Tigers Host South Carolina on MSN

MUTIGERS.COM
<i>Lisa Henning is eighth nationally in points per set this year.</i>

MUTIGERS.COM
Lisa Henning is eighth nationally in points per set this year.
MUTIGERS.COM

Oct. 31, 2012

Mizzou Volleyball (15-8, 7-6 SEC) vs. South Carolina (15-10, 3-10 SEC)
Date: Nov. 2
Time: 6:30 pm (CT)
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Live Stream: MizzouNetwork.com
Twitter Updates: @MU_Volleyball
Notes: Notes - vs. South Carolina Get Acrobat Reader

What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
• After playing six of seven on the road, Mizzou opens a four-match homestand with South Carolina Friday.
• The 6:30 p.m. match with the Gamecocks will air live on the Mizzou Sports Network.
• The Tigers went 3-4 in the month of October, playing six of seven matches on the road.
• Home is a good place for the Tigers to be as they are 7-2 at Hearnes this season and just 8-6 away from home.
• Mizzou is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since Nov. 19 of last season.
• Mizzou is 54th in this week's NCAA RPI rankings, ranking it seventh in the SEC.
• In a season full of firsts, Friday's meeting with South Carolina will mark the first ever between the two schools.
• Mizzou has the sixth-fewest attack errors (323) in the country and the fourth-fewest attack errors per set (3.94).
• The Tigers continue to lead the SEC in blocking at 2.71 per set in all matches and 2.94 in SEC matches.
• As a team, Mizzou ranks 25th nationally in both hitting (.260) and blocks per set (2.71).
• The duo of Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning has 23 combined double-doubles, which is second in the SEC.
Lisa Henning cracked the Mizzou all-time top 10 on the career kills list as she is now eighth with 1,152 kills.
• She is the second-fastest Tiger to ever reach 1,000 kills, trailing on Shen Danru.
• Henning is No. 4 on the active kill leaders list in the SEC w/ 1,165. She is the top junior on the list.
• Henning also leads the SEC in kills per set and points per set in league matches and all matches this season.
• Henning, an All-American last year, ranks eighth nationally in points per set (5.22) and 14th in kills (4.59).
• Henning will face USC's Juliette Thevenin Friday, marking a matchup between two of the SEC's top three attackers.
• Henning is on pace to break 500 kills for the second straight year, which would make her the first-ever Tiger to do so.
Whitney Little is 18th nationally in blocks per set (1.46) and sixth in solo blocks (21).
• Little leads the SEC in blocks per set (1.46) in all matches and in SEC matches (1.67).
• Little has five 10-block matches this season. The five 10-block matches is a Mizzou career and season record.
• Little has a pair of block-kill double-doubles in 2012. Before that, the last block-kill double-double was in `07.
• Setter Molly Kreklow is second in the SEC with 15 double-doubles this season.
• In her three years as a Tiger setter, Kreklow has guided the team to a .240 attack clip and 13.34 kills per set.
• The team's .240 clip through her two-plus seasons is the second-best career mark for four-year Tiger setters.

Mizzou Opens Four-Match Homestand with South Carolina
After playing six of its last seven matches on the road, the Mizzou volleyball team will return home this Friday at 6:30 p.m. to face South Carolina at the Hearnes Center. The match will air live on the Mizzou Sports Network throughout the state of Missouri with Beau Baehman and Craig Sherman on the call. Check your local listings to see what channel it will air on in your area.

Long October
As the calendar flips to November, Mizzou can leave a tough month of October in the rearview. The Tigers played seven matches in October with six being played away from home. The Tigers went 3-4 in that span, losing to three teams ranked in the RPI top 55 (at Tennessee, at Arkansas and at Georgia).

Henning On Fire in October
Junior All-American Lisa Henning has put together quite the October this year, averaging 5.11 kills per set, 5.76 points per, 0.81 blocks per set and 3.33 digs per set. She has also posted five double-doubles in seven matches and has gone over 20 kills in four of seven matches this month, including a career-best 27 at Auburn. In her career, she is averaging 4.71 kills per set on .242 hitting, 2.64 digs per set, 36 blocks and 18 aces in October.

