Sep 3, 2013
What's Inside - A Quick Look at the Notes
After a 4-0 weekend, Mizzou will hit the road for the first time this season for four matches in New England.
The Tigers will take on Fairfield Thursday in a true road match before taking on Yale, Seton Hall and Colgate.
Dating back to 2010, Mizzou is 10-1 in the second weekend of play heading into the weekend.
The Tigers claimed their sixth Tiger Invitational Title in seven seasons last weekend at home.
Molly Kreklow was Tournament MVP while Lisa Henning, Whitney Little and Carly Kan were All-Tournament.
Following the first weekend of play, Mizzou is one of just two SEC teams with a 4-0 record.
The Tiger freshmen made a huge impact last weekend, in particular Carly Kan and Emily Thater.
The Tiger offense ranks first in the SEC in every statistical category (hitting, kills, assists, points).
Mizzou his .458 in its win over Pitt last weekend, a new Mizzou four-set school record for attack percentage.
Setter Molly Kreklow leads the SEC in assists per set (13.31) and service aces per set (0.89).
Whitney Little leads the SEC in hitting with her .633 attack clip last weekend.
Three of the SEC's top five hitters are from Mizzou - Emily Thater is third at .531; Carly Kan fourth at .508.
All-American Lisa Henning is second in the SEC in kills and points per set and is 12th in hitting at .397.
Freshman Carly Kan is the SEC's top attacking outside hitter with her .508 clip and the league's No. 2 freshman.
Freshman Emily Thater is the first Tiger to have 22 blocks in the first four matches of the season since 2000.
Thater is second in the SEC in blocking and is the top blocking freshman in the league.
Mizzou was picked to finish third in the SEC East this season behind Florida and Kentucky.
Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning made the Preseason All-SEC Team.
Seniors Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning are one of the four winningest classes in program history entering 2013.
The senior class (66 wins) has a shot of winning the third-most games over a four-year span at Mizzou (currently 84).
Henning posted 61 kills last weekend, moving her career total to 1,356, the top active mark in the SEC.
Henning is now just 302 kills and 413 points shy of the all-time Mizzou career record in both categories.
Kreklow has guided the Tigers to their second-best three-year hitting percentage in school history (.264).
Tigers Continue Play at Fairfield, Yale Invitational This Weekend
Second Weekend Success
After going 4-0 last weekend en-route to winning its sixth Tiger Invitational in seven years, the Mizzou volleyball program will head east for its first road trip this season. First, Mizzou will play its first true road match of the season on Thursday (Sept. 5) at Fairfield before playing in the Yale Invitational Friday and Saturday. Below is the tournament schedule.
The current Tiger senior class - Molly Kreklow
and Lisa Henning
- has seen plenty of success in its time at Mizzou during the second weekend of play. In fact, dating back to their freshman season, 2010, Kreklow and Henning are a combined 10-1 in the second weekend of play with their only loss coming in a true road match at Middle Tennessee State in 2011. Last year, Mizzou won the Lipscomb Invite in weekend No. 2.
Last Time Out
For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Mizzou volleyball team claimed the Tiger Invitational Championship after defeating both Idaho State and Arkansas State in straight sets on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 31) at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers dropped just one set in the whole tournament as they went 4-0 in the annual affair, pushing their all-time mark in Tiger Invite play to 35-3.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow was named Tournament Most Valuable Player for the third time in her career (2010, 2011, 2013) while classmate Lisa Henning was named to the All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season. Freshman Carly Kan and junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little were also named to the All-Tournament team. Kreklow guided the team to .406 hitting and a 15.69 kills per set average and a whopping 204 kills in just 13 sets. Kreklow averaged 13.31 assists per set while adding 10 kills on just 20 attacks with 30 digs and she had 11 aces over the four matches. Henning was the team's top offensive weapon with 61 kills (4.69 per set) on .397 hitting with 33 digs in the tournament. Kan led all outside hitters in the tournament with a .508 attack percentage while averaging 2.92 kills per set, 1.54 digs per set and nine aces. Little had just one error in four matches as she hit .633, a team-best, with 32 kills (2.46 per set) while adding seven blocks.
Offense Fires on All Cylinders
Following the first weekend of play, Mizzou's offense ranks first in all the major categories among SEC teams. Mizzou's .406 attack clip is first, ahead of Florida's .378 clip. The tigers also averaged 14.92 assists per set, ahead of second-place Mississippi State which stands at 14.50. The Tigers' 15.69 kills per set is also just ahead of Mississippi State's 15.64 clip.
