Tigers And Buffs Ready For Wednesday Clash In Boulder

MUTIGERS.COM Luiza Jarocka has become the second setter in the Tigers' 6-2
MUTIGERS.COM
Luiza Jarocka has become the second setter in the Tigers' 6-2
MUTIGERS.COM

Oct. 2, 2007

Missouri at
Colorado
October 3, 2007, 6:30pm (MT)
Boulder, Colo.

Missouri Volleyball
visits Colorado

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Multimedia

  • TV: FSN Midwest, FSN Rocky Mountain; commentators: Drew Goodman, Amy Gant
  • Missouri Audio: Yahoo! Sports (sub. required), commentators: Willie Springer, Craig Sherman
  • Live Stats

Coaches

  • Missouri (8-6, 1-4 Big 12): Wayne Kreklow (Drake '80), 318-53 overall (9th year), 51-24 at Mizzou (3rd year), 160-70 at with wife at Mizzou (8th year), 9-5 vs Colorado
  • Colorado (5-8, 0-5 Big 12): Pi'I Aiu (Colorado, 1989), 185-124 overall (11th year), 185-124 at Colorado (11th year), 9-9 vs Missouri

Series Matchup

  • The two teams split the series last year, each team having won their home match. Colorado defeated the Tigers in Boulder 3-2 to open the series, while Missouri won the rematch two months later in Columbia, 3-1. Colorado owns the series lead 31-10, however, is only 5-9 against Missouri with the Kreklows.
    1. Mizzou has won four-of-the-last-six and seven-of-the-last-10 in the series … Colorado is 17-3 against Mizzou in Boulder with the Tigers’ wins coming in 2005, 2004, and 2002.
    2. The Tigers are 0-3 all time against Colorado on October 3. Oddly enough (and it is), this October 3 date will be the 10th anniversary of another MU-CU match, played on October 3, 1997. In that one, in Boulder, then-No. 23 Colorado swept Mizzou 15-3, 15-13, 15-11. Crazy, but, that’s how it goes!

Of Note

  • Sophomore S (or OH or RS or MB) Lei Wang scored the 27th triple-double in MU history on Saturday versus Oklahoma with 10 kills, 15 digs, and 49 assists, and the first since Christi Myers (18 kills, 15 digs, 11 blocks) T-D in 2001. It was only the third T-D in the past 16 season at Mizzou.
    1. Mizzou is an even 180-180 in the month of October overall, and 6-17 versus the Buffs in the month.

COLUMBIA, Mo.— The University of Missouri volleyball squad (8-6, 1-4 Big 12) looks to build off the momentum from defeating No. 25 Oklahoma on Saturday night, carrying it to Boulder, Colo., for a Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., contest with Colorado (5-8, 0-5 Big 12). The match will be aired live on FSN Midwest and FSN Rocky Mountain and will feature teams that have played in seven conference contests that have went the full five-games. Colorado started the Big 12 season by losing four matches in five-sets.

‘Look, We’re on TV!’
Wednesday’s volleyball match between the Missouri Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder will be aired live on FSN Midwest starting with first serve at 7:30 p.m., central. FSN Rocky Mountain, who is producing the match, will also air live coverage. FSN Midwest can be seen on many basic cable packages in Missouri, southern Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. FSN Midwest is also available on DirecTV, channel 647, and Dish Network, channel 418.

Big 12 volleyball fans will be treated to three televised conference matches on Wednesday night. In addition to coverage of the Mizzou-Colorado match, ESPNU will air No. 7 Texas at Texas A&M from College Station starting at 6:30 p.m., central, and No. 17 Kansas State at No. 1 Nebraska will be aired live on CSTV starting at 7 p.m., central.

Last Time We Met … Missouri-Colorado
November 4, 2006
The Missouri Tiger volleyball squad (15-9, 9-6) defeated Colorado (13-9, 9-6), 30-23, 30-17, 28-30, 30-28, redeeming themselves from their five-game loss suffered against the Buffs on September 13, 2006 in Boulder and ending their three-match losing streak. Senior Jessica Vander Kooi (Hinton, Iowa) was impressive in leading the Tigers in scoring with 21 kills on a .432 hitting clip, adding 15 digs.

Na Yang (Shan Dong, China) finished the game with a career-high six serving aces, scoring five in games one and two alone. Yang also added 14 kills and three blocks to the Tiger cause.

