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Tigers Look for 20th Win vs. Baylor

MUTIGERS.COM
<i>Wayne Kreklow could win his 400th match as a women's head coach Saturday.</i>

MUTIGERS.COM
Wayne Kreklow could win his 400th match as a women's head coach Saturday.
MUTIGERS.COM

Nov. 3, 2011

Match Info: Mizzou (19-9, 5-6 Big 12) vs. Baylor (17-9, 5-6 Big 12)
Date: Nov. 5
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Hearnes Center
Live Stats: GameTracker
Live Stream: Mizzou All-Access
Twitter Updates: @MU_Volleyball
Game Notes: Media Notes Get Acrobat Reader

What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
• Mizzou will look for its 20th win of the season against Baylor at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 5) at Hearnes Center.
• Should MU reach 20 wins it would mark the first time MU has done so in two-straight seasons since 2004-05.
• It would also mark the seventh time in 12 seasons that Mizzou has eclipsed 20 wins.
• Head coach Wayne Kreklow sits just one win shy of his 400th as a collegiate women's coach.
• Wayne and Susan Kreklow earned their 750th win as a coaching duo at Kansas on Wednesday night.
• 11 of Mizzou's 19 wins have come against teams that won at least 20 matches last season.
• Mizzou is No. 32 in the NCAA RPI rankings, placing it sixth in the Big 12.
Lisa Henning leads all Big 12 attackers in kills per set (4.69) and points per set (5.21) during league play.
• Henning has eclipsed the 20-kill mark in six of her last 11 matches, including a career-best 27 twice.
• Henning holds three of the Big 12's top four kill performances in league play this season.
• Setter Molly Kreklow has recorded a double-double in 10 of her last 15 matches.
• Kreklow's 42 assists against No. 21 Oklahoma are the best three-set total by anyone in Big 12 play this season.
• Kreklow now ranks third in the Big 12 in assists per set at 10.69 and leads the league in total assists at 1,122.
• Tiger senior Brittney Brimmage ranks second in the Big 12 in hitting at .370.
Priscilla Armendariz tallied 15 digs vs. OU as she becomes the fifth Tiger to ever record 400 digs in a season.
• Freshman Whitney Little set the Mizzou freshman record with 113 blocks in her first year as Tiger.

Tigers Look for Win No. 20 Against Baylor
Winners of two straight and five of seven matches, the Mizzou volleyball team will return to action this Saturday (Nov. 5) at the Hearnes Center as its hosts the Baylor Bears at 2 p.m. The Tigers are in search of their 20th win of the season, which would mark the second consecutive season that Mizzou will have won at least 20 matches. Last year, Mizzou won 22 matches en-route to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. Those 22 wins were the most by a Tiger team since 2005 when they finished with 25. If Mizzou were to win Saturday, it would mark the first back-to-back 20-win seasons for Mizzou since 2004 and 2005. Only one team in Big 12 history has been left out of the NCAA Tournament when totaling at least 20 wins (Texas A&M, 2007 - 21-10 overall).

Last Time Out
Mizzou topped Kansas, 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 23-25, 25-29), on Wednesday night in Lawrence to sweep the season series with the Jayhawks. Mizzou was led by sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning who tallied 22 kills on .455 hitting, a career-best when tallying more than 20 kills. Sophomore setter Molly Kreklow also tallied her 11th double-double of the season with 51 assists and 15 digs. It marked her fourth match this season with more than 50 assists and the 10th time in the last 15 matches that she has posted a double-double.

Kreklows Win No. 750
Wednesday's win at Kansas marked the 750th career win for Wayne and Susan Kreklow as a pair. The win total dates back to their time as co-head coaches of the men's and women's teams at Columbia College. Of those 750 wins, 241 of those have come during the Kreklow's 11-plus seasons at Mizzou as they have won nearly 66-percent of their matches in that span.

Kreklow One Shy of 400
Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow sat 20 wins shy of his 400th as a head volleyball coach entering the season, but he now sits just one shy of 400 in his career. Should he reach 400 this season, he will be one of just three coaches in the Big 12 to have cracked the 400-win plateau. Kreklow surpassed his 600th win all-time as a coach (assistant, men's coach, women's coach) at both Mizzou and Columbia College with the Tigers' win over Florida International earlier this season.