Tigers Break School Record vs. Pitt
In Mizzou's 3-1 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday, the team set a school four-set record with its .458 attack clip. The attack percentage was the Tigers' best in any match since 2007 and also ranks 14th in school history. In fact, Mizzou converted 58-percent of its attacks into kills in that match.
Tigers Rank First or Second in Five of Seven Major Categories
Piggy-backing off of the last note about Mizzou's offense, the Tigers rank first or second in five of the seven major statistical categories in the SEC after week one. Aside from ranking first in the offensive categories listed above, Mizzou also ranks second in aces with 2.54 per set while its 33 total aces are an SEC-best. The Tigers trail only Florida (3.00 per set) in aces after the opening weekend. Mizzou also ranks second in blocking after the first weekend, averaging 2.54 per set, trailing only Georgia (2.78).
Freshmen Make Impact
Heading into the season, it was clear that the Mizzou freshman class was going to play a huge role in 2013, but after the opening weekend of play it is even more evident. Three Tiger freshmen started all four matches on the weekend and made huge contributions for Mizzou. Below is a look.
Carly Kan - A first team High School All-American, Kan hit .508 over the weekend in her first collegiate action, averaging 2.92 kills per set ... She also had nine aces, 20 digs and five blocks ... Tallied a career-best 15 kills on .650 hitting against Pittsburgh ... Named to the Tiger Invitational All-Tournament Team ... Is currently fifth in the SEC in hitting (.508), is 19th in kills (2.92) and fourth in aces (0.69 per set).
Kreklow Dazzles in Season Debut
Emily Thater - Hit .531 and averaged 1.69 blocks per set with 22 total blocks on the weekend ... Posted a career-best 10 kills on 12 errorless attacks in the Tigers' season-opening match vs. South Dakota ... Had a career-best eight blocks (two solo, six assists) against Idaho State ... Currently fourth in the SEC in hitting (.531) and second in blocking (1.69 per set) while her eight total blocks vs. Idaho State are the best three-set mark in the SEC this season.
Loxley Keala - Started all four matches as a defensive specialist in the Tiger Invite and pulled in 18 digs while picking up a pair of aces.
Auburn's Katherine Culwell may have been named SEC Player of the Week on Tuesday, but arguably no player in the SEC had better numbers than Mizzou's Molly Kreklow
in the opening weekend of play. In fact, she averaged 13.31 assists per set and guided the team to SEC-bests in hitting (.406), kills per set (15.69) and assists per set (14.92). Interestingly enough, those numbers were better than her numbers following the 2011 Tiger Invitational
after which she was named AVCA National Player of the Week. She spread the ball very well as five different Tigers had at least 20 kills while her top four targets all hit about .397 with three of those four checking in at .508 or higher. 51.7-percent of her sets were converted to kills in the opening weekend. Not only that, but Kreklow leads the SEC with her 13.31 assists per set average and also leads the SEC with her 11 service aces and her 0.89 service aces per set average.
Little Leads SEC in Hitting
After hitting .633 with 32 kills, one error on 49 attempts, junior middle Whitney Little leads the SEC in attack percentage following the opening weekend of play. Her .633 attack clip is just ahead of defending SEC Player of the Year Chloe Mann of Florida, who hit .630 in the opening weekend.
More on Hitting
As mentioned earlier, Mizzou hit .406 last weekend due to Molly Kreklow's excellent setting, so it is no surprise that the Tigers have several players ranked among the top hitters in the SEC. In fact, Mizzou has three of the top five hitters. Little is first at .633 while Thater is fourth at .531. Kan ranks just behind Thater in fifth place at .508.
After earning AVCA Third Team All-America honors in each of the last two seasons, there were big expectations for senior Lisa Henning heading into the season. After the first weekend of play, she did not disappoint, averaging 4.69 kills per set on .397 hitting with 33 total digs last weekend. In fact, following the four matches at the Tiger Invite, Henning is second in the SEC in kills per set (4.69), points per set (5.15) and is 12th in hitting (.397).