Nicole Wilson (Lincoln, Neb.) tallied 17 kills, adding six blocks and an ace. Freshman Amanda Hantouli garnered her second match consecutive with a double-digit kill total, grabbing 10 on a .474 clip, committing only one error.

Freshman Lei Wang (Shanghai, China ) came away with 64 assists, adding another double-double to her resume with 10 digs. Wang also had three blocks along with leading the team to a .281 hitting percentage in the match.

Nicole Wilson felt it was a great win for the team saying, "After such a rough last couple of weeks it was a real confidence booster, and I think everyone is feeling relaxed a little bit."

Amber Sutherland led Colorado had a double-double with 20 kills and 18 digs. Ashley Nu'u lead the team with a .375 hitting percentage and 47 assists. Lauren Schaefer had five blocks with Austin Zimmerman and Lara Bossow following closely with four each. Kristen Karlik came in behind Sutherland with 15 digs.

Scouting Colorado
Colorado comes to town without a conference win thus far and having been swept by Texas on Saturday.  The Buffaloes (5-8, 0-5) have had a tough Big 12 run so far, having been on the losing end of five-set matches in four of five conference meetings.

Contributing to the woes for the Buffaloes has been the pre-season loss of senior OH Amber Sutherland.  Sutherland, who was named a pre-season All-Big 12 selection, was forced to redshirt her senior season after setbacks following offseason shoulder surgery.

Filling in for Sutherland’s void at outside hitter has been sophomore Mallori Gibson, who leads Colorado with 180 kills (3.83 kpg).  Also contributing to the Buffalo attack have been juniors Lauren Schaefer (.381) and Alex Buth (.292), who are first and second on the team, respectively, in hitting percentage.

In order to get a win, Colorado will need to play better defensively, something they have struggled with in conference matches.  The Buffaloes currently rank tenth in conference in opponent hitting percentage, and last in blocks.  This is especially true if the Buffaloes wish to continue their pattern of winning.  All CU wins have come in 3-0 sweeps of the opposing team, most notably against then-No. 11 California.
           
The Colorado offense has also struggled in-conference, and are in the lower half of the Big 12 in all offensive categories.  While much of this could be contributed to the loss of Sutherland, experience up front figures to jumpstart the Buffalo attack.

Colorado has never started 0-6 in Big 12 play, and look to bounce back from their worst-ever conference start.  The Buffaloes finished last season tied for fourth in the Big 12 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  CU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 15 of the last 16 years, only failing to make the field in 2002.

The two teams split the series last year, each team having won their home match.  Colorado defeated the Tigers in Boulder 3-2 to open the series, while Missouri won the rematch two months later in Columbia, 3-1.  Colorado owns the series lead 31-10, however, is only 5-9 against Missouri with Wayne Kreklow as Tiger head coach.

-- Blair Miller

  • Mizzou has won four-of-the-last-six and seven-of-the-last-10 in the series … Colorado is 17-3 against Mizzou in Boulder with the Tigers’ wins coming in 2005, 2004, and 2002.
  • The Tigers are 0-3 all time against Colorado on October 3. Oddly enough (and it is), this October 3 date will be the 10th anniversary of another MU-CU match, played on October 3, 1997. In that one, in Boulder, then-No. 23 Colorado swept Mizzou 15-3, 15-13, 15-11. Crazy, but, that’s how it goes!
  • Mizzou is an even 180-180 in the month of October overall, and 6-17 versus the Buffs in the month.

Recapping the (CRAZY) Oklahoma Match
The Tigers pulled off a memorable match on Saturday night in the Hearnes Center. Winning games one and two, 31-29, 30-18, the Tigers were riding high. But, Oklahoma, who had comeback from two down in beating Colorado and Kansas State a week before still had a lot fight left. Game three, maybe one of the nuttiest games ever, went to OU 35-33 and the Sooners to No. 4 30-24. Mizzou used a fast start to pull off the 15-13 game five win to seal its first conference win of the season.

