Oct. 10, 2011
Match Info: Mizzou (14-7, 1-4 Big 12) vs. Kansas (12-5, 0-4 Big 12)
Date: Oct. 12
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Hearnes Center
Television: Mizzou Sports Network
Live Stats: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @MU_Volleyball
Game Notes: Media Notes
The Opening Serve - What You Need to Know
After playing 15 of 21 matches on the road, the Mizzou volleyball team will return home for the first of three-straight home matches against Kansas on Wednesday (Oct. 8) at the Hearnes Center. The match will air live statewide on Mizzou Sports Network and will also serve as the annual `Bust the House' match where Mizzou will look to welcome its largest crowd of the season.
Sophomore Lisa Henning posted a career-best 27 kills on .365 hitting with just four errors on 63 attacks at Baylor last Saturday. That moved Henning into first place in the Big 12 with 4.59 kills per set during Big 12 play. She also ranks second in the Big 12 in points per set in league matches with 5.11. Over her last four matches Henning is averaging 4.63 kills per set and 5.18 points per set.
Setter Molly Kreklow posted another double-double at Baylor with 52 assists and 14 digs as she now has a double-double in seven of her last eight matches as she leads the team with eight this season. The only match over her last eight in which she did not record a double-double was on the road at Iowa State in the Big 12 opener.
Senior Brittney Brimmage continues to lead the Big 12 in hitting at .390 after totaling 12 kills on .320 hitting in the Tigers' five-set loss at Baylor last Saturday.
What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
The Tigers will return home Wednesday (Oct. 12) as they look to `Bust the House' against rival Kansas.
Mizzou has lost three-straight matches but all three losses came in five sets and two were on the road.
Mizzou has played 15 of its 21 matches away from home as it returns to Hearnes for two matches this week.
Mizzou and Kansas split the season series last year with each team winning at home.
Head coach Wayne Kreklow sits just six wins shy of his 400th as a collegiate women's coach.
Lisa Henning leads all Big 12 attackers in kills per set (4.59) while ranking second in points per set (4.11).
Henning joins KSU's Kaitlynn Pelger as the only two players to average more than 5.00 pps in Big 12 play.
Henning tallied a career-best 27 kills and 29.5 total points in the Tigers' loss at Baylor.
Henning holds the Big 12's top to kill totals during league play with 24 vs. KSU and her 27 at Baylor.
Over her last four matches, Henning is averaging 4.63 kills per set with 88 total kills.
Setter Molly Kreklow has recorded a double-double in seven of her last eight matches.
Kreklow now ranks third in the Big 12 in assists per set at 10.51 and leads the league in total assists at 830.
Tiger senior Brittney Brimmage moved back atop the Big 12 in hitting at .390 this season.
Brimmage hit .529 at OU, marking the first time that she has hit better than .500 since Sept. 3 vs. FIU.
Brimmage is hitting .395 with 46 kills (2.42 per set) over her last four matches.
Priscilla Armendariz moved into eighth place in career digs at Baylor on Saturday as she now has 1,079.
Armendariz has been better in Big 12 play, averaging 4.27 digs per set. She averaged just 3.47 prior to that.
Bust the House
The Mizzou volleyball team will look to `Bust the House' this Wednesday as it welcomes archrival Kansas to the Hearnes Center for a 6:30 p.m. match that will air statewide on Mizzou Sports Network. The match will serve as the Tigers' annual `Bust the House' match where the program will look to welcome its largest crowd of the season. Live stats will be provided at MUTigers.com while fans that cannot be around a television are welcome to check out the match on MUTigers.tv as it will stream the broadcast.
Last Time Out
Mizzou lost its third-straight five-set match last Saturday at Baylor despite a career-best effort from sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning, who had 27 kills on .365 hitting. But it wasn't enough for the Tigers, who once led the match 2-0, as Baylor rallied on its home floor to pull off the comeback. Henning's 27 kills are the most by any Big 12 player in a league match this season and are third overall in the conference. Senior Brittney Brimmage tallied 12 kills on .320 hitting while sophomore setter Molly Kreklow tallied a double-double with 52 assists and 14 digs.
Henning Shines Over Last Four
As mentioned above, Lisa Henning had a career-best match at Baylor last Saturday as she has been one of the league's top attackers over her last four matches. In fact, Henning is averaging 4.63 kills per set in that span and has tallied 98.5 total points over her last four matches, good for a league-best 5.18 points per set in that span.
