Oct. 21, 2013
By Andrew Melroe
MUTigers.com Staff Writer
COLUMBIA, Mo.- The Missouri Tigers continued their winning ways on Sunday capturing their first win against a top five opponent in program history, defeating the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators. The Tigers improve to 23-0, 7-0 in SEC play, and are destined to climb the rankings. Coach Kreklow ranks this win among the top in program history saying, "This win ranks up there with some of the best. Florida is the highest ranked team we have ever beaten. Anytime you can beat a program like that, it is something special."
Sunday's win came in front of an announced crowd of 4,202 at the Hearnes Center, the fifth largest crowd in Volleyball history. Senior Molly Kreklow thanked the crowd after the game for bringing extra energy to the Hearnes Center, "The crowd was amazing, Mizzou spirit is so phenomenal right now. The whole match, I think they gave us an edge and got in Florida's head. This was probably the most fun match I have ever played."
To beat an elite team like Florida, Mizzou was going to need a complete game from everyone on its roster, and Coach Kreklow believes that is what he got today, "We were playing a really great team. We were going to have to have everyone today playing at a really high level for a long period of time, and we were able to maintain that level throughout the match."
Mizzou had five players record at least five kills and three in double figures. Junior Emily Wilson led the way with 14 kills, freshman Carly Kan had 13, and senior Lisa Henning had 12. Kreklow added 45 assists and junior Sarah Meister led the team with 15 digs.
Kan has been a top performer for the Tigers all season and she credits her performance to the help of her team, "I think our team does a really good job of making everyone feel comfortable on the court. I know that they have my back. Knowing that made me more confident."
The senior Kreklow commented on how the defense played a key role in the win today, "Our defense is really good and we really transition fast. We were in the gaps. We made a lot of scramble plays and that is who we are. That helps us out in the long run, because it may look like someone is going to get a kill, but then we make a play that boosts our momentum.
Coach Kreklow has seen this team give its full effort everyday since the team started practice in August, "I have not once since the start of practice August 8, have I ever had to raise my voice because I didn't feel like we were hustling. They are self-motivated and do a really good job of holding everybody accountable."
At the end of the weekend where Missouri beat Florida in not only Volleyball, but Football as well, there is no doubt is a great time to be a Missouri Tiger. "Everybody went through a bumpy road of changing conferences last year. I am really happy, because as a department, we have shown we can compete. That is what is more important," said Coach Kreklow.
"I have never felt like this in my career. You go through some tough times, but this makes it all worth it. Football is doing great, soccer just upset South Carolina. I think right now being a Missouri Tiger is awesome," said Molly Kreklow.
The Tigers hope to continue its success this week on the road against LSU on Friday and Texas A&M on Sunday.