Notes on the Oklahoma Win
Mizzou scored a huge win over Oklahoma last Saturday, who checked in at No. 21 in the AVCA poll at the time. In fact, it was the Tigers' first win this season over a ranked opponent and is their first since knocking off Northern Iowa in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament on Dec. 3 last season. Also, the win marked the first time that Mizzou has swept a ranked team since Sept. 23, 2006, when it knocked off No. 5 Texas in straight sets.

A Springboard Win?
Last year, it was about this time that Mizzou defeated No. 12 Iowa State, a win that sparked a stretch in which the Tigers won nine of their final 12 matches while advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The Tigers are hoping that Saturday's win over Oklahoma and Wednesday's at KU will spark a similar run through the second half of Big 12 play as they search for their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 seasons.

Tough at Home
After Saturday's win over Oklahoma, Mizzou moved to 9-1 at home this season. Its only loss inside the Hearnes Center this season came in a tough five-setter against Kansas State. The 9-1 start at home is the Tigers best start inside the Hearnes Center since the 2009 season when the Tigers opened the season 10-1 at home. That year, Mizzou ended up with an 11-4 record inside the Hearnes Center with its only four losses coming to teams that ranked among the AVCA Top 25.

Offense Comes Alive Over Last Two
Mizzou's offense over the last two matches has been very impressive. In fact, Mizzou has tallied 110 kills in seven sets, good for a 15.71 kills per set average and it has done so on .245 hitting. Both Lisa Henning and Emily Wilson are averaging more than 4.40 kills per set over the last two matches while Brittney Brimmage is hitting .310 with a 2.00 kills per set average in that span. Henning's 18 kills against Oklahoma are a Big 12 best in a three-set match during league play while Wilson's 17 in that match are second-best. Also, setter Molly Kreklow has been very good over the last two with an average of 13.29 assists per set, including 42 against Oklahoma, marking the top three-set mark in Big 12 play this season.

Team Notes
With 19 wins this season, Mizzou is looking to break the 20-win plateau for the seventh time since 2000. In fact, before Wayne and Susan Kreklow took over the program in 2000, Mizzou eclipsed the 20-win mark just seven times from 1974-1999 and had not done so since 1983. Should Mizzou break 20 on Saturday, it will mark the second straight year with at least 20 wins. Mizzou had not don that since 2004-05. Below are a few team notes.

• Mizzou checks in at No. 32 in this week's NCAA RPI rankings. Keep in mind, the Tiger team that advanced to the Sweet 16 last season checked in at No. 42 in the RPI, so Mizzou is ahead of that pace this season.
• Mizzou has won five of its last seven matches. The only losses came on the road at RPI top 35 teams.
• Of Mizzou's 19 wins this season, 11 have come against teams that won at least 20 matches last season and four of those 10 teams won more than 26 matches in 2010.
• Mizzou is 9-1 at home and 7-2 in neutral site matches so far this season. Mizzou's only home loss this season came in five sets to Kansas State, an RPI top-35 team, while one of their two neutral site losses came to WKU which ranks 26th in the RPI. Mizzou's six road losses have all come to RPI top-50 teams while three of those came in five sets and three more came against teams that rank in the RPI top 25.
• Mizzou has knocked off a pair of teams - Texas A&M and Oklahoma - that rank among the RPI top 25 this season. A&M checks in at 18 this week while Oklahoma sits at 23.

Cardiac Kids
Looking at the Tigers over the last several weeks, it's clear that the Tigers have played in some tight matches. In fact, 14 of the Tigers' last 19 matches have lasted more than three sets while six of those 14 have gone the full five sets. In 33 matches last season, Mizzou played in 18 matches that lasted four sets or more while this season they have played 15 through 28. The big difference is in the amount of five-set matches as Mizzou played in just three all last season and has played in six already in 2011. In fact, Mizzou had played in just four five-set matches in 2009 and 2010 combined (65 matches) and has eclipsed that mark this season alone (28 matches).

Henning Continues to Impress During League Play
Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning has put together an impressive stretch during Big 12 play as she leads the Big 12 in kills per set (4.69) and in points per set (5.21) in league matches. In fact, Henning is coming off of a 22-kill performance at KU Wednesday, doing so on .455 hitting. That .455 clip is her career-best when tallying more than 20 kills. Below are a few quick notes on Henning during Big 12 play.