Kreklow Six Shy of 400
Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow sat 20 wins shy of his 400th as a head volleyball coach entering the season, but he now sits just six shy of 400 in his career. Should he reach 400 this season, he will be one of just three coaches in the Big 12 to have cracked the 400-win plateau. Kreklow surpassed his 600th win all-time as a coach (assistant, men's coach, women's coach) at both Mizzou and Columbia College with the Tigers' win over Florida International earlier this season. In all, Wayne and Susan Kreklow have combined for 745 wins as a coaching duo, 236 of which have come during their 11-plus seasons at Mizzou.
Henning Continues to Impress During League Play
Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning has put together an impressive stretch during Big 12 play as she leads the Big 12 in kills per set (4.59) while ranking second in points per set (5.11). In fact, Henning and KSU's Kaitlynn Pelger are the only two players in the Big 12 to average more than 5.00 points per set during league matches this season. Below are a few quick notes on Henning during Big 12 play.
She has eclipsed 20 kills three times in five matches and has reset her career-high three times in that span.
Henning owns the league's top two kill totals in Big 12 matches this season with her 27 at Baylor last Saturday and her 24 against Kansas State.
If you add Henning's 21 kills against Texas A&M into the mix, she owns three of the top four league totals in 2011. Those 21 kills are the top four-set mark by any player in the Big 12 this season.
Henning also owns the top two point performances in Big 12 play this season with her 29.5 and 28.0 against Baylor and Kansas State, respectively.
Henning is the only player to eclipse the 100-kill mark during Big 12 play so far this season.
In fact, Henning's 101 kills are 15 more than the next-best Big 12 athlete - Carly Jenson of Iowa State.
She is also the only player with more than 100 points in league play as she leads Jenson by 16.5 in that category, 112.5-96.0. She is locked in a tight race for first in points per set as she trails Pelger by just 0.04 points per set.
Henning Surpasses Last Year's Kill Total
After her 27 kills at Baylor, Henning now has 306 kills. That total is 40 more than she had all of last season and she has done so one better hitting (.264 vs. .227). Keep in mind, the Tigers still have 11 more regular season matches this season. The biggest reason for Henning's increased production from a season ago has been her ability to play all six rotations this season. Last year, Henning finished with just 37 digs but there year she ranks third on the team with 161, more than four-times her total from a season ago.
Over her last eight matches, sophomore setter Molly Kreklow has posted seven double-doubles after spreading 52 assists to go along with 14 digs in the Tigers' five-set loss at Baylor. In all, Kreklow leads the Tigers with eight double-doubles this season. Over the last eight matches, Kreklow is averaging 3.06 per set, good for second-best on the team, trailing only senior libero Priscilla Armendariz, who is averaging 3.97.
Kreklow Tops 50 Assists in Three of Four
For the third time in four matches, Kreklow topped the 50-assist mark with her 52 on Saturday at Baylor. In all, Kreklow has topped 50 assists three times this season and all have come over the last four matches. She began the streak with a then season-best outing 53 against Texas A&M, good for the second-best four-set total in the Big 12 this season. She then tallied a season-best 56 against Kansas State and had 52 at Baylor on Saturday.
Kreklow Third in Assists Per Set
Kreklow comes into the Kansas match averaging 10.51 assists per set as she continues to rank third in the Big 12 in assists per set. She spent the first two weeks of the season averaging well over 11.00 assists per set while ranking first in the league, but the Tiger offense has slowed somewhat since then. All-in-all, Kreklow is putting together a phenomenal year at the setter position as she has been named Big 12 Player of the Week and has garnered AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week honors this season. Kreklow became just the fifth Tiger ever to take home that award and the first-ever Tiger setter.
Brimmage Leads the League in Hitting Again
Senior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage has led the Big 12 in hitting for much of the season but had slipped to second over the last two weeks. But Brimmage regained the top spot after last week as she .405 with 23 kills in the Tigers' two matches at Oklahoma and Baylor. She had trailed OU's Sallie McLaurin heading into the week, but Brimmage out-dueled her on Wednesday and kept her lead by posting 12 kills on .320 hitting at Baylor on Saturday. McLaurin is second behind Brimmage at .375 this season.
