Oct. 22, 2013
|No. 18 Mizzou Volleyball (23-0, 7-0 SEC) at Texas A&M (10-8, 2-5 SEC)|
||Oct. 27 | 1:30 p.m.
||College Station, Texas | Reed Arena
|Printable Game Notes
||Mizzou | Texas A&M
||Texas A&M leads, 25-12
||Texas A&M, 3-1, Nov. 16, 2012 in College Station
||Texas A&M - 3
||@MizzouVB,| Mizzou Network
What's Inside - A Quick Look at the Notes
With a national-best 23 wins, No. 11 Mizzou hits the road for matches at LSU and Texas A&M this weekend.
The Tigers defeated No. 2 Florida last Sunday for the program's first ever win over a top-five team.
Mizzou is one of just two unbeaten teams in the nation and sits atop the SEC standings at 7-0.
The 7-0 start for Mizzou in SEC is the program's best ever start to a conference schedule.
Mizzou is ranked 11th nationally, the highest for a Mizzou squad since the final poll in 2005 when they were eighth.
Now at 23-0, the Tigers are off to the best start in program history, topping the previous best mark of 19-0 in 1982.
The Tigers are also seventh in the RPI and boast five wins over RPI top-50 teams and two over top-25 teams.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Week Monday for the second time this season.
Kreklow has guided a Mizzou offense that has hit better than .300 in 20 of 23 matches this season.
Mizzou was the fourth team to hit above .300 vs. Florida this season, joining Penn State, Stanford and W. Michigan.
The Tiger defense has been very good as well as only two teams have hit over .300 vs. Mizzou this season.
The Tiger defense has also held 17 of their 23 opponents to under .200 hitting this season.
Wayne Kreklow is approaching his 500th career win as a head coach (men and women) as he has 496.
With 23 wins this season, the team needs just three more to tie the most ever in a season in the Kreklow era.
Additionally, Mizzou needs just five more wins to finish as the winningest team in Mizzou history.
The Tigers are averaging just 3.20 attack errors per set, the top mark among teams from power conferences.
Mizzou leads the nation in hitting (.374), is second in assists (14.31) and is third in kills (15.15).
Mizzou is the only team in the nation to rank in the top five in all three of those categories.
The Tigers also rank ninth nationally in service aces (1.81) and 35th in blocks (2.63).
Molly Kreklow is second nationally in assists per set (12.43) and Whitney Little is second in hitting (.508).
Lisa Henning is second in the SEC and 16th and 12th, respectively, nationally in both kills and points per set.
Henning leads the SEC in kills per set and points per set in league matches.
Seniors Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning are one of the four winningest classes in program history entering 2013.
The senior class (85 wins) has a shot of winning the most games over a four-year span at Mizzou (currently 90).
Henning posted 32 kills last weekend, moving her career total to 1,616, the top active mark in the SEC.
Henning is now just 42 kills and 109.0 points shy of the all-time Mizzou career record in both categories.
Kreklow has guided the Tigers to their second-best three-year hitting percentage in school history (.262).
Fresh Off of Huge Win, No. 11 Tigers Hit the Road for Tough Weekend
After earning one of the biggest regular season wins in program history, the No. 11 Mizzou volleyball program will hit the road for a weekend road trip to the two teams picked to finish atop the SEC West standings. Mizzou will put its national-best 23-0 (7-0 SEC) record on the line at LSU Friday at 7 p.m. before facing Texas A&M in College Station Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Mizzou Moves Up in AVCA Poll, Ranked Highest Since 2005
The Mizzou volleyball team again made the biggest move of any team in the AVCA Top 25 Poll as it climbed seven spots to 11th when the poll was released Monday (Oct. 21). The rank for the Tigers, who own a national-best 23-0 record and remain as one of two unbeaten teams nationally, is the team's highest since the final poll in 2005, when the team finished the year ranked eighth nationally. The Tigers are one of three SEC teams in the poll, joining No. 5 Florida and No. 15 Kentucky.
2013 Tigers Could Be Historic
It has been well documented that the 2013 team is off to the best start in program history, topping the previous best mark of 19-0 in 1982, but as the season moves on, it is time to start looking at some other school records that are in jeopardy of falling. Below is a look:
Mizzou needs just three more wins to earn the most victories in a single season during the Kreklow era (26).
Mizzou Tallies First Ever Win Over Top-Five Program
Mizzou needs just five more wins to finish the year with the best winning percentage in school history (.833).
Head coach Wayne Kreklow needs just four more wins to tally 500 in his career as a head coach.