Kan is SEC's Top Hitting Outside Hitter
After hitting .508 in the opening weekend of play, Carly Kan has the SEC's top hitting percentage among outside hitters, quite an amazing feat considering she is listed at just 5-9. The key to her success despite being undersized at the net is the fact that she is a smart hitter. She had just five errors on the weekend and converted 59-percent of her swings into kills. Also, she is the league's second-best hitting freshman, trailing only teammate Emily Thater, who hit .531 in the opening weekend of play.
Block Party for Thater
Speaking of Emily Thater, the freshman middle from Springfield, Mo., did a lot of good things during the opening weekend of play, but none of which were as good as her blocking. In fact, she tallied 22 total blocks last weekend, the most in the SEC, while her 1.69 blocks per set clip ranks her second in the SEC. In fact, Thater is the first Tiger since former All-American Christi Myers in 2000 to have that many blocks in the first four matches of the season. Myers had 23 through her first four matches in 2000.
When the Southeastern Conference announced its Preseason All-SEC Team, a pair of Tigers were included on the list in seniors Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.). The selections mark the second consecutive season that both Henning and Kreklow were honored in the preseason by the SEC and Mizzou joined league-favorite Florida as one of the only two teams in the SEC to place at least two players on the nine-member team. Henning and Kreklow began their Mizzou careers in the 2010 season as the cornerstones of what was the nation's No. 14 recruiting class that year according to PrepVolleyball.com. They have accounted for 66 wins, four NCAA Tournament matches and an NCAA Sweet 16. They have combined for seven major All-Conference Teams selections, a pair of All-America honors, three AVCA All-Region honors, nine weekly conference honors and one AVCA National Player of the Week award.
Tigers Picked to Finish Third in SEC East
The Mizzou volleyball program was picked to finish third in the SEC East as the Southeastern Conference announced its annual preseason poll on Aug. 8. In their second year in the conference, it is the highest that the Tigers have been picked in the annual tally, which is voted on by the league's coaches.
Seniors Rank Among All-Time Winningest Classes
With 66 wins through their first three-plus seasons, the Mizzou senior class (Kreklow, Henning) has a chance to become one of the winningest classes in program history with nearly a full season remaining. If you discount the years from 1974-1981 when a volleyball season featured close to 60 matches (as opposed to today's schedule which features closer to 35 matches per season), the Tiger senior class has a chance to realistically ranks third all-time in Mizzou history - the goal is still within reach as 24 wins would tie the mark.
Winningest Four-Year Stretches
2002-05 - 90 wins
2002-04 - 89 wins
1982-85 - 84 wins
Mizzou Senior Class - 66 wins
Fairfield is the defending MAAC champion from a year ago. They welcome six returning starters to this year's roster. The Stags dropped their opening three games this past weekend at the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fairfield fell to Northern Iowa 3-0, Utah 3-1, and Utah State 3-2. In 2009, Mizzou won their only all-time meeting with Fairfield 3-0.
The Yale Bulldogs open their 2013 campaign against Mizzou on Friday to kick off the Yale Invitational. Yale posted an unblemished 14-0 conference record in 2012 en route to an Ivy League championship. It is the fourth consecutive season the Bulldogs have won the Ivy League. Yale boasts a wealth of experience on this year's squad, with four all-conference players returning. Senior Kendall Pollan is the two-time defending Ivy League Player of the Year. This will be the first meeting between Mizzou and Yale.
Scouting Seton Hall
Seton Hall looks to build on their 18-win 2012 season this year, the second year under the helm of head coach Allison Yeager. Senior Alyssa Warren ranked seventh in the nation in digs last year and returns as the defending Big East 2012 Libero of the Year. Last weekend, the Pirates finished 1-2 in the U.S. Military Academy Tournament. Seton Hall fell to Alabama 3-1, followed by a 3-2 victory over Army, and a close 3-2 loss to Washington State. This will be the first meeting between Mizzou and Seton Hall.
Colgate got off to a fast start in 2013, winning its first three games as host of the Colgate Classic. The Raiders have won 11 consecutive Patriot League championships since 2001 and return four all conference seniors this fall.
Henning is SEC's Active Kills Leader
Obviously, Mizzou returns quite a bit of fire power to the roster in 2013, but there is no bigger weapon for Mizzou than two-time AVCA Third Team All-American Lisa Henning. Last season, Henning led the SEC in kills per set (4.64) and points per set (5.28), just one year removed from accomplishing the same feat in Big 12 play in 2011. She is the SEC's active kills leader with 1,356 in her career and sits just 419 kills of fourth in SEC history during the rally scoring era. She is also just 302 kills shy of the Mizzou all-time career kills record (1,658 by Shen Danru). Henning also needs just 419 points to match the Mizzou career record. She is the first ever Tiger to post back-to-back 500-kill seasons as well.