Returning to Form
In all, Brimmage is hitting .395 with 46 kills over her last four matches as she has seemed to regain the form that netted her Big 12 Player of the Week honors following the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Bash. At MTSU, Brimmage hit .637 with 56 kills in those five matches but hit just .214 with 66 kills in the Tigers' next eight matches. But with her performance of late, she has seemed to regain the form that ranked her as one of the most feared attackers in the Big 12.
Brimmage Reaches All-Time Top-10
Brittney Brimmage has snuck into the Mizzou career top-10 in both total blocks and block assists over the last week. In fact, Brimmage tallied a pair of block assists at Baylor on Saturday as she now ranks 10th in total blocks with 257 in her career. Prior to that, Brimmage had been 10th in career block assists but she moved into ninth with her 221st at Baylor on Saturday. She sits just one block assist shy of passing current Tiger assistant coach Lindsey Hunter for eighth all-time at Mizzou.
Pip Cracks All-Time Top 10
Senior libero Priscilla Armendariz etched her name in the Mizzou record books last Wednesday as she collected 18 digs to move into ninth place all-time in career digs. She then passed that mark at Baylor last Saturday as she collected 22 digs, moving her career total to 1,079, just 24 back of seventh place in Mizzou history. In all, Armendariz is averaging 3.70 digs per set this season and will likely finish the season ranked in the all-time single season top 10 in both digs and digs per set at Mizzou.
Back Row Improves Defensively in League Play
Staying on the topic of back-row defense, the Tigers have seen improved play from their back row during Big 12 play. In fact, Mizzou is averaging 14.59 dps in league play versus averaging just 13.51 in non-conference play. A key reason for that is the increased production of libero Priscilla Armendariz, who averaged just 3.47 digs per set in non-conference play but has seen that mark improve to 4.27 over the Tigers' five Big 12 matches.
Meister Impressive in Her Last Seven Matches
Another bright spot in the Tiger back row as of late has been freshman Sarah Meister. The San Diego native has pulled in 65 digs over her last seven matches - she missed the Oklahoma match due to a concussion - while averaging 2.17 digs per set despite playing in just three rotations. She has tallied nine digs three times in that span and been over double-digits three times, including a season-best 15 against Villanova. She had 11 - good for her second-best career total - at Baylor on Saturday.
Mizzou Leads the League In Digs Allowed
Through 21 matches this season, the Tigers continue to lead the Big 12 in digs allowed at just 13.53 per set as their hitters have been very good. Mizzou has led the Big 12 in that category nearly all season as the opposition has struggled to slow the Tiger attack this season. Mizzou and Texas are the only two teams in the Big 12 to allow less than 14.00 digs per set and Mizzou has a sizeable lead over Texas (13.53 vs. 13.94).
While Mizzou is one of the youngest teams in the league this season, the freshman class has sure gotten used to the grind of college volleyball over the last month. In fact, Mizzou played 13 straight matches away from home and played 18 matches over the first month of the season. The 13-striaght matches away from home marks the longest road trip since Wayne and Susan Kreklow took over the program in 2000. After playing two road matches last week, Mizzou has now played 15 of its 21 matches away from home this season. Keep in mind that four of the Tigers' six home matches were played during the opening weekend as part of the Tiger Invitational. That means the Tigers have played just two home matches since Aug. 27.
Big Crowds at Home
Despite only playing the six home matches this year, huge crowds have flocked to the Hearnes Center as a total of 16,324 fans have watched the Tigers this season, good for 2,721 fans per match. Mizzou has eclipsed the 3,000-fan mark three times this season, most recently in its Big 12 home-opener against Texas A&M. Mizzou has had at least 2,000 fans at every home match. Those numbers should increase this Wednesday as the Tigers will look to `Bust the House' against Kansas.
The big crowds are a key reason why Mizzou has been able to race out to a 5-1 start inside the Hearnes Center this season. In fact, since Wayne and Susan Kreklow have taken over at Mizzou, the Tigers are 116-41 at home as they have won nearly 75-percent of their home matches under the Kreklows.
Kansas volleyball is currently 12-5 overall and 0-4 in conference play. The Jayhawks are coming off of a loss to Texas A&M this past weekend (Oct. 8). They led 2-0 heading into intermission but lost their momentum and fell, 2-3, just as the Tigers did to Baylor on Saturday.
The Jayhawks rely on redshirt sophomore Caroline Jarmoc who has a career high of 16 kills on .556 hitting. They also look to senior Allison Mayfield who recently earned 19 kills and 18 digs, marking her sixth double-double of the season.
