Nov. 11, 2010
Match Info: Mizzou (18-8, 10-6 Big 12) vs. A&M (12-13, 6-9 Big 12)
Date: Nov. 13
Time: 4 p.m. (CT)
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Hearnes Center
Live Streaming: Mizzou All-Access
Live Stats: Gametracker
Game Notes: Complete Release in PDF Format
The Opening Serve - What You Need to Know
Mizzou is riding a five-match winning streak - its longest in Big 12 play since 2007 - and has won seven of its last eight matches. The only loss in that span was a three-setter at No. 3 Nebraska. The five match win streak is the second-longest active streak in the Big 12, trailing only Texas (10 straight).
Mizzou earned its first win over a top 15 opponent since Sept. 23, 2006, and its first road win over a top 25 team since Sept. 2, 2006, after defeating No. 12 Iowa State in Ames last Saturday. The win was also the Tigers' first in Ames since 2006 and gives Mizzou a 10-5 mark away from home this season.
Paola Ampudia was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week for her efforts at Colorado and No. 12 Iowa State last week. She is just the fourth player in program history to take home AVCA National Player of the Week honors.
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow has spread 40 or more assists in 11 of her last 14 matches and is averaging 11.71 per set this season, a Big 12 best. Kreklow earned Big 12 Rookie of the Week for her efforts last week.
Freshman Lisa Henning set career-highs in kills (15), attacks (35), points (16) and solo blocks (one) in the Tigers' win over Texas Tech Wednesday. The 15 kills on Wednesday matched her combined total from her previous three matches.
What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
Mizzou is in search of its sixth-straight win and eighth in the last nine matches against Texas A&M.
Mizzou's five-match win streak is the second-longest active streak in the Big 12, trailing only Texas (10).
The five-straight Big 12 wins mark the Tigers' longest win streak in conference play since 2007.
Mizzou has won 18 matches in 2010, matching its 2009 win total and its best win total since 2005.
Mizzou earned its first win over at top 15 opponent since 2006 at No. 12 Iowa State last Saturday.
Paola Ampudia is the fourth Tiger to earn Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week this week.
Ampudia posted 43 kills on .265 hitting last week and was also named Big 12 Player of the Week.
Molly Kreklow remains atop the league standings in assists per set as she is now averaging 11.71 in 2010.
Kreklow has spread more than 40 assists in 11 of her last 14 matches and she was Big 12 Rookie of the Week.
Mizzou continues to lead the league in service aces during Big 12 play with 1.20 per set. Mizzou had six vs TT.
Julianna Klein leads the Big 12 in service aces per set (0.37) during league play.
Priscilla Armendariz has not committed a reception error in 13 straight matches (136 chances).
Caitlyn Vann is averaging 6.07 digs per set and 22.75 per match over her last eight contests.
Brittney Brimmage has led Mizzou in blocking in 10 straight matches and in 19 overall.
Freshman Lisa Henning posted career-bests in kills (15), points (16) and attacks (35) against Texas Tech.
Tigers Look to Keep Winning
Winner of its last five and seven of its last eight matches, the Mizzou volleyball team will put its win streak on the line as it will square off against Texas A&M on Saturday (Nov. 13) at 4 p.m. at the Hearnes Center. Admission to the match is free and fans are encouraged to come to the match immediately following the football game.
Since 2002, the Tigers and Aggies have had one of the best series among the entire Big 12 Conference. In fact, in the last 17 meetings, Texas A&M holds a narrow 9-8 lead while 16 of those 17 matches have all gone at least four sets; six of those, including the last two, have gone five as well. Mizzou has played in just two five-set matches over the past two seasons and both have come against the Aggies. Mizzou defeated A&M, 3-2, in College Station earlier this season despite being out-hit, out-killed, out-dug and out-blocked. A&M leads the all-time series, 22-10.
Last Time Out
Mizzou improved its win streak to five straight and seven of eight after defeating Texas Tech, 3-1, at the Hearnes Center on Wednesday. Senior outside hitter Julianna Klein led Mizzou with 17 kills and posted her sixth double-double of the season as she added 12 digs. Freshman Lisa Henning had a career match as well, posting career-bests in kills (15), points (16), attacks (35) and solo blocks (one). Freshman setter Molly Kreklow spread 51 assists as Mizzou finished with 65 kills on. 288 hitting. The 65 kills are one shy of Mizzou's season-best.
Padding the NCAA Tournament Résumé
The Tigers enter Saturday's match at No. 37 in the RPI, 18-8 overall and 10-6 in Big 12 play, as they appear to be on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble this week. In fact, Mizzou has made a charge in the last four weeks by winning seven of its last eight matches and four straight. Mizzou has also gone 10-5 away from home this season, including 6-4 in true road matches. Two of those road wins have come against RPI top 50 teams, highlighted by the win over No. 12 Iowa State last Saturday, which stands at 16th in this week's RPI rankings. Mizzou also went 8-2 in non-conference matches this season. Mizzou received 12 votes in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll, ranking 33rd nationally.
