Nov. 12, 2013
|No. 7 Mizzou Volleyball (29-0, 13-0 SEC) at No. 5 Florida (22-2, 11-1 SEC)|
||Nov. 15 | 6 p.m. (CT)
|| Gainesville, Fla. | Stephen C. O'Connell Center
||Sunshine Sports/Fox College Sports Central - Larry Vettel (PBP), Missy Whittemore (Analyst)
|Printable Game Notes
||Mizzou | Florida
||Florida Leads, 3-1
||Mizzou, 3-1, on Oct. 20, 2013, in Columbia
||Mizzou - 1
||@MizzouVB,| Mizzou Network
What's Inside - A Quick Look at the Notes
With a national-best 29 wins, No. 7 Mizzou looks to remain atop the SEC standings on the road this week.
No. 7 Mizzou will play No. 5 Florida in a match with huge SEC title implications Friday at 6 p.m. (CT).
The Tigers will then travel to South Carolina for a 12:30 p.m. (CT) match.
Mizzou is ranked seventh in the AVCA Top-25, matching the best ranking in program history.
The Tigers are sixth in the RPI and boast 10 wins over RPI top-50 teams two over top-10 teams.
Mizzou's 29 wins this season are the most for a Kreklow-led team at Mizzou and the most since 1978 (37).
Wayne and Susan Kreklow won their 800th match as a coaching duo last Sunday at Alabama.
Mizzou is one of just two unbeaten teams in the nation and sits atop the SEC standings at 13-0.
The 13 conference wins for Mizzou are the most since winning a school record 16 in 2005.
Mizzou's senior class is now the program's winningest four-year class in the modern NCAA Tournament era.
Lisa Henning has reset the school career kills record (1,701); she needs 10.5 points to reset that career mark as well.
Senior Molly Kreklow is the second Tiger to ever break the 5,000-assist mark in a career now with 5,090
Junior Whitney Little is just one solo block away from tying the single season BS record at Mizzou (40).
Little is the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and is the second Tiger to post three straight 100-block seasons.
Little is hitting .493 this year, the best single season clip in program history now that she has surpassed 400 attempts.
The Tiger offense has been incredibly balanced this season with its top eight attackers all hitting .315 or better.
Mizzou's offense has hit better than .300 in 24 of 29 matches this season.
The Tiger defense has been very good as well as only two teams have hit over .300 vs. Mizzou this season.
The Tigers are averaging just 3.52 attack errors per set, the top mark among teams from power conferences.
Mizzou leads the nation in hitting (.360), assists (14.57) and kills (15.34).
The Tigers also rank 11th nationally in service aces (1.71) and 18th in blocks (2.79), also SEC-bests.
Mizzou is averaging 3.25 blocks per set over the last seven matches, highlighted by a season-best 19 at Alabama.
Molly Kreklow is second nationally in assists per set (12.67) and Whitney Little is second in hitting (.493).
Henning has 1,701 career kills, the top active mark in the SEC and fourth nationally among active players.
Kreklow has guided the Tigers to their second-best three-year hitting percentage in school history (.263).
Kreklow's 5,090 career assists are the third-most among active NCAA players and the top mark in the SEC.
Still Undefeated, No. 7 Mizzou Heads to No. 5 Florida, South Carolina
After picking up a pair of road wins in the state of Alabama, No. 7 Mizzou will wrap up its four-match road trip at No. 5 Florida and South Carolina this weekend. The Tigers (29-0, 13-0 SEC) and Gators (22-2, 11-1 SEC) will play at 6 p.m. (CT) Friday night and the Tigers will face the Gamecocks (12-13, 3-9 SEC) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (CT). Of course, Friday night's match with Florida will be one of the top matches in the nation this weekend and arguably one of the premier matches in SEC history. Below are a few notables on the bout.
The match pits the SEC's top league records against one-another (Mizzou, 13-0; Florida, 11-1).
Tigers Boast Highest Rank in Program History
The match is the first ever top-10 SEC matchup played at Florida's O'Connell Center.
It is the SEC's first top-10 volleyball showdown since Nov. 24, 1991 (No. 6 LSU vs. No. 10 Florida).