Here are some other extra notes from the match:

  • Senior OH Na Yang’s 26 kills was not only the match high, but also Mizzou’s (tied) season best and, so far, the most kills by any one in the Big 12 among conference matches. In a week that also included Yang’s 11 kills coming off errorless .611 hitting, Yang surged to third in the conference with 4.19 kills per game on the conference season.
  • Sophomore S (or OH or RS or MB) Lei Wang scored the 27th triple-double in MU history with 10 kills, 15 digs, and 49 assists, and the first since Christi Myers (18 kills, 15 digs, 11 blocks) T-D in 2001. It was only the third T-D in the past 16 season at Mizzou.
  • For the second time this season and for only the 15th time in Mizzou history, three games in the match were decided by two points, with two going to ‘overtime’.
  • It was Mizzou’s sixth match of the season that went the full five games. If you were curious, the Mizzou record for fivers in a season is 10, set in 1985. In fact, seven seasons have seen at least seven matches go the full five, including 2006.
  • Mizzou set a season-high in kills with 78.

Klein’s ACL is a Sideliner
The results from an MRI test conducted on September 10 came back with unsavory results as Mizzou OH sophomore Julianna Klein (Keota, Iowa) was diagnosed with a torn ACL in her left knee which was a result of an injury suffered in a September 8 match versus Houston in San Marcos, Texas.

In the third of four games against Houston, with the Tigers up 20-12, Klein went to attack a ball and then came down in pain.

Klein was leading Mizzou with 4.44 kills per game, up from her 2.75 average her freshman season and stood fourth in the Big 12 in the category. In addition, Klein’s defense showed much improvement as her digs-per-game shot from 0.75 her frosh campaign to 2.85 this season, resulting in the first five kill-dig double-doubles of her career. Along with leading Mizzou with 0.48 service aces per game, Klein was third in the Big 12 with 5.30 points per game, behind only 2006 National Player of the Year Sarah Pavan of Nebraska and All-American Destinee Hooker of Texas.

Despite not playing in the final match of the CenturyTel Premier against host Texas State, Klein was named the tournament’s MVP, scoring 5.67 kills per game on a .342 hitting strike for the Tigers while adding 3.33 digs per game and scoring 6.67 points per game.

Klein was also named to Ole Miss’ Magnolia Classic All-Tournament team, opening the season with a career-best 26 kills against the Rebels.

Milestone Watch

  • Along with her top five pursuit in career kills, Yang is also seventh all-time in points with 1,342, 184 away from taking fifth from Nicole Wilson.
  • Senior Tatum Ailes already holds the Mizzou all-time record in digs with 1,698, but how high will the bar be set? … against Texas on September 15, Ailes became the 17th Tiger to play in their 100th match at Mizzou.
  • Sophomore Amanda Hantouli quietly keeps creeping up Mizzou’s all-time blocks per game list … since she became eligible for the category earlier this season, she has crept from eighth all time to her current standing of third all-time with 0.90 blocks per game and is just a smaller fraction from Krista Johnson, who now is fourth on the list (0.8892) … in the last five matches, Hantouli has scored 1.05 bpg.

Schedule Change
The Tigers’ match versus Baylor, originally scheduled for Saturday, November 3, has been moved to Friday, November 2. The match time will remain at 6:30 p.m.

Television For Iowa State’s Visit to Columbia
The November 14 volleyball match in the Hearnes Center between the Missouri Tigers and the Iowa State Cyclones will be televised on the Mizzou Sports Network. FSN Midwest will air the match live in Mid-Missouri and St. Louis while those in Kansas City can catch live action on MetroSports.

The Wednesday match is slated for a 6:30 p.m., start, and will be the third televised match of the season.

FSN Midwest and FSN Rocky Mountain will air live coverage of Mizzou’s match at Colorado on October 3 while CSTV will air live coverage of the Tigers’ visit to Nebraska on October 31.

Big 12 Report
The Missouri Tigers came into last week still looking for their first conference victory.  Unfortunately, their trip to Manhattan, Kansas to face Kansas State didn’t provide the Tigers with that defeat, as the Wildcats swept Missouri 3-0.  Looking to avoid its first 0-5 start since 1997, the Tigers welcomed # 25 Oklahoma to Columbia.  The Tigers got their first conference victory, outlasting the Sooners 3-2, in a match full of amazing plays.  Missouri travels to Boulder to face the Buffs, in a game which will be broadcast on FSN Midwest.  The Tigers then welcome Texas Tech to Columbia for a Saturday matinee. 

