Tigers Open Second Half at No. 3 Nebraska

<i>Caitlyn Vann has at least 20 digs in each of her last three matches.</i>

Caitlyn Vann has at least 20 digs in each of her last three matches.

Oct. 21, 2010

Match Info: Mizzou (13-7, 5-5 Big 12) at No. 3 Nebraska (18-1, 10-0 Big 12)
Date: Oct. 23
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: The Coliseum
Radio: Mizzou All-Access
Game Notes: Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
• Mizzou went 5-5 in the first half of the Big 12 play despite playing a tough first-half schedule.
• Mizzou currently sits in fifth in the Big 12 at 5-5. Mizzou is 3-2 in its last five matches.
• The Tigers have won their last two matches due in large part to the back row, which corralled 81 digs in each.
• The Tigers are ranked second in the league in aces per set at 1.18 during Big 12 play.
• Mizzou's offense ranks third in the league in kills per set (14.01) and second in assists per set (13.35).
• Mizzou has had three players post double-doubles in each of the last three matches.
• Five players have posted double-digit digs in each of the last three contests for the Tigers.
• Tiger libero Caitlyn Vann pulled in 31 digs vs. Baylor and 57 last week (6.33 per set).
• Vann earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts in those two matches.
Molly Kreklow continues to pace the league in assists per set (11.66) as she ranks 11th nationally.
• Kreklow is also the No. 2 ranked freshman in the nation, trailing only Oregon's Lauren Plum.
• Kreklow set career highs in assists (55), kills (6), hitting (.667), digs (16), points (8.5) and blocks (3) last week.
Paola Ampudia has 102 kills in her last five matches, good for 20.4 per contest.
• Ampudia is ranked second in the Big 12 in kps (4.13) and third in pps (4.65). She is 29th nationally in both.
• Should Julianna Klein start on Saturday, it will be her 100th career start.

The Opening Serve - What You Need to Know

• Senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia posted 23 kills against Baylor last Saturday and now has 102 kills over her last five matches (20.4 per match and 5.37 per set). She leads the Tigers with 293 kills this season.

• Freshman setter Molly Kreklow ranks first in the Big 12 in assists per set this season at 11.66. She has dished 40 or more assists in seven of the Tigers' last eight matches, including a career-best 55 at Texas A&M last Wednesday. Kreklow set new career bests in assists (55), kills (six), hitting (.667), digs (16), points, (8.5), and blocks last week.

• After not having three players with double-doubles in the same match since Oct. 3, 2007, Mizzou has now done so in three-straight matches after seeing Kreklow, Ampudia and Julianna Klein do so in each of the last three contests. Mizzou has also had five players post at least 10 digs in each of the last three matches as well.

• Mizzou has reset its season-best dig totals in each of the last two matches. In fact, Mizzou posted 81 at Texas A&M and against Baylor on Saturday. The Tigers out-dug Baylor, who entered the match as the nation's No. 1 digging team, by 15 in the match.

• Senior libero Caitlyn Vann has 57 digs over her last two matches, including a season-best 31 against Baylor. Her 31 are the third-best four-set total in program history and just three off of her personal-best.

Tigers Headed to Nebraska for Final Time in Big 12 Play
After pulling back to .500 in Big 12 play, the Mizzou volleyball team will head to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday (Oct. 23) to face the No. 3 Cornhuskers at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum. Mizzou All-Access will be on hand with the call while the match will air on Nebraska Educational Television and Metro Sports in the Kansas City area.

The Matchup
Mizzou comes into Saturday's match having not defeated the Huskers since 2003, which was a five-set win over the Huskers at the Coliseum. Mizzou trails the all-time series with Nebraska, 70-3-1, after being swept by the national power at home earlier this season. Nebraska enters the match having won its last 16 matches and nine-straight Big 12 contests. Nebraska has only dropped four sets in league play and looks like the clear favorite to take home the Big 12 title this season. The match will be the Tigers' fourth against a ranked opponent in 2010.

Last Time Out
The Tigers turned in their second-straight win after topping Baylor, 3-1, at the Heanres Center last Saturday (Oct. 16). For the third-straight match, Mizzou had three players post double-doubles and saw five players finish with at least 10 digs, marking the only time in the 25-point set era that that has happened in three consecutive contests. Mizzou also pulled in 81 digs in the match, a season-best, as the Tigers out-dug the nation's top digging team by 15 in the match. Senior libero Caitlyn Vann had 31 in the match, the third-best four-set total in school history. Senior Paola Ampudia led Mizzou with 23 kills in the match as well.