UF has lost just five home SEC matches since 1991; Mizzou has never defeated a top-five team on the road.
The highest-ranked team that Mizzou has ever defeated on the road was No. 8 Nebraska in 2003.
With a win, Mizzou would need to win just two of its last four matches to win the SEC outright.
With a national-best 29-0 record and as one of just two unbeaten teams nationally, the Mizzou volleyball program remained No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 poll on Monday. The No. 7 rank for the Tigers matches the best in program history - the 2005 team spent three weeks ranked at No. 7. Mizzou is one of three SEC teams ranked this week, joining No. 5 Florida and No. 17 Kentucky. Mizzou has now been ranked in the top-10 for three consecutive weeks, the second-best streak in program history (four weeks in 2005).
For senior All-American Lisa Henning, Mizzou's 3-0 win over Ole Miss on Nov. 1 was a memorable day as she became Mizzou's all-time career kills leader. She passed Shen Danru, who had 1,658 from 2002-05, and now has 1,701 in her storied career. She is the SEC's active kills leader and is fourth in the nation among active players. She needs just 10.5 points this weekend to take over Mizzou's program record in that category as well (1,941.0).
Nothing Little About Her - Little Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week
Junior All-SEC middle blocker Whitney Little earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday (Nov. 11) as announced by the league office. The weekly honor is the sixth SEC weekly honor for the Tigers this season and the first for Little this year. It is the third time that she has claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors in her career. She averaged 2.43 blocks per set last week and tallied her sixth career 10-block match in a four-set win at Alabama Sunday. Little is also rewriting the record books at Mizzou. Below is a look.
Little needs just two solo blocks to reset the single season record at Mizzou (currently 40).
Speaking of Blocks...
She is the first Tiger in the rally scoring era to post three consecutive 100-block seasons.
She ranks first in school history with her .493 attack clip after meeting the 400-attempt minimum.
She needs just 23 blocks to reset her own single season blocks record (139).
Over the last seven matches (since the last time Mizzou faced Florida), the Tigers are averaging 3.25 blocks per set. That has raised their clip from 2.64 per set to an SEC-best 2.79, a mark that also ranks 18th nationally. Whitney Little
is leading the way for Mizzou in that span with a 1.54 per set average.
Molly Kreklow Makes History as Well
Senior setter Molly Kreklow has also etched her name into history, becoming just the second Tiger in program history to amass 5,000 career assists. Heading into the weekend, she has 5,090 as she joins former All-American and Mizzou Athlete of the Decade Lindsey Hunter as the only two to surpass 5,000 career assists. Hunter, now an assistant coach with the Tigers, had 6,097 from 2002-05. Although the record is likely out of reach, keep in mind that Kreklow played in 25-point sets while Hunter played in 30-point sets. If Kreklow would have played in 30-point sets, she would be on pace to break Hunter's record.
Milestones for the Kreklows
Mizzou head coach Wayne Kreklow won his 500th match as a head coach (men's and women's volleyball) on Nov. 3 against No. 19 Kentucky. Then, last Sunday at Alabama, the duo of Wayne and Susan Kreklow picked up their 800th combined win, dating back to Susan's time as a head coach (she is now the Director of Volleyball).
2013 Tigers Are Historic
It has been well documented that the 2013 team is off to the best start in program history, topping the previous best mark of 19-0 in 1982, but as the season moves on, it is time to start looking at some other school records that are in jeopardy. Below is a look:
Mizzou has won the most matches during the Kreklow era (29), topping the previous best of 26 in 2002.
Mizzou Off to Best Conference Start in Program History
Mizzou has guaranteed the best regular season winning percentage in program history (it was .833).
The Tigers have won the most matches at Mizzou since 1978 (37).
The senior class now has the most wins of any four-year class in the expanded NCAA Tournament era (91).
Mizzou's win over Alabama last Sunday improved the seventh-ranked Tigers to 13-0 in SEC play as they sit alone atop the SEC standings as the league's only unbeaten in SEC play. Even more importantly, the Tigers are off to their best start to conference play in program history at 13-0. Their previous best was 6-0 in 2005. To put Mizzou's 13-0 league mark into perspective, the Tigers won seven or fewer matches in 17 consecutive seasons from 1983 through 1999. The most conference wins in program history came in 2005 when the team won 16 Big 12 matches.