• She has eclipsed 20 kills six times in 11 matches and has reset her career-high four times in that span.
• Henning owns three of the league's top four kill totals in Big 12 matches this season and four of the top six marks as well. She had 27 at Baylor and against KU, 24 against Kansas State and 22 against Texas Tech.
• Henning also owns the top three point performances in Big 12 play this season with her 30.0 against Kansas and her 29.5 and 28.0 against Baylor and Kansas State, respectively.
• Henning is the only player to eclipse the 200-kill mark during Big 12 play so far this season.
• In fact, Henning's 211 kills are 43 more than the next-best Big 12 athlete - Allison Mayfield of Kansas.
• She also leads the Big 12 in points (234.5) by a wide margin during Big 12 play. Her total points leads KSU's Kaitlynn Pelger by 43.5 in league play.
• Henning was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the first time in her career on Oct. 17 after averaging 6.12 kills per set on .302 hitting in wins over Kansas and Texas Tech.

Double-Double Trouble
Sophomore setter Molly Kreklow recorded her second straight double-double on Wednesday at Kansas, marking the 10th time over the last 15 matches that she has tallied a double-double. Not only that, but Kreklow dished 51 assists in the four-set win, marking the fourth time this season that she has eclipsed the 50-assist mark. Not only that, but Kreklow is currently third in the Big 12 in assists per set at 10.69. Over her last two matches, her numbers have been very good averaging 13.29 assists per set, 3.71 digs per set and 0.29 service aces per set.

Emily Wilson Impresses Over Last Three
A key reason for the Tigers' success as of late has been the re-emergence of freshman outside hitter Emily Wilson, who is averaging 3.58 kills per set on .252 hitting over her last three matches with 43 total kills. Prior to the current stretch for Wilson, she had a been averaging just 1.46 kills per set on .137 hitting in her previous six matches. She has seemed to come out of that funk lately posting 12 kills at KSU, 17 against Oklahoma - her most since a career-best 20 against Villanova - and 14 more against Kansas on Wednesday. Looking into the numbers a little more, Mizzou is 11-4 when Wilson hits double-figures in kills while they are just 8-5 when she does not.

Brimmage Second in Big 12 in Hitting
Senior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage is second in the Big 12 in hitting at .370 this season, just behind Texas' Rachael Adams, who was dubbed Big 12 Player of the Year in the preseason. Of the league's top 10 hitters this season, Brimmage is fourth in total kills and she is the only player in the Big 12 to post at least 250 kills with at least a .350 hitting percentage.

Milestones Galore for Pip
Senior libero Priscilla Armendariz collected 16 digs in the Tigers' win at Kansas Wednesday, giving her 407 this season. With that, she became just the fifth Tiger to eclipse 400 digs in a single season. In fact, Armendariz is climbing up the record books in several categories at Mizzou. Below is a look.

• She is fifth on the Mizzou all-time career digs list with 1,194. • She has played in 447 career sets at MU, which ranks her fourth overall, just behind Lei Wang-Francisco (448). • She played in her 124th career match on Wednesday, which gives her sole possession of fifth place in Mizzou history. Should she play every match the rest of the way, Armendariz would ranks second all-time. She would need a postseason berth to take over the top spot (Julianna Klein, 130 matches).

Whit Cracks Single Season Top 10
Freshman Whitney Little found her way into the Mizzou record books on Wednesday as she is now 10th all-time in blocks in a single season with 113. She passed former Tiger All-American Jessica Vander Kooi, who had been 10th at 111. She sits just one block shy of eighth all-time and, if she stays at her current four blocks per match average the rest of the season, could rank as high as third all-time in single season blocks. That projection also does not include the possible postseason matches for the Tigers as there is an outside shot that she could take over the top spot (138). Little is also the fastest Tiger freshman to 50 blocks under direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow and her 113 blocks this season are already a Mizzou freshman record.

Meister Passing Well Lately
Freshman Sarah Meister has been doing a nice job in the Tiger back row lately. Over her last four matches, Meister has converted 86 of 88 service receptions, good for a .977 average in that span, second on the team behind only senior libero Priscilla Armendariz (.981).

Scouting Baylor
Baylor comes into Saturday's match at 17-9 and 4-6 in Big 12 play and like Mizzou, sits solidly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Bears are led by Briana Tolbert, who is averaging 2.74 kills per set on .343 hitting. Preseason All-Big 12 pick Torri Campbell is also having a very good season, averaging 2.77 kills per set on .299 hitting.