She's Heating Up!
With her 23 kills in the Tigers' win over Baylor last Saturday, senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia now has 102 kills in her last five matches, good for 20.4 per match and 5.37 per set. She is now second overall in the Big 12 in kills per set (4.13) and third in points per set (4.65) during league play. She has hit the 20-kill mark in three of her last five matches and has posted more than 10 kills in nine straight contests.

Scary Good in October
As mentioned above, Ampudia leads the Tigers and the Big 12 with 102 kills in the month of October (20.4 per match). In her career at Mizzou, Ampudia has played in 15 matches in the month of October and is averaging 17.40 kills per match in those contests. Last year, Ampudia posted 159 kills in 10 matches in October as she began a stretch of 16 matches where no Big 12 attacker had more kills than her. She has posted more than 16 kills in eight of those matches and more than 20 in four of those, highlighted by her 35 at Kansas last season.

Career Week for Kreklow
Freshman setter remains atop the Big 12 standings this week in assists per set as she is averaging 11.66 this season. In fact, she has dished at least 40 helpers in seven of the last eight matches and even spread a career-best 55 at Texas A&M last Wednesday. The 55 assists are just one career-high that she set last week as she also notched career-bests in kills (six), hitting (.667), digs (16), points (8.5) and blocks (three) last week.

More on Kreklow
Heading into Saturday's match, Kreklow ranks 11 nationally with 11.66 assists per set and is the No. 2 freshman on the list. She has now sat atop the Big 12 rankings in assists per set for five straight weeks this season. She is also first among all Big 12 setters in Big 12 matches this season.

Vann Keeps Digging!
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann pulled in 57 digs last week (26 at Texas A&M; 31 vs. Baylor) as she averaged 6.33 per set. Her 31 digs against Baylor are a season-best for her and the Tigers while the 31 rank as the third-best four-set total in school history. Vann has now posted 20 digs in each of her last three matches and is averaging 5.92 per set in that span. She has moved from fifth in the Big 12 in digs per set to second in that span.

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Vann was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts last week as well. It is the fifth time in her career that she has been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and the second time this season. She is the only player in the Big 12 to take home the award twice this season. She last took home the award after pacing the Big 12 in digs per set after playing at the Pepperdine Asics Challenge during the second weekend of the season.

Tiger Back Row Back to Form
The Tiger back row has been pulling in a lot of digs as of late as it has posted its season-best total of 81 in each of its last two matches. In fact, the Tiger back row out-dug Baylor, who came into the match leading the nation in digs per set, by 15 last Saturday.

Another note on the Tigers' back row play is that over the last three matches, Mizzou has had five players post double-digit digs in all three, marking the only time in the 25-point set era that a Mizzou team has done that in three straight matches. In that span, three players - Vann, Ampudia and Kreklow - are all averaging at least 3.00 per set while Julainna Klein and Priscilla Armendariz are averaging 2.62 and 2.54 per set in that span.

Double Vision
Mizzou, for the third consecutive match, had three players post double-doubles in its win over Baylor last Saturday. Those three were Julianna Klein, Paola Ampudia and Molly Kreklow and those three have posted double-doubles in each of the Tigers' last three matches. Before that span, Mizzou had not had three players post double-doubles in the same match since Oct. 3, 2007. Now that Mizzou has done so in each of the last three, it marks the first time that a Mizzou team has done so in three-straight during the 25-point set era.

An Ace in the Hole
In Big 12 play, the Tigers rank second in aces per set with 1.18 per frame through 10 matches. Julianna Klein is leading all servers with 0.34 aces per set during league play while Caitlyn Vann ranks third with her 0.32 per set average. Both Klein and Vann had two aces against Baylor. Klein also ranks fourth overall among Big 12 players with her 0.30 aces per set in all 20 of the Tigers' contests in 2010. Mizzou served five aces in its win over Baylor last Saturday.

Where Have All the Five-Setters Gone?
In the Tigers' last 54 matches, they have played in just two five-set matches, both of which came against Texas A&M. But those are the only two for the Tigers in nearly two full seasons. Mizzou is the only team in the Big 12 to play in that few five-set matches during that span and joins Iowa State as the only teams to have played in just one in 2010; every other team has at least two five-set matches just this season.