This season, the Mizzou volleyball team has done a lot of things that it has never done before and it crossed another item off the list last Sunday when it defeated No. 2 Florida. The win was the program's first ever over a top-five team and their first over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 17 Tennessee in five sets at the Hearnes Center on Sept. 12 last season.
Mizzou Off to Best Conference Start in Program History
Mizzou's win over Florida last Sunday improved the 11th-ranked Tigers to 7-0 in SEC play as they sit alone atop the SEC standings as the league's only unbeaten in SEC play. Even more importantly, the Tigers are off to their best start to conference play in program history at 7-0. Their previous best was 6-0 in 2005. To put Mizzou's 7-0 league mark into perspective, the Tigers won seven or fewer matches in 17 consecutive seasons from 1983 through 1999. The most conference wins in program history came in 2005 when the team won 16 Big 12 matches.
Time to Look at the NCAA Tournament Résumé
At 23-0 and 7-0 in SEC play, the Tigers check in at 11th in this week's AVCA Top-25 poll, but the more important number for the Tigers is their No. 7 rank in the NCAA RPI rank, which bodes well for the Tigers come NCAA Tournament selection time. That rank puts Mizzou in line for a possible NCAA Tournament First and Second Round host possibility. Below is a look at the Tigers' résumé so far this season.
The Tigers have five wins over RPI top-50 teams and two over RPI top-25 teams, including No. 3 Florida.
Kreklow Named SEC, AVCA National Player of the Week
In all, the Tigers have eight wins over RPI top 70-teams as well.
The Tigers have won an NCAA-best 69 sets this season and lost an NCAA-low six sets as well.
Mizzou has defeated seven teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow
was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week and AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week earlier this week. This is the third consecutive week that a Mizzou player has been honored by the SEC and it is the second time that Kreklow has been named AVCA National Player of the Week in her career. It is also the sixth time a Tiger has won AVCA National Player of the Week. 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, including a season-best 52 against Georgia last Friday. 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. 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.
Tigers Lead the Nation in Points Per Set
It has been well documented that Mizzou owns one of the nation's top offenses, but the most telling stat to back up that claim may be that the Tigers have scored 19.59 points per set this season, a national-best. A lot of that is due to the fact that Mizzou has lost an NCAA-low six sets, but the fact that Mizzou is scoring nearly 20 of 25 points per set this season is impressive. Basically, if the opposition makes five errors (service, attack, ball handling, etc.), Mizzou has a pretty good shot of winning that set. Florida is the next-best team nationally, averaging 18.91 points per set, as Mizzou owns a wide margin in that category.
Mizzou Snaps Impressive Streak
In Sunday's win over No. 2 Florida, the Tigers did something that the Gators aren't used to - the Tigers hit over .300. Mizzou was just the fourth team to do so this season, joining No. 2 Penn State, No. 6 Stanford and Western Michigan, but to see just how impressive that mark is, you need to look at what Florida has done to SEC teams. In fact, it was the first time that an SEC team has hit better than .300 against the Gators since Oct. 2, 2011, a span of 42 consecutive matches. The Tigers have hit .300 or better in 20 of their 23 matches this season and lead the nation in hitting at .374.
Is The Flyin' Hawaiian Top Freshman in the SEC?
There are several freshman in the SEC that are making huge impacts this season - Alabama's Krystal Rivers, Florida's Alex Holston and LSU's Briana Holman come to mind - but Mizzou's Carly Kan may have made the largest impact. Of all of those players named, Kan is the only six-rotation player and the only one that is a primary passer. She is also seventh in the conference in hitting and ranks in the top-20 in kills and is sixth in aces and 15th in points. Her complete court game is what makes her stand out as she is averaging 3.00 kills per set, 2.41 digs per set and has been targeted with 481 serves, a team-high, and she has converted 96-percent of those chances. Not only has she emerged as the Tigers' No. 2 swing, but she has shored up the Tiger passing, defense and ball control this season.
Tigers Lead Nation in Wins; One of Two Unbeatens Nationally
Heading into the weekend at a perfect 23-0, Mizzou leads the nation in wins this season and are one of just two unbeatens nationally. The Tigers are also the only unbeaten team in the SEC, and have lost a national-low six sets all season and their 69 set wins are a national-best. The only other unbeaten team in the nation is Colorado State at 17-0. The Rams play at Fresno State (12-8) and San Jose State (5-13) this week.
Tigers Lead Power Conferences With Fewest Attack Errors Per Set
Heading into the weekend, Mizzou is averaging just 3.20 attack errors per set, the lowest among any team in a power conference this season. Below is a look at the rankings.
