has ranked in at least the top 20 in average attendance.
Henning Shines at Black & Gold Match
Although freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) has stolen most of the headlines over the summer, the other half of the Tigers' No. 14-ranked recruiting class stole the show at Mizzou's Black & Gold Scrimmage. Outside hitter Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the Tigers with 17 kills and had a match high 43 attacks as she led the Black team to a 2-0 win over its Gold counterpart. Henning was seemingly the Tigers' go-to outside hitter throughout the scrimmage.
Kreklow Earns Big 12 Freshman of the Year
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) brought with her plenty of accolades when she arrived on campus in January, but she added another in the preseason as the Big 12 coaches named Kreklow the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year. Expected to take over the starting setting role this season, Kreklow is a two-time AAU All-American, an AVCA/Under Armour All-American and a three-time AAU National Champion with Mizuno Northern Lights. What is impressive about her nod is that a pair of Texas signees - Ashley Bannister (No. 12) and Hannah Allison (No. 9) - ranked ahead of Kreklow (No. 20) on the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces list.
2010 Freshman Class Earns Praise
Despite having five seniors and two juniors on the 2010 roster, the Mizzou volleyball program will have plenty of fresh faces on the floor in 2010. Aside from Kreklow, who comes to Mizzou as the No. 20 overall prospect in the nation, the Tigers add Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), Paige Buchanan (Manchester, Mo.) and Ashton Bodenstab (Blue Springs, Mo.). Henning is the No. 50 overall national recruit and will likely make an immediate impact at the outside hitter position. Buchanan and Bodenstab will also bolster the back row as both are defensive specialists. The four freshmen comprised the No. 14 overall recruiting class according the PrepVolleyball.com. The only Big 12 team to rank ahead of Mizzou in the PrepVolleyball.com rankings was Texas.
Klein Plays in Brazil
Senior outside hitter Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) spent 10 days of her summer playing with the Bring-It Promotions/USA Developmental Volleyball tour in Brazil. She, along with 11 of the top collegiate players in the nation, played against some of Brazil's top national teams while taking in the sights that the country has to offer. The program helps line up professional careers for volleyball players after college by providing international experience. It also serves as a pipeline for USA Volleyball and all of those who may be interested in playing for Team USA after college.
Kreklow Sets for Junior National Team
Klein wasn't the only Tiger to spend a portion of her summer south of the American border. Kreklow spent a week in Tijuana, Mexico, as a member of the USA Volleyball Junior National Team at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NORCECA) Continental Championships. Kreklow was the team's starting setter and helped Team USA to a perfect 5-0 record while starting four of the five matches. She also dished out a team-high 61 assists in the tournament. The spot on the Junior National Team was her second stint with USA Volleyball as she also set for the Youth National Team last summer. Kreklow was the only player on the roster to boast collegiate experience after enrolling in classes back in January.
Henning Guides Club to Junior Nationals
Freshman Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led her KC Extreme Club Team to a Junior Olympic Northeast Qualifier title after winning 10 matches during Easter weekend in Baltimore, Md. The title secured her club a spot in the Junior National Championships. Henning, a 6-1 outside hitter, was KC Extreme's go-to player throughout the tournament as her play was paramount in guiding the team to a National Championship berth. What was even more impressive is that the team had already secured a bid to the tournament, but battled back to beat a very talented Encinitas Wave - a club team based out of San Diego, Calif. - to earn the tournament title. The Wave, led by UCLA signee Kelly Reeves, claimed the first set in the match, but Henning and KC Extreme won each of the final two sets to win top honors at the tournament.
The Waves went 1-2 in the opening weekend of the season as they topped Tulane and lost to No. 4 Stanford and New Mexico. They opened the season against New Mexico and were swept but rebounded to take a set from Stanford in their next match. They carried that momentum into a dominating sweep of Tulane. The Waves are led by Kim Hill, who hit .366 with 39 kills in the opening weekend of play. Teammate Victoria Adelhelm is also a player to watch for the Waves as she hit .400 with 26 kills last weekend. While the offense was a high-point for Pepperdine last weekend, the back row struggled, corralling only 10.80 digs per set. Only three players finished with double-digit dig totals last weekend.
The Owls had a successful first weekend of the season, going 2-1 against teams from Texas Tech, Texas-San Antonio and Mississippi. The Owls topped both teams from Texas, sweeping Texas Tech and winning a five-setter against UTSA before being swept by Ole Miss, a team that the Tigers swept at home last season. Through three matches and 11 sets, outside hitter Ashleigh McCord leads the Owls with 45 total kills (4.09 per set) with a .252 hitting percentage. Rice's top three attackers all have 20 or more kills with hitting percentages better than .250, but the team still hit less than .200 last weekend as the rest of the roster struggled. In fact, no other attacker hit better than .156 on the weekend.
Scouting Eastern Washington
The Eagles struggled in their first week of play despite sweeping Mercer in their season-opener. In that match, two of the three sets went to extra points, but the Eagles prevailed in each. After the sweep, EWU then lost to Seattle in five sets and was swept by national power Washington, failing to score more than 15 points in a single set. Outside hitter Shelby Puckett leads the Eagles with 36 kills on .317 hitting while teammates Chenoa Coviare and Allison Reinstein have 29 and 16 kills while hitting .290 and .243, respectively. But much like Rice, the Eagles see a drop off in production after those three hitters as no attacker finished with more than 15 kills or a hitting percentage better than .091.