Success on the Road
After going just 4-7 on the road and 3-3 at neutral sites last year, Mizzou has already seen a drastic improvement in its play away from Hearnes Center this season. Mizzou went 4-1 in neutral site non-conference matches in 2010 and is 4-3 in true road matches this season already, giving the Tigers a 8-4 record away from Hearnes Center in 2010. The eight wins are one more than they had all of last season and the Tigers still have five remaining road contests scheduled in 2010.

A Tough Road at Home
Despite the Tigers fast start away from Hearnes this season, Mizzou has struggled in its home arena in 2010, compiling just a 5-3 overall record. Mizzou won its first eight home matches last season, its best start at home since 2003, making the struggles at home uncharacteristic. In all fairness, the Tigers won their first three at home but faced three AVCA Top-12 teams in their first four Big 12 home matches this season, explaining why the home record stands at 5-3.

Are You Experienced?
Tiger middle hitters Catie Wilson and Weiwen Wang each played in their 100th match as a Tiger at Texas Tech. The pair joins Julianna Klein and Caitlyn Vann, giving Mizzou four players with at least 100 matches of experience under their belts. Should Klein start on Saturday at Nebraska, she will start her 100th career match as a Tiger. If she starts, she and Vann will be the only two Tigers on the active roster to have started 100 matches. Vann started her 100th match earlier this season against Texas Tech as well.

More Records Broken
With 42 attacks last Wednesday at Texas A&M, Julianna Klein moved from fourth at Mizzou in career attacks to second and after adding 45 against Baylor, she now has 3,920 career attacks. She sits 561 back of Shen Danru, who sits in first all-time, making it highly likely that Klein will stay at second overall. Also, Klein posted two solo blocks at Texas A&M as well, moving her into a tie for ninth place all-time with 53 in her career. Klein also played in four sets last Saturday to crack the all-time top 10 in sets played at Mizzou.

The Crown "Jules"
Through the first six matches this season Klein posted 46 kills (7.67 per match), which ranked fourth on the team. Since that time, Klein has posted 154 kills (11.00 per match) and pulled in 127 digs with 17 aces. During that span, she has moved from fourth on the team in kills to second. Klein also eclipsed the 100-ace plateau in her career this season, making her only the third player under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow to have more than 1,200 kills, 700 digs and 100 service aces in her career. The other two were Jessica Vander Kooi and Shen Danru. Klein now has 1,308 kills, 749 digs and 108 aces. She also ranks seventh all time with 1,536.5 career points.

Pip's Been Consistent
After possibly her worst match of the season against Virginia Tech when she pulled in just two digs, junior defensive specialist Priscilla Armendariz has been a very steady option for the Tigers in the last 10 matches (all Big 12 contests). She has pulled in at least seven digs in each of those 10 contests and has hit double-digits in six of those, highlighted by a season-best 12 at Oklahoma. She has 97 digs in her last 10 matches and is averaging 2.55 per set, the second-best mark on the team in that span.

Armendariz has also boasted a .979 serve receive percentage with just two errors on 96 chances in those matches. In fact, the Tiger junior was perfect on 14 attempts against Baylor last Saturday and is perfect in her last seven matches on 69 total chances. She has also tallied eight of her 11 service aces on the season in that span.

Winning, it's as simple as...
...Holding your opponents to under .200 hitting. Mizzou is 7-1 when limiting its opponents to below .200 hitting, but Mizzou is just 6-6 when opponents hit better than .200. The Tigers are 1-5 this season when allowing teams to hit above .300 as well. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season when limiting a team to under .200 hitting at Oklahoma. However, Mizzou did rebound to earn its first win when being held to under .200 hitting at Texas A&M last Wednesday.

Scouting Nebraska
At 18-1 and 10-0 in Big 12 play, Nebraska enters the weekend as one of the favorites to play in the Final Four later this season. Boasting an impressive offensive attack and a smothering defense, the Huskers are the cream of the crop in the Big 12.

Nebraska is hitting .276 while limiting opponents to .142 hitting as it leads the league in opponent hitting. It is also pacing the Big 12 in assists (13.89 per set), kills (14.86 per set) and blocks (3.19 per set) while ranking second in digs (15.89 per set). Middle hitter Brooke Delano, who hit a school-record .857 in the Tigers' first meeting with the Huskers, is leading the Big 12 in hitting at .438 with 187 kills. In fact, three of the top 10 hitters in the Big 12 come from Nebraska. Delano also leads the Big 12 in blocks with 1.50 per set, making her one of the favorites to take home Big 12 Player of the Year.