Kreklow-Henning are a Double-Double Double-Duo
So far this season, Mizzou as a team has posted 27 double-doubles as a team, but the junior duo of Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning has accounted for 23 of those 27. In fact, Kreklow ranks second in the SEC with 14 double-doubles while Henning has eight of her nine double-doubles in SEC play, ranking her fourth in the SEC in league matches. Both Kreklow and Henning have posted double-doubles in six of the last seven matches and the 23 combined double-doubles ranks second among all SEC duos this season (UT's Robinson-Pollmiller, 26; Arkansas' Santos-Norton, 23).

Last Time Out
The Mizzou volleyball team lost back-to-back matches at Georgia and Arkansas last week, marking the first time since November of 2011 that Mizzou has lost back-to-back matches. In fact, before losing at Arkansas on Sunday, the Tigers were undefeated in their previous eight matches following a loss. Lisa Henning led the Tigers with 28 kills over the three sets while averaging 3.67 digs per set with five blocks on the week.

Tigers In the National Rankings
As Mizzou enters the final month of play, several Tigers rank among the national elite in certain categories. First, as a team, Mizzou ranks 25th nationally in both hitting (.260) and blocking (2.71 per set). Also, sophomore Whintney Little and junior Lisa Henning also rank among the national elite. Below is a look.

Cutting Down the Errors
Heading into Friday's match with South Carolina, Mizzou ranks second in the SEC in hitting at .260 and a key reason for that mark is the Tigers' ability to cut down on attack errors. In fact, Mizzou has the sixth-fewest attack errors in the country so far this season and is averaging just 3.94 errors per set. In fact, four of the five teams that rank ahead of the Tigers have played two fewer matches than Mizzou's 21. BYU is the only team in the nation to play more than 21 matches and have fewer errors than the Tigers as they have just 323 attack errors in 23 matches. Only Washington, BYU and Texas have fewer attack errors per set than the Tigers this season. Below is a look at the standings.
    • Texas - 272 errors - 21 matches - 3.78 per set
    • BYU - 289 errors - 23 matches - 3.61 per set
    • Washington - 290 errors - 21 matches - 3.92 per set
    • Florida - 295 errors - 21 matches - 4.04 per set
    • Nebraska - 313 errors - 21 matches - 4.11 per set
    • Mizzou - 323 errors - 23 matches - 3.94 per set
Henning Joins Elite Company
Junior All-American Lisa Henning has been rewriting the Mizzou record books since her freshman season and she just joined elite company earlier this season as she cracked the all-time Mizzou top 10 in career kills with 1,165 in her two-plus seasons at Mizzou as she now ranks seventh all-time. She is on pace to become the first-ever Tiger to post 500 kills in back-to-back seasons as well. Following this season, she should be within striking distance of the all-time record holder, Shen Danru (1,658 kills from 2002-05). Below are a few notables on Henning.
    • First Tiger underclassman ever to be named All-American (third team last year) and is Mizzou's sixth All-American
    • Led the Big 12 in kills, kills per set and points per set in league matches last season, the first Tiger to do so
    • Currently leads the SEC in kills per set and points per set in all matches and league matches
    • Is currently fourth in the SEC among active players in career kills and is the top junior on the list
    • Recently broke into the 1,000-kill club, the 11th Tiger to do so.
    • She is the second-fastest Tiger ever to 1,000 career kills (four-year players).
    • Is on pace to shatter that all-time career kills record at Mizzou, currently held by Shen Danru
    • Set a Mizzou record with 523 kills in 2011 and is on pace to break 500 again this season
    • Preseason All-SEC Team member
    • Three-time Big12/SEC Player of the Week in her career

Henning vs. Thevenin
In Friday's match with the Gamecocks, fans will get their look at the SEC's top two attackers in Mizzou's Lisa Henning and South Carolina's Juliette Thevinin. In fact, during SEC play, the duo ranks 1-2 in kills per set as Henning checks in at 4.71 while Thevinin is just behind her with 4.10 kills per set. The last time Henning faced a player ranked in the top three of the SEC in kills per set was when she faced UT's Kelsey Robinson. In those two matches against Tennessee, Henning has averaged 5.10 kills per set (51 total) on .252 hitting with 28 digs and five blocks, out-performing Robinson (just 3.43 kills per set in those two matches),

Block This Way
Looking at the season stats for the Tigers, the one thing that stands out is the Tigers' blocking numbers. In fact, Mizzou leads the SEC with its 2.71 blocks per set average while its 222.5 total blocks leads the SEC as well. The 2.71 blocks per set clip ranks the Tigers 25th nationally. The numbers are even better in SEC play as the Tigers are averaging 2.94 blocks per set with a league-leading 144.0 total blocks. The next-best total by an SEC team in league matches is 127 by LSU.