Vann Tries Out for US National Team
Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) recently tried out for the USA Volleyball National Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., and participated with some of the nation's elite talent. On hand were national team coaches Hugh McCutcheon and Karch Kiraly along with the entire USA Volleyball staff, making it a great experience for the tiger libero.
"I thought it would be a good opportunity and I wanted to see where I stood nationally for my position. And it's good for networking I'm looking to go pro after college and it's already really difficult for my position, so knowing the national team coach and talking to all the different coaches is good networking."
Bodenstab Makes the Transition
Last season, freshman Ashton Bodenstab (Blue Springs, Mo.) competed with the Mizzou track and field program before making the transition to volleyball this season. Bodenstab was training in the combined events under Mizzou assistant coach Dan Lefever. But she specialized in volleyball during high school and when the opportunity presented itself to walk onto Mizzou's team, she did just that. She was an All-State, All-District and All-Area selection in 2008 before coming to Mizzou in 2009.
Tigers Build New Team Room
The Tigers got a surprise when they came to the team's first official practice as the coaching staff spent the summer designing a new team room. The room, which sits across the hall from the current volleyball locker room in the old Hearnes Center interview room, features a sitting area with leather couches, work space for student-athletes to study and a brand new home entertainment center.
Volleyball - Tiger Cup Winners
After spending countless hours in the community last season, the Mizzou volleyball team was awarded the Tiger Cup Trophy. The Tiger Cup recognizes the Mizzou team that earned the most overall points in the team competition. Points were awarded for achievement in academics, athletics and for community involvement. Awarded a prize of $3,000, the volleyball players stayed true to their commitment to the community and immediately donated their entire prize to the Mid-Missouri Susan G. Komen Foundation, which raises funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.
The Tiger volleyball team earned points in a variety of ways, specifically with high performance in the classroom and on the court, but it was the Tigers' dedication to the community that set them apart from the other Tiger programs. In the fall, Mizzou spent time donating holiday cookies to senior citizens at retirement communities throughout the Mid-Missouri community. The team also spent the spring semester doing the same with bags of jellybeans, hoping to spread a little spring cheer.
Also, the volleyball team hosted a Haitian Relief Tournament earlier this year that benefited the American Red Cross and its Haitian earthquake relief funds. During that event, the team raised more than $1,000 for the relief efforts as the collected donations and helping teach the game of volleyball to area youngsters.
During the fall, Mizzou Volleyball also hosted several youth clinics, visited elementary schools for before- school clinics, held a Girl Scout clinic at the Hearnes Center Field House, visited the MU Children's Hospital and provided community service in a variety of other ways during their competitive schedule. The Tigers even took time host a local youngster's birthday party prior to their five-set, comeback win over Texas A&M at the Hearnes Center.
Mizzou also excelled in the classroom, posting a combined 3.11 cumulative grade-point-average. In addition, six Tigers earned Academic All-Big 12 honors last season, adding to their success as student-athletes. Currently, nine Mizzou volleyball players have a GPA that is better than a 3.00.
Competitively, Mizzou earned Tiger cup points in large part thanks to Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) who was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and was honored as the league's Preseason and Postseason Newcomer of the Year. Each of those honors earned the program points in the Tiger Cup competition.
In the 10 seasons that Wayne and Susan Kreklow have been at the helm of the Mizzou program, the Tigers have seen an unprecedented level of success. In fact, Mizzou has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in eight of the past 10 seasons, making them one of only 16 teams nationally to accomplish that feat. The Kreklows won their 200th game at Mizzou last season after defeating Texas Tech, 3-0, in Lubbock. That is good for an average of 20 wins per season, a bench mark that usually results in a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Milestones for the Kreklows
Over the past two seasons, the Kreklows have earned plenty of milestone wins. In their last win of 2008 at Colorado, the Kreklows won the program's 600th win of all time. Last season, Team Kreklow (Wayne and Susan together) won their 200th win at Mizzou after topping Texas Tech. Team Kreklow also claimed its 700th win all-time last season while Wayne Kreklow won his 400th game as head coach as well.
Follow Mizzou on Twitter
Mizzou volleyball has started its own Twitter page. Be sure to follow the Tigers all season long at http://twitter.com/MU_Volleyball. The site will be updated all year long with updates on the team and special insight into what it is like to be a member of the Mizzou volleyball team. Check back all season for updates.
Tiger Volleyball on the Radio
The Mizzou volleyball team will have each of its home and its Big 12 road matches live on the radio at MUTigers.com all season long. At home, the live broadcasts will be streamed with live video on Mizzou All-Access. Also, video updates and highlights from the Tigers' road trips will be posted on MUTigers.com all season long. Ross Taylor of Mizzou All-Access will serve as the voice of the Tigers while former Tiger All-American setter Lindsey Hunter will provide play-by-play.
The Mizzou VolleyBlog
The Mizzou VolleyBlog will be back in 2010 and will offer live updates from each Tiger match. Fans can access the blog at MUTigers.com and it will be an interactive experience for fans as the moderator will take questions and comments from fans at each of the home and away matches. It will also offer exclusive video and student-athlete and coach interviews throughout the season, including video features on each of the student-athletes.
Mizzou will return to the road for its final pre-conference season tournament as it will compete in the Western Kentucky Invitational. Teams from Western Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Central Arkansas and Tennessee Tech will be on hand at the two-day event.