Missouri leads the series 50-33 overall and have a 22-10 record when playing in Columbia. Kansas and Missouri have tied 17-17 when playing in Lawrence. Last year, the Tigers split the season series by winning at home and losing at Kansas.
The Last Meeting
Mizzou swept its archrival at the Hearnes Center on Oct. 27 last season. The match was closer than the sweep would indicate as KU scored 23, 21 and 26 points in each of the sets that it lost.
Four Tigers finished the match with more than 10 kills, led by 13 from senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia. Her 13 kills were a match high. Mizzou also matched its season-high with 13 blocks in the sweep. Brittney Brimmage added a team-high seven blocks, one off of her career-best. The Tiger back row was very good as Mizzou pulled in 57 digs in the match, a three-set high for the Tigers last season.
The match saw 2,651 fans pack into the Hearnes Center last season. The win also marked the beginning of a six-match win streak in Big 12 play and it was the Tigers' third win in four matches.
Nifty Fifty Whitney
Tiger freshman Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) surpassed the 50-block mark in the Tigers' 13th match of the season against Denver. She is the fastest Tiger freshman to reach to the 50-block mark under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow (since 2000). Currently, Little has a team-high 70 blocks and her 1.09 blocks per set rank her 10th in the Big 12 Conference. Adding to her production, Little is hitting .358 with 75 kills this season and had six kills on 14 attacks at Iowa State on Wednesday.
Tigers Picked Fifth in Big 12
Despite the youth on the Tiger roster, the league's coaches seem to recognize the level of talent on this year's team as the Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 in the annual preseason poll. In all, Mizzou finished the polling with 32 points, just behind fourth-place Texas A&M and just ahead of sixth-place Baylor. The Tigers were picked fifth in last year's preseason poll and ended up advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Young, but Talented
Despite bringing back four players that started for Mizzou last season, the Tigers will be one of the youngest teams nationally. In fact, nearly 80-percent of the Tigers' roster in 2011 are underclassmen as 11 of the 14 players are freshmen or sophomores. That makes Mizzou the youngest team in the Big 12 and only Texas Tech (16 underclassmen) has more freshman or sophomores on their roster. However, Mizzou's last two recruiting classes have ranked in the top 25 nationally, including this year's freshman class, which checked in at No. 22 nationally. The 2010 class ranked 14th.
The Tigers just completed the most successful decade in program history last year. In fact, Mizzou has averaged 22 wins per season since 2000 and is one of just 22 teams nationally to qualify for nine NCAA Tournaments since 2000. The Tigers were on that average last year with 22 wins and a Sweet 16 berth.
Hunter Joins Coaching Staff
There are few Mizzou athletes that are accomplished as Lindsey Hunter and she will look to parlay her success as a player into success as a coach as she joins the Mizzou coaching staff in 2011. Hunter takes the place of former assistant Chris Muscat, who took the head coaching job at Loyola (Chicago) last year. Hunter is Mizzou's all-time leader in assists, assists per set, single season assists and set for the Tigers in the most successful four-year period in program history. She will serve as the primary recruiting coordinator for the Tigers. She spent last season as the color analyst for the Tiger volleyball matches while working towards her master's degree as a graduate assistant with Mizzou's Total Person Program.
Kreklow Sets With USA Junior National Team
For the second consecutive summer, sophomore setter Molly Kreklow set with the USA Volleyball Junior National Team. She has spent plenty of time with USA Volleyball in her career as she was also with the Youth National Team for two seasons. She has now spent four years with USA Volleyball, gaining plenty of high-level experience along the way.
Brimmage Plays With USA Volleyball As Well
Kreklow wasn't the only Tiger to play with USA Volleyball over the summer as Brittney Brimmage led the USA Volleyball A2 Blue Team to a USA Volleyball Women's Open Division Championship. She helped her team go 4-0 (winning 12 of 15 sets) during pool play. The team was then bumped to the loser's bracket and came all the way back to win the tournament. She was one of the team's top middle hitters throughout the tournament.
Henning Tours China
Sophomore Lisa Henning had an experience of a lifetime over the summer as she played volleyball in China, touring and playing some of the nation's top professional teams. Henning and her team compiled a 2-4 record in six matches in China, playing against very disciplined, professional competition. She also visited places like the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.