Little Playing Big
Another developing trend for the Tigers this season is the play of sophomore middle hitter Whitney Little. Little has five 10-block matches this season, resetting the Mizzou record for 10-block matches in a career. The previous record had been four by former Tiger All-American Christi Myers - keep in mind, Little broke that career mark in a span of just nine matches after posting 11 blocks at Tennessee on Oct. 5. Below are a few notables on Little.

    • Little is 18th nationally in blocks per set (1.47) and leads the SEC overall and in league matches
    • Little is also sixth nationally in solo blocks (21)
    • She had five 10-block matches over nine matches. That reset the school record for career 10-block matches
    • Little has two block-kill doubles this season; the last block-kill double-double for MU was back in `07
    • Little matched the rally scoring school record with five solo blocks at Florida
    • Little sits atop the all-time Mizzou career records in blocks per set (1.23) and is fifth in hitting (.310)
    • Little could reset her own single season blocking record (138). She is on pace for more than 170 blocks
    • Little owns the SEC's top five blocking marks this season and leads the SEC in blocking
Tigers Second in SEC, 25th Nationally in Hitting
Heading into the weekend, Mizzou ranks among the national elite in team hitting percentage at .260, ranking it second in the SEC and 25th nationally. If the season ended today, the .260 clip would be the fourth-best attack clip in program history, trailing only the 2005 team (.299), the 2000 team (.289) and the 2002 team (.280).

Kreklow Improves Hitting
Heading into the season, junior setter Molly Kreklow was more known for her ability to run an offense, but it has been her offensive production that has caught the eye of many this season. In addition to guiding the team to a .260 attack percentage, Kreklow also proved to be a formidable attacker, posting 90 kills on just 185 attacks with just 19 errors, good for a .384 clip. Kreklow entered the season as a .179 career attacker, so her .397 clip is a vast improvement.

Tigers So Far in Televised Matches
Mizzou has been on television four times already this season and Friday's match will mark the fifth. So far this season, Mizzou is 2-2 in televised matches with home wins over Tennessee and Mississippi State and losses at Georgia and Ole Miss. Mizzou's match with Kentucky on Thanksgiving weekend will also be televised on Metro Sports, rounding out the TV schedule for the Tigers.

Home Sweet Home
A return to the friendly confines of the Hearnes Center may be just what the doctor ordered after Mizzou went 3-4 in October, playing six of those seven on the road. In fact, Mizzou has been very good at home this season, posting a 7-2 record with its only losses coming to nationally-ranked Michigan and Texas A&M, which is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll. Conversely, Mizzou is just 8-6 away from Hearnes this season. The Tigers will play six of their final eight matches at home, including four straight beginning Friday with South Carolina.

Unfamiliar Feeling
As Mizzou prepares for South Carolina on Friday, the team will have an unfamiliar feeling as it is coming off of two straight losses. Mizzou had not lost two consecutive match all season before last week and hadn't done so since Nov. 18 of last season. In fact, Mizzou is coming off of back-to-back sweeps for the first time since Nov. 7, 2009, when the Tigers lost back-to-back matches to top-10 Texas and Nebraska that year. That ends a stretch of 95 matches without being swept in back-to-back matches.