Continuing to Set the Table
A three-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, freshman Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) has been a big reason for the Tigers' fast start in 2010. In fact, she ranks first in the Big 12 in assists per set this season at 11.66. She has anchored an offense that features four hitters with at least 150 kills on the year. She has assisted on 828 of the Tigers' 995 kills (83.2-percent) and has the Tigers hitting .235 on the season. She also ranks third on the team in digs with 168 total and leads the team with seven double-doubles in 2010 as well. Kreklow has done this with one hand in a splint after dislocating her pinkie in preseason camp. She served overhand for the first time at Western Kentucky and tallied six aces. She blocked with two hands for the first time at Texas Tech as well. She has taken home Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors three times this season, more than any other player in the Big 12.

Kreklow Cracks Century Mark
Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow, currently in his sixth season at the helm of the program, tallied his 100th win as the Tiger head coach at Texas Tech. He is now 103-69 in his time as the head coach of the program while Wayne and Susan Kreklow - now in their 11th season at Mizzou - are a combined 213-115 at Mizzou. Coincidentally, their 200th career win at Mizzou came in Lubbock last season.

Another Milestone
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.) also set a milestone of her own. Her start at libero against Texas Tech was her 100th consecutive start, dating back to the 2008 season. She has started every match since 2008 and also started 27 of 30 matches in her freshman season, playing behind former Big 12 Libero of the Year Tatum Ailes that season.

Vann Takes Her Spot in Record Book
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann has already earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors and been named to the Tiger Invitational All-Tournament team, but it is her total number of digs that this season that has her climbing the record books. With 346 digs this season, she has moved her career total to 1,706, trailing only former Tiger Tatum Ailes for first all-time. Ailes played all four of her years in the 30-point scoring era while Vann has played in 25-point sets since 2008. Had she played in 30-point sets, we could be looking at Mizzou's all-time career digs leader.

Another Fab Frosh
Molly Kreklow isn't the only Tiger freshman who is putting together a fine first season in Black and Gold. Classmate Lisa Henning is turning heads with her powerful arm as she has 155 kills on the season - fourth-best on the team. After the first weekend of play, she became the first true freshman to lead the Tigers in kills during each of her first two matches during the rally scoring era with her 12 against Maryland and 13 on .444 hitting against Nevada. She is also the only athlete to do so under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow at Mizzou.

A Clean Sweep
After its fine performance in Malibu at the Pepperdine Asics Challenge, the Mizzou volleyball team swept the Big 12 Weekly awards last week, marking only the second time in league history that one school has swept all three awards in the same week. Paola Ampudia was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time in her career after leading the team with 50 kills on .261 hitting. She paced Mizzou in kills in all three matches and posted a season-best 19 in the Tigers' four-set win over Pepperdine. Molly Kreklow was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week after anchoring the league's top offense. She averaged 13.60 assists per set and notched a new career-best with her 52 against Pepperdine. She also passed out 47 against Rice, a Mizzou record for assists in a three-set match during the 25-point era. Caitlyn Vann claimed her fourth Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honor after pacing the league in digs at 6.20 per set. She had 18 or more digs in each of the three matches, including a season-best 25 against Pepperdine.

Support From Tiger Nation
After the first 20 matches of the season, Mizzou currently ranks 16th nationally in average attendance after averaging 1,992 fans per match. A season-high 2,558 fans watched the Tigers face No. 3 Nebraska. 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. Those numbers should see an increase on Wednesday as fans always pack the house when Nebraska comes to town. In fact, Mizzou set its program attendance record against Nebraska back in 2005 when 7,298 fans packed into the Hearnes Center.

Kreklow Earns Preseason 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 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.

Henning Guides Club to Junior Nationals
Freshman Lisa Henning led her KC Extreme Club Team to a Junior Olympic Northeast Qualifier title after winning 10 matches in Baltimore, Md. The title secured her club a spot in the Junior National Championships. Henning 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.

Vann Tries Out for US National Team
Caitlyn Vann recently tried out for the USA Volleyball National Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., and participated with some of the nation's elite talent.

"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.

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.

Undisputed Success
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.

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. Check back all season for updates, video and pictures. Also, be sure to follow Mizzou Athletics' official twitter account at http://twitter.com/mutigersdotcom as it will also be updated with volleyball related content.

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. 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.

Up Next
Mizzou will return to the Hearnes Center for a match with archrival Kansas on Oct. 27. The match is set to air on Metro Sports in Kansas City and on the Mizzou Sports Network in Columbia. Beau Baehman and Craig Sherman will have the call. Mizzou lost to Kansas, 3-1, earlier this season.



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