Mizzou Faces Kansas Wednesday

<i>Molly Kreklow has a double-double in four straight matches.</i>

Molly Kreklow has a double-double in four straight matches.

Oct. 25, 2010

Match Info: Mizzou (13-8, 5-6 Big 12) vs. Kansas (13-9, 4-7 Big 12)
Date: Oct. 27
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Hearnes Center
Live Streaming: Mizzou All-Access
Television: Metro Sports (Kansas City), Mediacom, 247 (Columbia), KOMU 8.2
Gametracker: MUTigers.com
Game Notes: Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
• Wednesday' match marks the start of a stretch in which MU will play four of six against sub .500 teams.
• Mizzou currently sits in fifth in the Big 12 at 5-6. Mizzou is 3-3 in its last six matches.
• Mizzou's last eight matches with KU have all lasted at least four sets while three have gone five.
• Mizzou has won 12 of the last 17 contests against Kansas, despite falling in Lawrence earlier this season.
Julianna Klein set a career-best .455 hitting in the first MU-KU match this season. She had 18 kills.
• In six career matches against KU, Klein has more than 10 kills in each, averaging 15.16 per contest.
• Klein currently leads the Big 12 in service aces per set (0.32) during Big 12 play.
Paola Ampudia is averaging 21 kills per match against Kansas in her career.
• Ampudia has 112 kills over her last six matches as well, good for nearly 19 per contest.
• Ampudia has posted double-digit kills in each of her last 10 matches as well.
• Ampudia is ranked second in the Big 12 in kps (4.09) and third in pps (4.61). She is29th nationally in kps.
Molly Kreklow has posted double-doubles in four straight matches. She spread 29 assists with 10 digs at NU.
• Kreklow has also spread more than 40 assists in seven of her last nine matches.
• Priscilla Aremendariz has not committed a reception error in eight straight matches (79 chances).
Caitlyn Vann has 90 digs in her last four matches (22.50 per match and 5.63 per set).

The Opening Serve - What You Need to Know
• Senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia now has 112 kills over her last six matches (18.67 per match and 5.09 per set). She leads the Tigers with 303 kills this season.

• Freshman setter Molly Kreklow has now posted a double-double in each of her last four contests after spreading 29 assists and collecting 10 digs at Nebraska last Saturday. She also ranks second in the Big 12, averaging 11.58 assists per set this season.

• Wednesday's match with Kansas marks the start of a stretch in which the Tigers will play five of their next six matches against teams with sub .500 records in Big 12 play. Of those five teams, four are also below .500 overall this season, making this pivotal stretch for the Tigers' NCAA Tournament chances. Four of those matches will be played at home as well.

• Junior defensive specialist Priscilla Armendariz has not committed a reception error in eight straight matches (79 chances) and leads the team with a .970 clip this season. She has committed just two reception errors in 11 Big 12 contests this season as well, averaging a .981 clip.

• Both Julainna Klein and Ampudia have been impressive against KU in their careers. Ampudia is averaging 21 kills per match against KU while Klein checks in at more than 15 per match in her six career matches.

Tigers Resume Border Showdown
After opening the second half of Big 12 play with a loss at No. 3 Nebraska, Mizzou will return home for a two-match home stand, starting with a showdown against arch rival Kansas on Wednesday (Oct. 27) at 6:30 p.m. The match will air live on Metro Sports in the Kansas City area. Beau Baehman and Craig Sherman will have the call from Hearnes.

The Matchup
Mizzou and Kansas have played in three straight four-set matches, but the Tigers have won 12 of the last 17 matchups with KU despite falling in Lawrence earlier this season. Mizzou leads the overall series, 48-34, as well. The match marks the renewal of the M&I Bank Border Showdown, which pits Mizzou and Kansas against each other in a battle across all varsity sports. Kansas took the first meeting with Mizzou but the Tigers will look to even the score on Wednesday. The last eight matches between Mizzou and Kansas have all lasted for at least four sets while three have went the distance. Mizzou is 5-3 on those matches.