Mizzou - 3.20
Offense Fires on All Cylinders
Stanford - 3.66
Florida - 3.89
Washington - 3.91
Penn State - 3.92
Through the first 23 matches of the season, it is pretty clear that the Tiger offense has been playing at a very high level. In fact, when the NCAA national statistics were posted early this week, the Tigers rank among the national elite in nearly every statistical category. Below are a few talking points on the Tiger offense.
Mizzou is the only team nationally to rank in the top five in every offensive category
Defense Not Too Bad Either
Mizzou ranks first nationally in hitting (.374), second in assists (14.31) and third in kills (15.15)
Molly Kreklow is second nationally in assists (12.43) and Whitney Little is second in hitting (.508)
Mizzou has hit better than .333 in 19 of 23 matches this season and has hit .380 or better 13 times
Mizzou is first in the SEC in service aces per set (1.81) and ranks ninth nationally
Mizzou has not hit lower than .270 this season and has hit lower than .300 just three times.
Mizzou's top eight attackers are all hitting .322 or better this season.
Much has been written about the Tigers' high-flying offense, but a part of the Tigers' game that has been overlooked is the defense. In fact, Mizzou has limited 17 of 23 opponents under .200 hitting this season and only two teams have hit above .300 in a match. Mizzou limited Florida to .237 hitting last Sunday, the first SEC team to hold the Gators to under .300 hitting in a match Nov. 23 last season against Georgia.
Wins Away From Home
Worth noting this season has been the Tigers ability to win away from home. In fact, the Tigers have won nine matches away from the Hearnes Center this season, matching their total wins away from home last season. Five of the Tigers' nine wins away from home have come in true road contests as well, four of which came against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Mizzou had just five true road wins all of last season.
Henning Becomes Second Tiger to 1,600 Career Kills
With 321 kills this season, senior Lisa Henning is just the second Tiger to eclipse the 1,600-kill mark in her career. She now has 1,616 after tallying 32 last weekend and she sits just 42 kills away from tying Shen Danru's record for career kills at Mizzou (1,658).
Kreklow Continues to `Set' The Table
Although Molly Kreklow's 12.43 assists per set are second in the nation, that total would rank just seventh in school history in a single season. However, keep in mind that Kreklow is playing in 25-point sets while her predecessors all played in 30-point sets. If you average out her current assists per set clip to 30-point sets, she would be averaging 14.92 per set, ahead of the school record (Lindsey Hunter, 14.43 in 2004).
LSU was picked to finish atop the SEC West by the league's coaches and comes into Friday's match at 13-5 and 3-3 in SEC play. LSU is 5-2 when playing at home as well with losses coming to Georgia and this week's No. 1 team, Texas. Freshman Briana Holman has been LSU's top player all season as she is a candidate for SEC Freshman of the Year. She averages 3.12 kills per set on .347 hitting and leads the SEC in blocking with 1.57 per set. Mizzou and LSU are tied in the all-time series at two wins apiece, but Mizzou swept the season series last year, winning 3-1 in Baton Rouge before sweeping the Bayou Bengals in Columbia.
Scouting Texas A&M
The Aggies and Tigers, longtime members of the Big 12 Conference before moving to the SEC last season, will renew their rivalry on Sunday. The Aggies come into the weekend with a 10-8 record and a 2-5 mark in SEC play. The Aggies are also 4-2 inside Reed Arena this season, including a 3-0 sweep of then No. 16-ranked Florida State. One of their two home losses came in five sets to nationally-ranked Michigan as well. The Aggies are led by Sierra Patrick who has 187 kills on .239 hitting this season. They average 14.31 kills per set this season and run a very quick, up-tempo offense with four players averaging more than 2.20 kills per set. The Aggies lead the all-time series with Mizzou, 25-12, and has won the last three meetings including a pair of 3-1 decisions last season. Prior to that streak, Mizzou had won three straight in the series. In fact, since 2004, the series is tied at 9-9 and there have been just five sweeps in that period as it has been an intense rivalry.
Little With National-Low 17 Attack Errors
So far this season, junior middle blocker Whitney Little has just 17 attack errors, the fewest of any player in the nation who averages at least 3.33 attacks per set this season. In fact, Little is averaging just one error every 18.3 attacks this season, a national-best.
Little Rewriting Record Books
After resetting the Mizzou single season blocks record in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, Whitney Little enters the weekend ranked first all-time at Mizzou with a 1.17 career blocks per set average. The next two career marks on the list are 1.07 by Nicole Wilson and 1.06 by Christi Myers, both of whom were All-Americans at Mizzou. Aside from her blocking, Little boasts a .369 career attack percentage, also the best in school history. Much of that is due to her torrid start, hitting .508 this season, the second-best clip in the nation.