Kreklow Anchors Offense
Since 2010, there has been one constant in the Tiger starting lineup and that has been now senior Molly Kreklow. She has started every match in her career and played in every set (102 matches, 368 sets) and is fourth all-time at Mizzou with 4,059 career assists. She has also guided Mizzou to its second-best three-year hitting percentage in program history at .253, trailing only the team from 2003-05, which was anchored by All-American setter and current assistant coach Lindsey Hunter.
Double The Trouble
Kreklow and Henning combined to tally 31 double-doubles last season, led by Kreklow's 19 which ranked second in the SEC. The 31 double-doubles is the most of any returning duo in the SEC this season.
Little Looks To Rewrite The Record Books, Again
Junior Whitney Little reset the Mizzou single season blocks record as a freshman with 138 in 2011 and then topped that mark with 139 as a sophomore last season. In 2013, Little, who is the SEC's leading blocker from a season ago, will look to again post another school record total. She earned Second Team All-SEC honors a season ago and was blocking at an All-American pace early in the season. In fact, over a nine-match span she tallied a Mizzou career record five 10-block matches. She also posted a pair of block-kill double-doubles, which hadn't been done at Mizzou since 2007, and reset the school record with five solo blocks at Florida. In SEC play, Little averaged 1.40 blocks per set.
Little is Current Career Leader in Block Per Set
After resetting the Mizzou single season blocks record in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, Little enters the 2013 season ranked first all-time at Mizzou with a 1.15 career blocks per set average. The next two career marks on the list are 1.07 by Nicole Wilson and 1.06 by Christi Myers, both of whom were All-Americans at Mizzou.
Tigers With Three of the SEC's Top 20 Active Kill Leaders
As noted earlier, senior Lisa Henning is the SEC's top active kill leader with 1,356, but a pair of other Tigers rank among the league's top 20 active kill leaders. The three players in the top-20 ties Mizzou for the most of any SEC school in the top 20 with Auburn while the three players account for a league-best 2,332 career kills. Henning is first with 1,356 while junior Emily Wilson checks in at 12th with 517 (the second-best mark among SEC juniors) and junior Whitney Little is 18th with 459. What is even more remarkable is that that trio has accumulated those kills on a combined .260 hitting with two of the players (Henning and Wilson) playing on the outside. Below is a look:
SEC Rank Player Kills
Freshman Class Garners National Praise
1. Henning 1,356
12 Wilson 517
18. Little 459
PrepVolleyball.com tabbed Mizzou's 2013 freshman class as the No. 18 recruiting class nationally. The No. 18 national ranking places the Tigers third in the SEC, trailing only Arkansas (16) and Tennessee (17). The No. 18 national ranking is the highest for Mizzou since the 2010 freshman class (Molly Kreklow
, Lisa Henning
) ranked 14th nationally.
This year's class is comprised of six individuals, the second-largest class in program history. Put together by head coach Wayne Kreklow, recruiting coordinator Lindsey Hunter and the rest of the staff, the class includes two student-athletes from Hawaii, three from Missouri and one from Texas. Joining the Tigers in 2013 will be Carly Kan, 5-8 DS/OH, Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii); Loxley Keala, 5-11 S, Iolani (Honolulu, Hawaii); Courtney Meek, 5-5 DS, St. Joseph's (St. Louis, Missouri); Linda Steinhardt, 5-5 DS, Cedar Park (Texas); Emily Thater, 6-2 MB, Kickapoo (Springfield , Missouri) and Julia Towler, 6-2 MB/OH, Blue Springs South (Blue Springs, Missouri).
High School All-Americans
Both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala earned big-time accolades coming out of high school this year. Kan was named to the Volleyball Magazine High School All-America First Team and the PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America First Team. The first team for both publications featured the top 13 high school seniors in the country. Keala was also an Honorable Mention High School All-American according to PrepVolleyball.com.