Last Time Out
Mizzou dropped a tough match at No. 3 Nebraska on Saturday. Freshman setter Molly Kreklow tallied her fourth consecutive double-double with 29 assists and 10 digs while senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia led the Tigers with 10 kills in the match. Mizzou hung with the Huskers in the second set of the match and hit .290 with 15 kills in the frame, but Mizzou struggled offensively in the first and third sets.

A Pivotal Stretch
At 5-6 in the Big 12 and 13-8 overall, Wednesday's match begins a stretch of contests that could move the Tigers from then NCAA Tournament bubble to almost a lock. In fact, five of Mizzou's next six opponents are below .500 in Big 12 play while four teams are below .500 overall. Nationally-ranked Iowa State is the Tigers' only opponent over the next six to boast a record above .500 in league play. Four of those matches will be played at home as well.

Success Against Kansas
A pair of Tigers have had success against Kansas in their careers. In her three matches against Kansas so far, senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia has averaged 21 kills per contest. She also set a school and Big 12 four-set record with her 35 kills in the Tigers' four-set win in Lawrence last season. Classmate Julianna Klein has also seen plenty of success against Kansas as she has more than 10 kills in six career matches with KU, averaging 15.16 in those. She hit a career-best .455 with 18 kills in the first meeting earlier this season.

Ampudia on Fire
Ampudia leads the Tigers and the Big 12 with 112 kills in the month of October (18.67 per match). In her career at Mizzou, Ampudia has played in 16 matches in the month of October and is averaging 16.94 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 October matches and more than 20 in four of those, highlighted by her 35 at Kansas last season.

Double-Double Times Four
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow has posted double-doubles in four consecutive matches after pulling in 10 digs while spreading 29 assists at Nebraska. She has reset her career bests in both assists (55 at Texas A&M) and digs (16 at Texas A&M) in that span as well.

More on Kreklow
Despite dishing just 29 assists against Nebraska last Saturday, Kreklow has still spread at least 40 helpers in seven of the Tigers' last nine matches. Both times that she did not reach 40 were against No. 3 Nebraska. Kreklow slipped to second in the Big 12 in assists per set this week with 11.58 but is still one of only two setters in the league to average more than 11.00 assists per set this season. Kreklow needs just 40 assists to break the all-time top 10 in career assists at Mizzou.

Kreklow on the Attack
After totalling seven kills on .384 hitting in her first two matches as a Tiger, Kreklow struggled on the attack with just 25 kills on .024 hitting as she had 23 errors on 84 attacks. But the Tiger setter has seemed to find her groove as of late with nine kills on .600 hitting without an error in her last two matches. The 15 straight attacks without an error are the longest she has gone this season with committing an attack error. Her six kills against Baylor are also a career-best.

Back Row Play Has Improved
Before tallying just 33 digs in the Tigers' loss at Nebraska, the Mizzou back row had been playing well. In fact, against both Texas A&M and Baylor, Mizzou pulled in a season-best 81 digs. In fact, Mizzou corralled 16 more digs than Baylor in that contest despite the fact that Baylor came into the match leading the nation in digging.

Also, the Nebraska match ended a streak of three straight matches in which the Tigers saw five players tally at least 10 digs in each match. Also, it ended a streak of three matches in which three players posted double-doubles in each contest as well. That had never happened at Mizzou during the 25-point set era before that span.

Vann's Play Key in Back Row Turnaround
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann has collected 90 digs over her last four matches (22.50 per contest) as she continues to play well as of late. She pulled in 57 combined digs in back-to-back matches against Texas A&M and Baylor and was named Big 12 Player of the Week for her efforts that week. She pulled in a season-best 31 in the Tigers' win over Baylor, the third-best four-set total in Mizzou history and her most since pulling in a career-best 34 against St. John's in 2008.

Pip's Been Consistent As Well
Junior Priscilla Armendariz has also been steady in the back row during Big 12 play. In fact, she has not committed a reception error in eight straight matches (79 chances) and has just two during Big 12 play. She leads the team with a .970 service reception percentage this season and has seen that mark improve to .981 in league play. After committing four reception errors on 94 chances in non-conference play (.957), she has committed just two on 106 chances in Big 12 play.