What makes the Bears so difficult to play against is the play of the back row, which is averaging 17.50 digs per set, second to only Iowa State (17.71). Libero Allison King leads the way for Mizzou with 5.08 digs per set while three other players average more than 2.00 digs per set. Baylor has used two setters all year as both Brittany Ridenour and Kate Harris run the offense for the Bears. Ridenour leads the team in assists per set with 9.10 this season.

Series Information
Mizzou leads the all-time series with Baylor, 17-14, but Baylor has won three of the last five meetings, including a 3-2 win in Waco earlier this season. Mizzou won the last meeting between the two teams in Columbia, a 3-1 decision on Oct. 16, 2010.

The Last Meeting
Baylor used a comeback to defeat the Tigers, 3-2 (25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 20-25, 8-15), as the Bears rallied to win the final three sets. Mizzou had a career performance from Lisa Henning, who finished with a career-best 27 kills in the loss.

Big Crowds at Home
Despite only playing the eight home matches this year, huge crowds have flocked to the Hearnes Center as a total of 23,261 fans have watched the Tigers this season, good for 2,326 fans per match. That mark ranks the Tigers 12th nationally and second among Big 12 schools this season. Mizzou has surpassed the 3,000-fan mark three times this season, most recently in its Big 12 home-opener against Texas A&M.

The big crowds are a key reason why Mizzou has been able to race out to a 9-1 start inside the Hearnes Center this season. In fact, since Wayne and Susan Kreklow have taken over at Mizzou, the Tigers are 120-41 at home as they have won nearly 75-percent of their home matches under the Kreklows.

Young, but Talented
Despite bringing back four players that started for Mizzou last season, the Tigers will be one of the youngest teams nationally. In fact, nearly 85-percent of the Tigers' roster in 2011 are underclassmen as 11 of the 13 players are freshmen or sophomores. That makes Mizzou the youngest team in the Big 12 and only Texas Tech (16 underclassmen) has more freshman or sophomores on their roster. However, Mizzou's last two recruiting classes have ranked in the top 25 nationally, including this year's freshman class, which checked in at No. 22 nationally. The 2010 class ranked 14th.

Program Highlights
The Tigers just completed the most successful decade in program history last year. In fact, Mizzou has averaged 22 wins per season since 2000 and is one of just 22 teams nationally to qualify for nine NCAA Tournaments since 2000. The Tigers were on that average last year with 22 wins and a Sweet 16 berth.

Hunter Joins Coaching Staff
There are few Mizzou athletes that are accomplished as Lindsey Hunter and she will look to parlay her success as a player into success as a coach as she joins the Mizzou coaching staff in 2011. Hunter takes the place of former assistant Chris Muscat, who took the head coaching job at Loyola (Chicago) last year. Hunter is Mizzou's all-time leader in assists, assists per set, single season assists and set for the Tigers in the most successful four-year period in program history. She will serve as the primary recruiting coordinator for the Tigers. She spent last season as the color analyst for the Tiger volleyball matches while working towards her master's degree as a graduate assistant with Mizzou's Total Person Program.

Kreklow Sets With USA Junior National Team
For the second consecutive summer, sophomore setter Molly Kreklow set with the USA Volleyball Junior National Team. She has spent plenty of time with USA Volleyball in her career as she was also with the Youth National Team for two seasons. She has now spent four years with USA Volleyball, gaining plenty of high-level experience along the way.

Brimmage Plays With USA Volleyball As Well
Kreklow wasn't the only Tiger to play with USA Volleyball over the summer as Brittney Brimmage led the USA Volleyball A2 Blue Team to a USA Volleyball Women's Open Division Championship. She helped her team go 4-0 (winning 12 of 15 sets) during pool play. The team was then bumped to the loser's bracket and came all the way back to win the tournament. She was one of the team's top middle hitters throughout the tournament.

Henning Tours China
Sophomore Lisa Henning had an experience of a lifetime over the summer as she played volleyball in China, touring and playing some of the nation's top professional teams. Henning and her team compiled a 2-4 record in six matches in China, playing against very disciplined, professional competition. She also visited places like the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. The key part for Henning during her time in China was learning to play all six rotations, which helped with her transition into that role this season.