More on the Win Streak
Mizzou's five match win streak is its longest in Big 12 play since 2007 when it also won five straight and it is currently the second-longest active streak in the Big 12, trailing only No. 7 Texas, which has won 10 in a row. Also, the seven wins in the last eight matches are the Tigers' best since winning eight straight to open the season. Three of the six wins during the streak have come on the road as well. Mizzou sits just a half match back of OU and ISU for third in the Big 12.
Big Week for Paola
Senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia may have had her best week of the season last week as she posted back-to-back 20-kill efforts for the first time this season. Not only that, but Ampudia hit .265 with 43 kills (5.38 per set) while guiding the Tigers to a pair of road wins last week. She earned the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week award and was also named Big 12 Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career.
Paola Among League Leaders
Ampudia continues to rank among the Big 12 elite in kills per set and points per set. In fact, Ampudia ranks third in the Big 12 in kills per set (4.12) and points per set (4.59) overall this season. During Big 12 play, Ampudia ranks third in kills per set at 4.27 in league play and is fourth in points per set at 4.64. She is 23rd nationally in kills per set as well.
Welcome Back, Catie Wilson!
Senior middle hitter Catie Wilson had arguably her finest week of the season last week as she posted 22 kills on .365 hitting with three aces, five digs and four blocks. The 22 kills last week are her most over any two-match stretch this season and the 11 in each match are just one off of her season-best and just two off of her career-best (13 vs. KU, 10-24-09). She added six kills on .333 hitting vs. Texas Tech, giving her 28 kills on .358 hitting in her last three contests.
Another Big Week for Vann
One week removed from earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and landing on CVU.com's Top Performers list, Tiger libero Caitlyn Vann had two more outstanding matches last week. In fact, Vann averaged 5.25 digs per set last week while committing just one reception error on 62 chances last week. Her best match came against Iowa State when she pulled in 24 digs and converted all 38 of her service receptions as she guided Mizzou to an upset of the 12th-ranked Cyclones. She added 20 digs and was perfect on 16 service receptions against Texas Tech Wednesday.
Over her last nine matches, Vann is averaging 5.94 digs per set and 22.44 digs per match as she ranks second in the Big 12 with 5.25 digs per set during league play. She also ranks second in the Big 12 with 5.11 per set in all matches. Vann currently stands fourth in Big 12 history with her 1,830 career digs.
Kreklow Remains on Top
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow remains atop the Big 12 assists per set list after her performance Wednesday. In fact, she is averaging 11.71 per set this season, just ahead of ISU's Alison Landwehr (11.64). She also sits as the nation's No. 11 ranked setter and is the No. 2 freshman on the list. Kreklow has spread at least 40 assists in 11 of her last 14 matches.
Kreklow on the Attack
After totaling seven kills on .384 hitting in her first two matches this season, Kreklow struggled on the attack with just 25 kills on .024 hitting as she had 23 errors on 84 attacks in her next 15 matches. But the Tiger setter has seemed to find her groove as of late with 27 kills on .400 hitting with just five errors in her last seven matches. She matched her career-best with six against Texas Tech Wednesday, doing so on .500 hitting.
Lisa Lights `Em Up
Freshman Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) posted 15 kills on .257 hitting in the Tigers' win over Texas Tech. The 15 kills are a new career-best and match her kill production from her previous three matches combined. She also reset career highs in points with 16 and total attacks with 35. Her previous bests in all three categories had come against Rice at the Pepperdine Asics Challenge in the second week of the season.
Send `Em Back, Brit!
The Tiger block has seen a huge turnaround in its last nine matches and junior middle blocker Brittney Brimmage is a key reason for that. In her last nine matches, she is averaging 1.26 blocks per set and has 43 total (seven solos, 36 assists) in that span. She has reset her career-high in that span with eight at Oklahoma and posted seven in three contests during that span. In fact, Brimmage now ranks seventh in the Big 12 with her 1.07 blocks per set during league play.
She's Also a Pretty Good Hitter
Aside from her blocking numbers as of late, Brimmage has also hit pretty well. In fact, she ranks fifth in the Big 12 in hitting at .330 and is eighth during league play with a .291 clip. Brimmage, following her performance against both Kansas and K-State, earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career.
Possibly Another Milestone for Klein
Already one of the most experienced players in Mizzou history, Julianna Klein could take sole possession of first place in sets played on Saturday against Texas A&M. After playing in four sets on Wednesday against Texas Tech, Klein has now played in 446 career sets, leaving her two shy of first place Lei Wang-Francisco. Should Klein play in three sets on Saturday, she will move into first place with three remaining regualr season matches.