Scouting South Carolina
The Gamecocks overall record is 15-10 and 3-10 within the SEC. South Carolina is hitting .258 as a team and has held its opponents to .236 hitting complimented from athletic block and back row play. On offense, the Gamecocks are led by Julliette Thevenin. She has 330 kills this season and averages 4.12 per set while hitting an above average .282. Bethany Thomas is hitting .229 while averaging 2.35 kills per set in tandem with Cara Howley hitting .290 averaging 2.22 kills per set. Drian Dozer leads the team with blocks with 60 total this season, and averaging 0.79 blocks per set. The back row is anchored by junior Paige Wheeler, who is averaging 4.02 digs per set. Thevenin has also been very good in the back row for the Gamecocks as she averaged 2.65 digs per set.

Series Information
This will mark the first ever meeting between the Tigers and Gamecocks in volleyball.

A Libero Change
Before the match with No. 17 Tennessee on Sept. 12, Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow made a lineup change as he moved sophomore Sarah Meister to the starting libero position, replacing Jade Hayes. The move came after Hayes had pulled in double-digit digs in nine of the Tigers' first 10 matches. But Meister has made an immediate impact since throwing on the opposite-colored jersey, averaging 4.49 digs per set, third-best in the SEC. Before the change, Meister was averaging just 1.85 digs per set and a .941 serve receive mark. She has posted at least 20 digs in six of her 13 matches as libero, including a career-best 27 at LSU and 23 in her first-ever start at libero against No. 17 Tennessee. In matches at Tennessee and Alabama in early October, Meister pulled in 48 digs (24 at both Tennessee and Alabama) and committed just two reception errors on 60 chances, good for a team-best 9.67 reception percentage. At Ole Miss and Auburn, she had 43 digs (4.22 per set) and boasted a .966 serve receive percentage on a team-high 59 chances

Historic First Two Seasons for Kreklow
Junior setter Molly Kreklow has accomplished a lot in her short career at Mizzou and the numbers show it. In fact, Kreklow has quarterbacked the Tigers to a 43-24 record (.657) over the past two seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament wins (2-2 overall record, including a Sweet 16 appearance). The 43 wins for the Tigers over the last two seasons are the most for a Tiger setter since All-American and current assistant coach Lindsey Hunter won 45 matches from 2002-03. Kreklow already has more NCAA Tournament wins than Hunter did through her first two seasons. Also, Kreklow set the Tigers to a .232 attack percentage in her first two seasons, the Tigers' best two-year attack percentage since 2004-05, when Hunter led the team to a .292 clip over those two seasons. Kreklow now has 58 wins in her two-plus seasons.

Ms. 3,000
The Tigers have certainly had their fair share of great setters under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow, but Molly Kreklow may be the best. At Morehead State, Kreklow passed the 3,000-assist mark in her career, making her just the fifth Tiger to do so. It is worth noting that if Kreklow played in 30-point sets like her predecessors, she would be on pace to break Lindsey Hunter's school record for career assists (6,097) by 471. She has assisted on nearly 83-percent of the Tigers' kills since joining the team for the 2010 season.

A Look at Kreklow Historically
Through her two-plus seasons at Mizzou, Molly Kreklow has guided the team to a .240 attack percentage and 13.34 kills per set. If you average out the rest of the year at the current pace the Tigers are attacking at right now, Kreklow will have guided Mizzou to a .252 attack percentage in her three seasons. That is the second-best mark for any three-year Tiger setter in program history, trailing only Lindsey Hunter, who guided Mizzou to a .263 attack clip in her first three seasons at Mizzou (2002-04). She has assisted on nearly 83-percent of the Tigers' kills in her two-plus seasons.

Henning Top Junior in SEC
Looking deeper into Lisa Henning's numbers so far, her 1,165 career kills are fourth among active SEC players and tops among SEC juniors, just ahead of Tennessee's Kelsy Robinson. The three players ranked ahead of Henning on the list are all seniors as Arkansas' Jasmine Norton leads all active SEC players in kills. Remember, Henning was the first ever Tiger to leads the Big 12 in kills per set and points per set a season ago and broke the school record with 523 kills and could become the first ever Tiger to post back-to-back 500-kill seasons as she is on pace to this year.