Baylor will try to break a three game losing streak this week, after being swept by both Texas A&M and Nebraska.  Baylor only plays one game this week, hosting Texas Tech on Wednesday, before traveling to instate rival Texas the next week.  After going 6-3 in the preseason, Baylor has stumbled out of the conference gates, going 1-5. 

The Colorado Buffs continue to struggle this year, as they have dropped all of their first five Big 12 matches.  A bright spot for the Buffs this year, has been that four of their five losses have gone to five games, showing the team’s competitveness.  Last week, the team dropped decisions to both Oklahoma, in five, and were swept by Texas.  Both matches were on the road.  After hosting the Missouri Tigers on Wednesday, the Buffs welcome top ranked Nebraska to Boulder.  Colorado was the only team to defeat national champion Nebraska last season.

Iowa State won its only match last week, defeating Texas Tech in four games.  The Cyclones’ upcoming stretch could determine how their season might go, as they face Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas State in a row.  The middle two away matches are sandwiched by the two home matches.

After being swept by Nebraska, Kansas looks to redeem itself as it travels to Iowa State and hosts Texas A&M. 

After sweeping Missouri at home, the Kansas State Wildcats traveled to Texas A&M to face the Aggies.  In a close match, Kansas State defeated A&M three games to one.  Kansas State hosts two of the top teams in the conference in the nation this week, as it travels to Nebraska for a CSTV broadcast match and hosts Texas.

# 1 and undefeated Nebraska continued its dominance by sweeping both Kansas and Baylor last week.  The Huskers have swept all of their opponents, except for UCLA, which is the only  team to have taken a game from Nebraska.  The Huskers will be looking for revenge this week, as they travel to the pnly team that beat them last year, Colorado, while also hosting Kansas State.

Oklahoma split their two matches last week, defeating Colorado three games to two, while dropping a five game heartbreaker to Missouri.  The Sooner will go out of conference for a Wednesday night matchup with TCU, before hosting Iowa State.

Texas went 2-0 in its matches this past week, beating in state rivals Texas Tech three games to one, while sweeping Colorado.  The Longhorns face Texas A&M on a game broadcast live on ESPNU, before traveling to Manhattan, Kansas to face the Kansas State Wildcats. 

-- Mike Wojtychiw

Notes to Keep in Mind … 2006 Revisited

  1. The Tigers are coming off a 2006 campaign that included a seventh-consecutive birth to the NCAA Tournament. As a result, Mizzou and Nebraska are now the only programs in the Big 12 Conference to have made the post-season every year since 2000.
  2. Mizzou won their first-round matchup in the tournament for the third-straight year in 2006, knocking off No. 21 Santa Clara in a three-game sweep in Palo Alto, Calif. The Tigers forced eventual national runner-up Stanford to a five-game thriller in the second round on the Cardinal’s home floor, coming back from a game down and 16-10 deficit in the fourth stanza to produce a fifth-game.
  3. Despite an 18-13 final record in 2006, the end-of-the-season surge produced a No. 21 final ranking in the AVCA Top 25, marking Mizzou’s third-straight year among the nation’s best. Only 15 teams have been sited on at least the last three final national polls.

Preseason Impressions
The coaches of the Big 12 picked Mizzou to finish third in the Big 12 Conference this season. Defending National and Conference Champion Nebraska was picked to win for the fourth-straight year. Texas was voted second. Truth-be-told, the voting for the third through ninth spots was incredibly close. Right on the Tigers’ heels (or tail) in the voting was Texas A&M and Colorado.  Iowa State and Kansas State were very close in voting as well. Oklahoma, finished second in the league last year, is picked ninth this season. It should be a very interesting season in the league.

The national impression of the league is also striking. Nebraska was the coaches’ preseason pick to at national No. 1. Texas is also expected to have a big year, they ranked 4th in the preseason national poll. The Tigers had a No. 20 preseason ranking with Oklahoma, mentioned earlier that they were picked to finish ninth in the league, had a No. 22 preseason standing, ending the 2006 season with a No. 12 ranking. Texas A&M, Colorado, and Iowa State all received votes in the poll. 

Senior Salute
At no time in Mizzou volleyball history have players entered the season with as much playing experience in the NCAA Tournament as seniors Tatum Ailes and Na Yang. Helping the Tigers to their seventh-postseason run in 2006, both Yang and Ailes have played eight NCAA Tournament matches in their previous three years at Mizzou which includes a run to the field’s round of eight in 2005.

