Oct. 22, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - For the second time in her standout career at Mizzou, senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) has been named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/Sports Imports National Player of the Week, as announced by the AVCA on Tuesday (Oct. 22). The award marks the sixth time that a Mizzou player has been named National Player of the Week and the first time since Kreklow did so on Aug. 30, 2011. All six of the National Player of the Week honorees for Mizzou have come under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow.
"I am really surprised by this award," Kreklow said just one day removed from being named SEC Player of the Week. "Like I said yesterday, these awards are usually given out when your team does something big and clearly our win over Florida on Sunday has helped us generate some national attention. While all the national attention that we are getting is great, we are focused on playing LSU and Texas A&M this weekend. It can be easy to get caught up in everything, but we are just taking it one match at a time, but obviously I am still quite humbled by this award."
Kreklow quarterbacked a Tiger offense that hit .347 on the weekend while defeating Georgia and No. 2 Florida for the program's first-ever win over a top-five program. She averaged 12.12 assists per set and has the Tigers out to a national-best 23-0 record, including a 7-0 mark in SEC play as the Tigers sit atop the standings as the only unbeaten in conference play.
Kreklow, highly regarded as one of the best setters in the nation, was key in the Tigers' 3-1 upset of No. 2 Florida on Sunday. She spread 45 assists and pushed the tempo, setting up one-on-one blocks all afternoon as the team hit .303 in the win. The .303 clip marks just the fourth time that Florida has allowed a team to hit .300 in a match this season, joining Stanford, Penn State and Western Michigan. The Tigers were also the first SEC team to hit above .300 against the Gators since Oct. 2, 2011, a span of 42 matches. In the clinching fourth set, Kreklow guided Mizzou to .471 hitting with 17 kills and just one error as they topped the Gators, 25-18, in the final frame.
She spread the ball to seven different attackers who finished with kills, and she anchored an offense that saw five players finish with double-digit point totals. She also pulled in 11 digs in the win, good for her eighth double-double of the season. The win over the Gators snapped a 13-match SEC winning streak for the defending conference champs and was just their second loss in 35 SEC contests.
Adding to her spectacular weekend was a great performance in a 3-1 win over Georgia on Friday night. She set the team to .393 hitting with a season-high 52 assists while adding eight digs and six kills in the win. Kreklow continues to lead the SEC and rank second nationally with her 12.43 assists per set average and she has the Tigers hitting a national-best .374 this season. She is also a key reason why Mizzou has hit .300 or better in 20 of 23 matches this season.
Kreklow and the Tigers will return to the road this weekend as they face tough road tests at LSU and Texas A&M, teams that were picked to win the SEC West this season by the league's coaches. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.