More on the Tiger Junior Class
With 43 wins through their first two seasons, the Mizzou junior class (Kreklow, Henning) has the chance to become the winningest class in program history with almost two full seasons 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 junior class has a chance to become the winningest four-year class during the modern scheduling era in program history. With a win last week, the class now has 58 wins in two-plus seasons. Below is a look at the winningest four-year stretches in program history (modern scheduling era). Winningest Four-Year Stretches
• 2002-05 - 90 wins
• 2002-04 - 89 wins
• 1982-85 - 84 wins
• Mizzou Junior Class - 58 wins

Tigers Picked Fourth in SEC East
The Tigers, in the their first SEC Preseason Poll, were picked to finish fourth in the Eastern Division by the league's coaches. The loaded SEC East features league favorite Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida, all of which rank ahead of Mizzou. The Gators narrowly edged the Tigers in the poll for third place. The Tigers received 37 votes in the poll while Tennessee (12), UK (30) and Florida (35) edged the Tigers.

Kreklow, Henning Land on All-SEC Preseason Team
The Mizzou volleyball program may be new to the Southeastern Conference, but it has already earned the respect of its peers as the Tigers placed two student-athletes on the Preseason All-SEC Team, which was released on Aug. 7. Juniors Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow were named to the nine-person All-SEC Preseason Team. Mizzou joined Kentucky and league-favorite Tennessee as the only teams to place two players on the All-SEC Preseason Team. Henning is fifth among active SEC players with 789 kills in her career.

Kreklows Participate in USA Volleyball A-2 Program Over the Summer
Junior Molly Kreklow and Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow spent 10 days during the summer in Columbus, Ohio, for the USA Volleyball A-2 Program - Molly as a player and Wayne as a coach, albeit of different teams. Wayne coached the Blue Team to a perfect 3-0 record in pool play, but his team lost a semifinal matchup, dropping it to the third-place match, which it won, 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11) over Molly's Red Team.

Little, O'Brien Play Together in Italy, Croatia
Sophomores Whitney Little and Katie O'Brien played with the USA Development/Bring-It Promotions tour in Italy and Croatia this summer. The Tiger duo played with some of the nation's most talented underclassmen over the week-long tour and their team played in the European Global Challenge. It marks the third straight season that Mizzou has had a student-athlete play in the program. Former Tiger Julianna Klein played in Brazil prior to the 2010 season while current Tiger junior Lisa Henning played in China prior to the 2011 season.

An Experienced Youthful Group
It is a well known fact that Mizzou was the youngest team (% of underclassmen) to qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season, but heading into 2012, the Tigers boast a roster that is comprised of 10 underclassmen and two juniors, making them the youngest team in the SEC. In fact, Mizzou's roster is 83-percent underclassmen and it is the only SEC roster that does not have a senior. Mississippi State is the next-youngest team in the league as it is comprised of 76.9-percent underclassmen. What is impressive about the Tigers' youth is that they are a very experienced group as well as seven of the 10 underclassmen are sophomores and helped guide Mizzou to the NCAA Tournament as freshmen last year.

Big Crowds at Home
So far this season, the Hearnes Center has proved to once again be one of the toughest places to play in the country as Mizzou is 7-2 inside the confines of their home arena. In fact, Mizzou is 1-1 against top-25 teams as well with its only losses coming to No. 23 Michigan and Texas A&M, an RPI top-30 team. So far, Mizzou is averaging 2,199 fans per match this season, ranking it 15th in the country.

Tigers On Television
The Mizzou volleyball program will be televised nationally four times, including a program-high three times on ESPNU this season. In all, the Tigers have six scheduled televised matches that will be seen throughout the state of Missouri this season. Below are the television dates for the Tigers.

    • Sept. 12 vs. Tennessee - ESPNU
    • Oct. 14 vs. Mississippi State - ESPNU
    • Oct. 19 at Ole Miss - SportSouth
    • Oct. 24 - at Georgia - ESPNU
    • Nov. 2 - vs. South Carolina - Mizzou Sports Network
    • Nov. 21 - vs. Kentucky - Metro Sports

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. Jim Grundy will be in his second year as the team's play-by-play announcer. Brittney Brimmage will provide analysis. Visit MUTigers.tv for broadcasts.

Up Next
The Tigers will open a three-match week with Arkansas State on Tuesday (Nov. 6) before hosting Florida and LSU at the Hearnes Center next weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.

 

 

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