Both Ailes and Yang were named to this season’s Preseason All-Big 12 team, and for Ailes, she became the first defensive player in league history to earn such an honor.

Ailes (Bellevue, Neb.) returns for her senior campaign fresh from an appearance on Team USA's A2-national training team this spring and returns to the team having been the Tigers' starting libero for three seasons. Meanwhile, Ailes has already made a lasting impression on the Mizzou program as the squad's all-time leader in digs and digs per game. In 2005, the coaches of the Big 12 named Ailes as Libero of the Year.

Yang (Shan Dong, China) is in her senior campaign as well and has an accomplished record from her previous three years at Mizzou. Yang has shown prowess during the regular season, but her numbers in the post-season are the outside-hitter's bread-and-butter. In eight NCAA Tournament matches, Yang has averaged 4.10 kills per game on a .304 hitting percentage.

Sophomore Surge
A very large, and important, piece of this year’s puzzle is four returning Tigers in their second year of eligibility. The Class of ’09 will vital in Mizzou’s “Unleashing”.

Setter Lei Wang is already going into her second full year of leading the Tiger offense, coming off a successful frosh season in leading the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament with a 12.46 assists per game, 2.39 digs per game, and 0.98 points per game average. During the Big 12 season, Wang averaged 12.86 assists per game, ranking fifth in the league. Wang recorded 63 assists in the five-game NCAA second-round match at Stanford and was a crucial component of the Tiger game-four comeback, as Mizzou hit nearly .500 (13-2-24) from when the Tigers were down 16-10 to when Mizzou won the frame 30-25.

Keota, Iowa, native Julianna Klein stepped up during her true freshman season, finding a starting role in 18 matches last season. Klein scored 10-or-more kills in 16 matches last season, including scoring a season-high 21 kills versus Baylor on September 27. Against Stanford in the NCAA second round, Klein carded 14 kills and six digs. In addition, Klein’s serve caught several opponents off guard early in the year as she scored 18 of her 23 aces from the season in the first 11 matches. Klein racked seven aces in an early-season tournament match against Villanova.

Amanda Hantouli started 25 matches last season as a redshirt freshman, finding her first playing time since an ACL injury sidelined the Omaha, Neb., native during her senior year in high school. Now a sophomore, Hantouli contributed 10-or-more kills in four contests and five-or-more blocks in six matches last season. Her play against Stanford in the NCAA second round gave many a picture into the possible future as she scored 10 kills on 15 attempts (.533), adding three blocks.

Megan Wilson will likely see quite a bit of playing time as a right-side hitter this season. The 6-2 sophomore from Lincoln, Neb., exposed much talent as a server as well last season. Against Stanford in the NCAA second round, Wilson added three crucial aces and served many points in efforts to throw the Cardinal offense. Wilson had three matches in 2006 with two-or-more aces.

Sparkling and New
This year’s incoming freshman class will get much experience, very early. Unlike the class before that had three use redshirt seasons to refine their skills, this Class of 2010 will see time immediately.

Newcomer Caitlyn Vann comes to Mizzou from Muncie, Ind., and Burris High School. Vann, along with fellow newcomer Catie Wilson, was one of 35 to be named to the inaugural AVCA High School Senior All-American list. Vann was a three-time All-State selection at Burris, earning first-team honors in her junior and senior seasons. While Vann was recruited as a libero, she played as a left-side hitter in her years in high school, tallying 442 kills and 368 digs as team captain in her recently completed senior season. Vann was also a part of USA Volleyball’s Junior National Training Team in 2006 and was before a two-year member of USAV’s Youth National-A2 team.

Weiwen Wang comes to Mizzou from Nanjing, China, and is the fifth Tiger to come from the country. Wang was captain of her national-champion high school team and was a member of her country’s team that won the 2006 World School Volleyball Championship in Porec, Croatia. Wang was also a member of the Chinese 15 & Under Youth National team that took third.

Catie Wilson (no relation to Megan Wilson) comes to Mizzou from Omaha, Neb., and Gross High School. Wilson, along with Vann was named to the AVCA’s inaugural High School Senior All-American Team. In addition, Wilson was a four-time All-State selection, earning first-team honors in her junior and senior seasons.

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