When the Southeastern Conference announced its Preseason All-SEC Team, a pair of Tigers were included on the list in seniors Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.). The selections mark the second consecutive season that both Henning and Kreklow were honored in the preseason by the SEC, and Mizzou joined league-favorite Florida as one of the only two teams in the SEC to place at least two players on the nine-member team. Henning and Kreklow began their Mizzou careers in the 2010 season as the cornerstones of what was the nation's No. 14 recruiting class that year according to PrepVolleyball.com. They have accounted for 66 wins, four NCAA Tournament matches and an NCAA Sweet 16. They have combined for seven major All-Conference Teams selections, a pair of All-America honors, three AVCA All-Region honors, nine weekly conference honors and one AVCA National Player of the Week award.
Tigers Picked to Finish Third in SEC East
The Mizzou volleyball program was picked to finish third in the SEC East as the Southeastern Conference announced its annual preseason poll on Aug. 8. In their second year in the conference, it is the highest that the Tigers have been picked in the annual tally, which is voted on by the league's coaches.
Seniors Rank Among All-Time Winningest Classes
With 84 wins through their first three-plus seasons, the Mizzou senior class (Kreklow, Henning) has a chance to become one of the winningest classes in program history with more than half of the 2013 season remaining. If you discount the years from 1974-1981 when a volleyball season featured close to 60 matches (as opposed to today's schedule which features closer to 35 matches per season), the Tiger senior class has a chance to realistically rank third all-time in Mizzou history - the goal is still within reach as 10 wins would tie the mark.
Winningest Four-Year Stretches
Crowds Among Best in School History
2002-05 - 90 wins
2002-04 - 89 wins
Mizzou Senior Class - 85 wins
1982-85 - 84 wins
So far this season, Mizzou has seen very large crowds at the Hearnes Center as it has returned to being one of the premier venues in college volleyball. The Tigers have averaged 2,596 fans per match this season and the 3,534 fans that saw Mizzou defeat Alabama on Oct. 13 are the seventh-most in program history. Also, the 2,904 fans that watched Mizzou sweep South Carolina in the SEC opener are the 14th-most in program history and Mizzou's crowd of 4,202 on Sunday vs. No. 2 Florida is the fifth-largest. In fact, in 10 of the Kreklow's 14 seasons, Mizzou has drawn more than 20,000 fans per year, including nine of the last 10 and five straight (including 2013).
Henning is SEC's Active Kills Leader
Obviously, Mizzou returns quite a bit of fire power to the roster in 2013, but there is no bigger weapon for Mizzou than two-time AVCA Third Team All-American Lisa Henning. Last season, Henning led the SEC in kills per set (4.64) and points per set (5.28), just one year removed from accomplishing the same feat in Big 12 play in 2011. She is the SEC's active kills leader with 1,616 in her career and sits just 201 kills shy of fourth in SEC history during the rally scoring era. She is also just 42 kills shy of the Mizzou all-time career kills record (1,658 by Shen Danru). Henning also needs just 109.0 points to match the Mizzou career record. She is the first ever Tiger to post back-to-back 500-kill seasons as well.
Kreklow Anchors Offense
Since 2010, there has been one constant in the Tiger starting lineup and that has been now senior Molly Kreklow. She has started every match in her career, played in every set (121 matches, 430 sets) and is third all-time at Mizzou with 4,818 career assists. She has also guided Mizzou to its second-best three-year hitting percentage in program history at .262, trailing only the team from 2003-05 (.271), which was anchored by All-American setter and current assistant coach Lindsey Hunter.
Some Notables This Season
Mizzou has already accomplished a lot in just 19 matches. Below is a quick look at some major achievements.
Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Week on Sept. 9, the first of her decorated career
Little Looks To Rewrite The Record Books, Again
The Tigers limited Seton Hall to .000 hitting, its best since holding Savannah State to -.075 in 2012
Mizzou hit .458 in a win over Pitt, a school record for hitting a four-set match and best since 2007
The Tigers hit a school-record .606 against SEMO, topping the previous mark of .585, set in 2000
Hit .559 vs. South Carolina, the best ever by a Tiger team against a conference opponent
Mizzou swept a school-record 10 consecutive matches from Sept. 7 through Sept. 27.
Lisa Henning and Carly Kan became the first Tiger teammates to hit over .700 in the same match vs. SC.
Lisa Henning was SEC Player of the Week on Oct. 7, the second of her career
Carly Kan was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Oct. 14, the first of her career.
