Nov. 1, 2013
By Andrew Melroe
MUTigers.com Staff Writer
The Mizzou Volleyball team defeated Ole Miss 3-0 on Friday evening and improved its record-breaking start to 26-0. But all of that took a back seat in the victory as senior Lisa Henning recorded 13 kills in the match to become the all-time leader in Mizzou history for kills. She now has 1,661 kills in her historic career, passing former Tiger standout Shen Danru who had 1,658 from 2002-05.
But as great as the achievement may seem, Henning, a two-time All-American, shrugged off the accomplishment just as any team-oriented player would do.
"It's pretty awesome breaking the record, but I'm actually really excited for our team and what we have accomplished this year," she said. "I think that the team being 26-0 is a better feeling and accomplishment than breaking the record."
But despite her efforts to ignore the significance of her accomplishment, it is a mark that says a lot about Henning and even more about her storied career at Mizzou. She already owns the single season career record for kills in a single season at Mizzou and is part of a senior class that will go down as one of the most successful duos in program history. She is joined by classmate Molly Kreklow, widely regarded as one of the best setters in the nation.
"I would never be able to be in this position without Molly," Henning said of her teammate and best friend. "Obviously she has kind of been my partner in crime for the four years that I have been here. I think that as much as it is an award for me, it's an award for her."
Kreklow-to-Henning. That is what fans at the Hearnes Center have seen for the better part of the last four years. The duo was thrust into a leadership role as just sophomores, guiding the team to an NCAA Tournament appearance. That year, just a year removed from advancing to the Sweet 16, Henning and Kreklow guided the youngest group to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They have been the face of the program for the better part of the last three seasons and they have a chance to become the winningest four-year class in school history. And despite Henning's willingness to downplay her achievement, her `partner-in-crime' was willing to pay credit where credit was due.
"She has worked really hard and she has done so much for this program," Molly Kreklow
said. "As my classmate, we have gone through so much. We have seen all our ups and all our downs, so it's really cool seeing all the hard work pay off for her. She is such a great unselfish player. It's never about her; always about the team."
The two are the third-most successful class in program history and have created quite a friendship during their time at Mizzou, a career that has featured 88 career wins and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances with a third very likely on the way.
"We are best friends and have really grown a lot since freshman year," Kreklow said of their relationship. "I am just really thankful to have her in my life. We do everything together. It's really cool to see not only my teammate, but my best friend do so well."
Head coach Wayne Kreklow talked about how well Henning played Friday and throughout the season, even though opponents have focused on controlling her scoring.
"It's frustrating at times for her, because every time she swings it seems like she has two blockers up there. But I thought she did a really good job tonight of making smart choices, attacking well out of the back row."
Coach Kreklow praised the two seniors after the game on their time here at Missouri, "In any program over time, there are certain players who just kind of rise to the level of all-time greats and Lisa and Molly are both at that level. When I look back at not just our 14 years here, but the history of Mizzou Volleyball, there are really only a handful of players who have had that impact."