Aside from her second-place ranking in career sets played, Klein also ranks second in attacks (4,142), third in matches played (123), sixth in career kills (1,385), sixth in points (1,613.5), ninth in solo blocks (53), 10th in kills per set (3.11) and is ninth in career service aces (119) as well. She is also only the third player in program history to have at least 1,300 kills, 800 digs and 100 service aces in her career (rally scoring era).
Klein Also Leads the League in Serving
Aside from climbing the record books in nearly every category at Mizzou, Klein is also putting together an impressive season serving the ball in 2010. In fact, she has nine aces in her last four matches, giving her 22 aces in 16 Big 12 matches as she leads the league in that department (0.37 per set) during conference play. She has 30 aces this season and ranks second overall with 0.33 per set. Mizzou as a team leads the Big 12 in aces per set during league play (1.20) and is third overall (1.20). Tiger libero Caitlyn Vann also ranks second in the Big 12 with 0.27 aces per set in conference play.
Pip's Been Consistent
Junior Priscilla Armendariz has been steady in the back row during Big 12 play. In fact, she has not committed a reception error in 13 straight matches (136 chances) and has just two during Big 12 play. She leads the team with a .977 serve reception percentage this season and has seen that mark improve to .988 in league play. After committing four reception errors on 94 chances in non-conference play (.957), she has committed just two on 163 chances in Big 12 play.
Armendariz has also been a steady option defensively as she has posted double-digit digs in eight of the Tigers' Big 12 matches and is averaging 2.46 digs per set during Big 12 play. She tallied a season-best 14 digs while converting all 19 serve receptions at Colorado and pulled in 13 at No. 12 Iowa State while converting 18 serve receptions.
Where Have All the Five-Setters Gone?
In the Tigers' last 60 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.
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 470 digs this season, Vann is on pace to pull in 542 this season, which would be the fourth-best mark in Mizzou history. Kreklow has 1,077 assists on the season and is on pace to spread 1,242 assists, which would rank ninth all-time and the best mark during the 25-point set era. Lastly, with 379 kills this season, Ampudia is on pace to finish with 437, which would rank eighth all-time. Also, her 4.12 kills per set would rank fourth all-time at Mizzou should she finish the season with that average.
Winning, it's as simple as...
...Holding your opponents to under .200 hitting. Mizzou is 9-1 when limiting its opponents to below .200 hitting, but Mizzou is just 8-7 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 only loss of the season when limiting a team to under .200 hitting at Oklahoma earlier this season.
Scouting Texas A&M
The Aggies come into Saturday's match at 12-13 overall and 6-9 in Big 12 play after dropping a five-setter at Kansas on Wednesday, their ninth five-setter of the season. Texas A&M in also 3-5 in road matches this season.
The Aggies have one of the best players in the nation leading their attack in Kelsey Black. She is averaging 4.17 kills per set and is the only player in the Big 12 to have eclipsed 400 kills so far this season. She also has 274 digs (2.84 per set) and 56 blocks (0.58 per set) to go along with 39 total aces as she does it all for A&M. But aside from Black, no other Aggies has more than 200 kills this season and no hitter checks in with a clip better than .300 in 2010. As a team, Texas A&M is hitting .192 while limiting its opponents to .171. The Aggies' achilles heel has been putting teams away in 2010 as they are just 2-7 in five-setters this season.
Continuing to Set the Table
A four-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, freshman Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) is a key reason for the Tigers' consistent offense in 2010. In fact, she ranks first in the Big 12 in assists per set this season at 11.71. She has anchored an offense that features four hitters with at least 197 kills on the year. She has assisted on 1,077 of the Tigers' 1,302 kills (82.7-percent) and has the Tigers hitting .233 on the season. She also ranks fourth on the team in digs with 210 total and leads the team with nine 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 four 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 109-70 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 218-116 at Mizzou. Coincidentally, their 200th career win at Mizzou came in Lubbock last season.
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 three times this season but it is her total number of digs that this season that has her climbing the record books. With 470 digs this season, she has moved her career total to 1,830, trailing only former Tiger Tatum Ailes for first all-time. Vann also ranks fourth among Big 12 players all-time with her 1,830 career digs. Vann is one of four active players on the list, but she holds a comfortable lead over fifth-place Lauren Matthewson of K-State.
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 197 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 25 matches of the season, Mizzou currently ranks 17th nationally in average attendance after averaging 2,019 fans per match. A season-high 2,651 fans watched the Tigers face KU last Wednesday. 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.
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.
The Tigers will be on the road for two straight matches before returning home for Senior Night against Oklahoma on Nov. 24. Prior to that, Mizzou will play at Texas (Nov. 17) and at Baylor (Nov. 20). For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.