Junior Whitney Little
reset the Mizzou single season blocks record as a freshman with 138 in 2011 and then topped that mark with 139 as a sophomore last season. In 2013, Little, who is the SEC's leading blocker from a season ago, will look to again post another school record total. She earned Second Team All-SEC honors a season ago and was blocking at an All-American pace early in the season. In fact, over a nine-match span she tallied a Mizzou career record five 10-block matches. She also posted a pair of block-kill double-doubles, which hadn't been done at Mizzou since 2007, and reset the school record with five solo blocks at Florida. In SEC play, Little averaged 1.40 blocks per set last year.
Tigers With Three of the SEC's Top 20 Active Kill Leaders
As noted earlier, senior Lisa Henning is the SEC's active kill leader with 1,616, but a pair of other Tigers - Emily Wilson and Whitney Little - rank among the league's top 20 active kill leaders. The three players in the top-20 ties Mizzou for the most of any SEC school in the top 20, while the three players account for a league-best 2,879 career kills. What is even more remarkable is that the trio has accumulated those kills on a combined .281 hitting with two players (Henning and Wilson) playing on the outside. Below is a look at the ranks:
SEC Rank Player Kills
Freshman Class Garners National Praise
1. Henning 1,616
11. Wilson 661
14. Little 602
PrepVolleyball.com tabbed Mizzou's 2013 freshman class as the No. 18 recruiting class nationally. The No. 18 ranking places the Tigers third in the SEC, trailing only Arkansas (16) and Tennessee (17). The No. 18 national ranking is the highest for Mizzou since the 2010 freshman class ranked 14th nationally. This year's class is comprised of six individuals, the second-largest class in program history: Carly Kan
, 5-9 DS/OH, Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii); Loxley Keala
, 5-11 S, Iolani (Honolulu, Hawaii); Courtney Meek
, 5-5 DS, St. Joseph's (St. Louis, Missouri); Linda Steinhardt
, 5-5 DS, Cedar Park (Texas); Emily Thater
, 6-2 MB, Kickapoo (Springfield , Missouri) and Julia Towler
, 6-2 MB/OH, Blue Springs South (Blue Springs, Missouri).
High School All-Americans
Both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala earned big-time accolades coming out of high school this year. Kan was named to the Volleyball Magazine High School All-America First Team and the PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America First Team. The first team for both publications featured the top 13 high school seniors in the country. Keala was also an Honorable Mention High School All-American according to PrepVolleyball.com.
Kan a Defensive Dandy
On May 31, PrepVolleyball.com released its Defensive Dandies List - which attempts to recognize the top defensive players at the high school level - and Mizzou freshman Carly Kan was recognized as a first team Defensive Dandy. She was one of just 12 players nationally selected to the first team.
As Mizzou volleyball takes the court this season, there will be something that a lot of Tiger fans have not seen too often as two Hawaii natives will don the Black & Gold as both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala call the Rainbow State their home. The freshman duo calls Honolulu home and played on rival high schools growing up. As a hot bed for volleyball talent, both Kan and Keala bring extensive beach play to Mizzou and great all-around games. They are the first Hawaii natives to play for Mizzou volleyball. The two were beach partners their senior year.
Kreklows Are Second-Longest Tenured Women's Coaches at Mizzou
Now entering their 14th season overall at Mizzou, Wayne and Susan Kreklow are the second-longest tenured women's coaches at Mizzou and the fourth-longest overall. Only Mizzou soccer's Bryan Blitz has had a longer current tenure as a women's coach at Mizzou and only baseball coach Tim Jamieson, Blitz and wrestling coach Brian Smith have been at Mizzou longer among current Mizzou head coaches. The Kreklows have overseen the longest run by any coach in Mizzou volleyball history.
Weekly Conference Honors Trend
Since the start of the 2009 season, a trend has started for the Mizzou volleyball program. In the last four-plus seasons, Mizzou has claimed 34 conference weekly honors, including eight SEC tallies. What makes that mark even more impressive is the fact that from 1990-2008, Mizzou had just 17 weekly conference honorees.
Tigers On TV
Mizzou will appear on national television through the SEC TV package twice during the 2013 season. Mizzou's match at Arkansas on Oct. 2 will air live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. while its contest at Tennessee will air live on Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southwest on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
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. Ben Wilson will enter his first year behind the microphone in 2013 and will be joined by former Tiger Katie O'Brien. Links to each broadcast can be found on MUTigers.com and MizzouNetwork.com.
The Tigers come back home to face Ole Miss and Kentucky on Nov. 1 and Nov. 3. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.