Armendariz has also been a steady option defensively as she has posted double-digit kills in six of the Tigers' Big 12 matches and is averaging 2.46 digs per set during Big 12 play. Before pulling in just four at Nebraska, she has pulled in more than 10 digs in three straight matches.

Blocking Brimmage
Junior Brittney Brimmage is beginning to establish herself as the top blocker on the Mizzou roster. Touching over 11 feet, Brimmage has now led Mizzou in blocks in six of the last seven matches and has done so in 14 of the Tigers' 21 matches this season. She leads the team with 63 blocks this season and is averaging 0.93 per set. She set a career-best eight at Oklahoma four matches ago as well and is averaging a 1.00 blocks per set in her last seven matches with 26 total. Six of those 26 were solo blocks as well.

An Ace in the Hole
In Big 12 play, the Tigers rank third in aces per set with 1.10 per frame through 11 matches. Julianna Klein is leading all servers with 0.32 aces per set during league play while Caitlyn Vann ranks fourth with her 0.30 per set average. Klein also ranks fourth overall among Big 12 players with her 0.30 aces per set in all 21 of the Tigers' contests in 2010.

Single Season Record Watch
Caitlyn Vann, Molly Kreklow and Paola Ampudia are all on pace to finish the season with top-10 single season marks in Mizzou history in certain statistical categories. With 358 digs this season, Vann is on pace to pull in 511 this season, which would be the fourth-best mark in Mizzou history. Kreklow has 857 assists on the season and is on pace to spread 1,224 assists, which would rank 10th all-time and the best mark during the 25-point set era. Lastly, with 303 kills this season, Ampudia is on pace to finish with 433, which would leave her one kill shy of the all-time top 10. However, her 4.09 kills per set would rank sixth all-time at Mizzou should she finish the season with that average.

Where Have All the Five-Setters Gone?
In the Tigers' last 55 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.

More Records Broken
With 42 attacks at Texas A&M, Julianna Klein moved from fourth at Mizzou in career attacks to second. Two matches later, she has 3,948 career attacks. She sits 533 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 ranks ninth in sets played at Mizzou as well.

Another Number to Keep an Eye On
As one of the most experienced Tigers in program history, it is no surprise that Klein is moving her way up the career record books at Mizzou, but the category to watch is career kills. Klein sits just 150 back of cracking the all-time top three with 1,328. With nine matches remaining, plus possible NCAA Tournament action, the top three is well within range for the Tiger senior. In fact, Klein needs to average about 16 kills per match over her last nine to move into third all time.

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 161 kills (10.73 per match) and pulled in 130 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 1,328 kills, 765 digs and 110 aces. She also ranks seventh all time with 1,543.5 career points.

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 6-7 when opponents hit better than .200. The Tigers are 1-6 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.

Scouting Kansas
Kansas comes into Wednesday's match with a very similar résumé as the Tigers as it is 13-9 and 4-7 in Big 12 play. Kansas has one quality win over Iowa State this season but also a bad loss after falling at Texas Tech, who is currently the last-place team in the Big 12. Kansas is also just 1-4 in Big 12 play away from home with its lone win coming against Baylor. Kansas has lost its last two matches, both sweeps and both at home. Prior to that, Kansas had ran out to a 3-0 record at home during Big 12 play.

Karina Garlington leads the Jayhwaks this season with 277 kills (3.46 per set) on .226 hitting. Allison Mayfield is also a very steady option for Kansas as she has 245 kills this season (3.10 per set). 135 of Mayfield's kills have come in Big 12 play as she is averaging 3.29 kills per set in league matches.

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 second in the Big 12 in assists per set this season at 11.58. She has anchored an offense that features four hitters with at least 160 kills on the year. She has assisted on 857 of the Tigers' 1,030 kills (83.2-percent) and has the Tigers hitting .232 on the season. She also ranks third on the team in digs with 178 total and leads the team with eight 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 104-70 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 213-116 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 358 digs this season, she has moved her career total to 1,718, 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 160 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 continue its homestand against another opponent from the Sunflower State as Kansas State will battle with the Tigers at the Hearnes Center on Oct. 30. The match is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and Mizzou All-Access will stream live video of the match with Ross Taylor and Lindsey Hunter providing the call.



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