Kan a Defensive Dandy
On May 31, PrepVolleyball.com released its Defensive Dandies List - which attempts to recognize the top defensive players at the high school level - and Mizzou freshman Carly Kan was recognized as a first team Defensive Dandy. She was one of just 12 players nationally selected to the first team. The award for Kan was the third major award that she has received last year. She was a Volleyball Magazine First Team High School All-American and a First Team PrepVolleyball.com High School All-American earlier this year, both of which honor the top 13 high school players in the country.
As Mizzou volleyball takes the court this season, there will be something that a lot of Tiger fans have not seen too often as two Hawaii natives will don the Black & Gold as both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala call the Rainbow State their home. The freshman duo calls Honolulu home and played on rival high schools growing up. As a hot bed for volleyball talent, both Kan and Keala bring extensive beach play to Mizzou and great all-around games. They are the first Hawaii natives to play for Mizzou volleyball. The two were beach partners their senior year.
Tigers Train in Sand
After the NCAA added beach volleyball, more college volleyball programs have been looking into training on the beach and Mizzou did just that last spring. As the Tigers did not have enough bodies to play matches during the spring, they honed their skills while playing 2-on-2 on the Mizzou Rec Center sand volleyball courts. The idea was to not only improve the team's strength and conditioning, but also help the team get better at reading the play and playing small balls. The results have showed during fall practice so far.
Kreklows Are Second-Longest Tenured Women's Coaches at Mizzou
Now entering their 14th season overall at Mizzou, Wayne and Susan Kreklow are the second-longest tenured women's coaches at Mizzou and the fourth-longest overall. Only Mizzou soccer's Bryan Blitz has had a longer current tenure as a women's coach at Mizzou and only baseball coach Tim Jamieson, Blitz and wrestling coach Brian Smith have been at Mizzou longer among current Mizzou head coaches. The Kreklows have overseen the longest run by any coach in Mizzou volleyball history and this season, Wayne Kreklow enters his ninth year as a head coach, which will pass Craig Sherman (1986-1993) as the longest tenured head coach in Mizzou volleyball history. Coincidentally, Wayne Kreklow served as an assistant under Sherman before going to Columbia College and back to Mizzou again in 2000.
Weekly Conference Honors Trend
Since the start of the 2009 season, a trend has started for the Mizzou volleyball program. In fact, in the last four seasons, Mizzou has claimed 30 conference weekly honors, including four SEC tallies a season ago. What makes that mark even more impressive is the fact that from 1990-2008, Mizzou had just 17 weekly conference honorees.
Home Sweet Hearnes
Last season, Mizzou averaged 2,055 fans per match, which once again ranked in the top 20 nationally. Since Wayne and Susan Kreklow took over the program in 2000, the coaching duo has made it a priority to improve attendance at the Hearnes Center and have done so, creating one of the most intimidating atmospheres in the nation. In fact, in their first season at the helm, Mizzou averaged just 920 fans per match. That jumped to nearly 1,800 in 2001 and a historic 2,578 per match in 2005. In fact, in nine of the Kreklow's 13 seasons, Mizzou has drawn more than 20,000 fans per year, including eight of the last nine and four straight.
Tigers On TV
The Southeastern Conference announced its 2013 volleyball television schedule on Wednesday (Aug. 14) and Mizzou will appear on national television through the package twice during the 2013 season. Mizzou's match at Arkansas on Oct. 2 will air live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. while its contest at Tennessee will air live on Fox Sports Midwest, Fox SportsSouth and Fox Sports Southwest on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
The Arkansas match will be the first televised SEC match of the season, marking the second consecutive season that Mizzou will be featured in the league's opening televised match. Last year, Mizzou defeated No. 17 Tennessee in comeback fashion on ESPNU in its inaugural SEC match, 3-2, after trailing 2-0 at intermission.
Mizzou on Social Media
For everything Mizzou volleyball all the time, check the Tigers out on social media. You can follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB. The team is also on instagram at mizzou_volleyball and the team's facebook page is Missouri Volleyball.
Volleyball on the Air
If you can't be at the Tigers' matches this season, you can still catch all of the action at MUTigers.com as all of the matches will be streamed with audio and home matches will have video and audio. Ben Wilson will enter his first year behind the microphone in 2013 and will be joined by former Tiger Katie O'Brien, who took a medical hardship last season. Links to each broadcast can be found on MUTigers.com and MizzouNetwork.com.
Mizzou will hit the road again to take on NC State, Rice and Houston Baptist in the Rice Invitational next weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.