Recruiting Class Earns National Honors
For the second straight season, the Mizzou volleyball program has brought in a nationally-ranked recruiting class as this year's checks in at No. 22 nationally. The 2011 class comes on the heels of the Tigers' No. 14-ranked class in 2010. Three of the signees - Jade Hayes, Whitney Little and Emily Wilson - were named to the Volleyball Magazine NFINITY Fab 50. With a pair of top 25 classes in consecutive seasons, look for those nine players to be the nucleus of the Mizzou volleyball program in the years to come.
On this year's Mizzou roster, fans may notice something that they haven't seen under Wayne and Susan Kreklow. Two players on this year's roster - Niki Collier and Sarah Meister - hail from California, marking the first California natives that the Kreklows have coached at Mizzou. Both have seen significant court time this year and are am important part of the Tiger freshman class that ranked No. 22 nationally.
Hayes Brings Plenty of Accolades
Freshman utility player Jade Hayes is one of the headliners of Mizzou's 2011 freshman class and she brings with her the accolades to back it up. She is a two-time Gatorade Missouri State Player of the Year and was the AVCA National Player of the Year as a junior in 2009. She led Ozark High School to a state title in 2009 and a third-place finish in 2010. She was also named MVP of the AVCA/Under Armour High School All-America match last year as well and was named to the Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 and PrepVolleyball.com's Defensive Dandy list.
Hayes projects as a libero long term at the collegiate level, but this season she will likely have a utility role due to her versatility, although she will likely battle for the libero job with Priscilla Armendariz. Listed a 6-0, she can hit, serve and defend and will also likely serve as the team's backup setter.
Little Named Forth Worth Player of the Year
Incoming freshman Whitney Little has also gained her fair share of accolades as she comes into Mizzou this season. The 6-3 middle blocker was a PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace, a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and a member of the AVCA High School All-America Watch List, but her greatest honor came from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which named her as the Super Team Player of the Year.
Wilson Continues Nebraska Pipeline
It has been no secret that Mizzou, under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow, has been able to recruit the state of Nebraska with a lot of success. Names like All-Americans Lindsey Hunter, Nicole Wilson and former Big 12 Libero of the Year Tatum Ailes are just a few of the successful Nebraska natives to come through Mizzou in the last 11 seasons. And the tradition with continue this season as Emily Wilson will make her debut with Mizzou. She is the sister of former Tiger middle hitter Catie Wilson and was voted MVP of the All-Nebraska State Team twice in her high school career. The 6-2 outside hitter should figure into the mix right away for the Tigers.
Blue Springs Connection
Looking at the Tiger roster, there is a connection between several players coming from the Kansas City area as four players - Priscilla Armendariz, Lisa Henning and Ashton Bodenstab - hail from Blue Springs, Mo. In fact, Armendariz and Henning actually played for rival high schools as well.
A Competitive Schedule
With the departure of Colorado and Nebraska from the Big 12 Conference, a new-look schedule will take hold in the Big 12 this season. Instead of playing 20 league matches, each team will now play 16, playing each team twice. The loss of four matches has led to an additional non-conference tournament for the Tigers this season, giving the Tigers a chance to test themselves against some of the top non-conference competition in the nation. In fact, Mizzou will play 11 of its 33 matches against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
`Bridging' A Local Connection
The Mizzou volleyball family has always played a very active role in the City of Columbia community, and that trend is continuing at Rock Bridge High School, one of two local Columbia high schools. There is a growing connection between the two schools that has moved beyond coincidence. Former Tiger and 2007 Big 12 Libero of the Year Tatum Ailes is now the head coach as Rock Bridge and her assistant coach is none other than former Mizzou middle hitter Catie Wilson, who graduated last season. Keep in mind that Wilson's sister - Emily Wilson - is a freshman on this year's Mizzou roster as well.
But the connections don't stop there. Current Tiger freshman Niki Collier led Rock Bridge to its first district title in 25 years in 2010 before eventually signing with the Tigers for the upcoming season. Not only that, but Wayne and Susan Kreklow's daughter Allie is a setter for the Rock Bridge volleyball team. The connection shows how connected the Tiger program has been with the community for the 11 years that Wayne and Susan Kreklow have been at Mizzou.
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. Jim Grundy will be in his first year as the team's play-by-play announcer. All broadcasts can be accessed at MUTigers.tv.
Mizzou will return to the Hearnes Center on Saturday (Oct. 15) against Texas Tech. It will mark the middle of a three-match home stand for the Tigers. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.