Recruiting Class Earns National Honors
For the second straight season, the Mizzou volleyball program has brought in a nationally-ranked recruiting class as this year's checks in at No. 22 nationally. The 2011 class comes on the heels of the Tigers' No. 14-ranked class in 2010. Three of the signees - Jade Hayes, Whitney Little and Emily Wilson - were named to the Volleyball Magazine NFINITY Fab 50. With a pair of top 25 classes in consecutive seasons, look for those nine players to be the nucleus of the Mizzou volleyball program in the years to come.

California Girls
On this year's Mizzou roster, fans may notice something that they haven't seen under Wayne and Susan Kreklow. Two players on this year's roster - Niki Collier and Sarah Meister - hail from California, marking the first California natives that the Kreklows have coached at Mizzou. Both have seen significant court time this year and are am important part of the Tiger freshman class that ranked No. 22 nationally.

Hayes Brings Plenty of Accolades
Freshman utility player Jade Hayes is one of the headliners of Mizzou's 2011 freshman class and she brings with her the accolades to back it up. She is a two-time Gatorade Missouri State Player of the Year and was the AVCA National Player of the Year as a junior in 2009. She led Ozark High School to a state title in 2009 and a third-place finish in 2010. She was also named MVP of the AVCA/Under Armour High School All-America match last year as well and was named to the Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 and PrepVolleyball.com's Defensive Dandy list.

Hayes projects as a libero long term at the collegiate level, but this season she will likely have a utility role due to her versatility, although she will likely battle for the libero job with Priscilla Armendariz. Listed a 6-0, she can hit, serve and defend and will also likely serve as the team's backup setter.

Little Named Forth Worth Player of the Year
Incoming freshman Whitney Little has also gained her fair share of accolades as she comes into Mizzou this season. The 6-3 middle blocker was a PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace, a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and a member of the AVCA High School All-America Watch List, but her greatest honor came from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which named her as the Super Team Player of the Year.

Wilson Continues Nebraska Pipeline
It has been no secret that Mizzou, under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow, has been able to recruit the state of Nebraska with a lot of success. Names like All-Americans Lindsey Hunter, Nicole Wilson and former Big 12 Libero of the Year Tatum Ailes are just a few of the successful Nebraska natives to come through Mizzou in the last 11 seasons. And the tradition with continue this season as Emily Wilson will make her debut with Mizzou. She is the sister of former Tiger middle hitter Catie Wilson and was voted MVP of the All-Nebraska State Team twice in her high school career. The 6-2 outside hitter should figure into the mix right away for the Tigers.

Blue Springs Connection
Looking at the Tiger roster, there is a connection between several players coming from the Kansas City area as four players - Priscilla Armendariz, Lisa Henning and Ashton Bodenstab - hail from Blue Springs, Mo. In fact, Armendariz and Henning actually played for rival high schools as well.

A Competitive Schedule
With the departure of Colorado and Nebraska from the Big 12 Conference, a new-look schedule will take hold in the Big 12 this season. Instead of playing 20 league matches, each team will now play 16, playing each team twice. The loss of four matches has led to an additional non-conference tournament for the Tigers this season, giving the Tigers a chance to test themselves against some of the top non-conference competition in the nation. In fact, Mizzou will play 11 of its 33 matches against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.

`Bridging' A Local Connection
The Mizzou volleyball family has always played a very active role in the City of Columbia community, and that trend is continuing at Rock Bridge High School, one of two local Columbia high schools. There is a growing connection between the two schools that has moved beyond coincidence. Former Tiger and 2007 Big 12 Libero of the Year Tatum Ailes is now the head coach as Rock Bridge and her assistant coach is none other than former Mizzou middle hitter Catie Wilson, who graduated last season. Keep in mind that Wilson's sister - Emily Wilson - is a freshman on this year's Mizzou roster as well.

But the connections don't stop there. Current Tiger freshman Niki Collier led Rock Bridge to its first district title in 25 years in 2010 before eventually signing with the Tigers for the upcoming season. Not only that, but Wayne and Susan Kreklow's daughter Allie is a setter for the Rock Bridge volleyball team. The connection shows how connected the Tiger program has been with the community for the 11 years that Wayne and Susan Kreklow have been at Mizzou.

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 first year as the team's play-by-play announcer. All broadcasts can be accessed at MUTigers.tv.

Up Next
Mizzou will return to the Hearnes Center on Nov. 9 for a tilt with nationally-ranked Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. The match will air live on Metro Sports. Fans can also check out GameTracker and Mizzou All-Access at MUTigers.com. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.