Tigers Lead Nation in Wins; One of Two Unbeatens Nationally
Heading into the weekend at a perfect 29-0, Mizzou leads the nation in wins this season and are one of just two unbeatens nationally. The Tigers are also the only unbeaten team in the SEC, have lost a national-low eight sets all season and their 87 set wins are a national-best. The other unbeaten team in the nation is Colorado State at 23-0.
The Kreklow Effect
Through the first 13 conference matches, it is hard to argue that any one player has had more of an affect on their team's success than Mizzou's senior setter Molly Kreklow. Kreklow has set the Tigers to a national-best .360 attack clip and has Mizzou ranked first in kills and assists nationally. She has distributed the ball to eight different hitters and has 75 kills herself, while every hitter is hitting .315 or better. She is the key component in Mizzou's up-tempo offense that is one of the most prolific in the country. In fact, she has guided Mizzou to better than .300 hitting in 24 of 29 matches this season. Mizzou hit above .300 in just 18 of 65 matches over the last two years combined before this season.
Tigers Lead the Nation in Points Per Set
It has been well documented that Mizzou owns one of the nation's top offenses, but the most telling stat to back up that claim may be that the Tigers have scored 19.84 points per set this season, a national-best. A lot of that is due to the fact that Mizzou has lost an NCAA-low seven sets, but the fact that Mizzou is scoring nearly 20 of 25 points per set this season is impressive. Basically, if the opposition makes five errors (service, attack, ball handling, etc.), Mizzou has a pretty good shot of winning that set. Florida is the next-best team nationally, averaging 18.92 points per set, as Mizzou owns a wide margin in that category.
Is The Flyin' Hawaiian Top Freshman in the SEC?
There are several freshman in the SEC that are making huge impacts this season - Alabama's Krystal Rivers, Florida's Alex Holston and LSU's Briana Holman come to mind - but Mizzou's Carly Kan may have made the largest impact. Of all of those players named, Kan is the only six-rotation player and the only one that is a primary passer. During SEC play, she is second in the league in aces, seventh in kills and points, eighth in hitting and 12th in digs. Her complete court game is what makes her stand out as she is averaging 3.53 kills per set, 2.96 digs per set and has been targeted with 330 serves, a team-high, and she has converted 96-percent of those chances. Not only is she the Tigers' No. 2 swing, but she has shored up the Tiger passing, defense and ball control this season.
Tigers Lead Power Conferences With Fewest Attack Errors Per Set
Heading into the weekend, Mizzou is averaging just 3.52 attack errors per set, the lowest among any team in a power conference this season. That's just one error every 9.33 attempts. Below is a look at the rankings.
Mizzou - 3.52
Offense Fires on All Cylinders
Stanford - 3.56
Penn State - 3.72
Through the first 29 matches of the season, it is pretty clear that the Tiger offense has been playing at a very high level. In fact, when the NCAA national statistics were posted early this week, the Tigers rank among the national elite in nearly every statistical category. Below are a few talking points on the Tiger offense.
Mizzou leads the nation in hitting (.360), assists (14.57) and kills (15.34).
Molly Kreklow is second nationally in assists (12.67) and Whitney Little is second in hitting (.493)
Mizzou has hit better than .300 in 24 of 29 matches this season and has hit .380 or better 14 times
Mizzou is first in the SEC in service aces per set (1.71) and ranks 11th nationally
Mizzou's top eight attackers are all hitting .315 or better this season.
Defense Not Too Bad Either
Much has been written about the Tigers' high-flying offense, but a part of the Tigers' game that has been overlooked is the defense. In fact, Mizzou has limited 19 of 29 opponents under .200 hitting this season and only two teams have hit above .300 in a match. Mizzou limited Florida to .237 hitting on Oct. 13, the first SEC team to hold the Gators to under .300 hitting in a match since Nov. 23 last season against Georgia.
Wins Away From Home
The Tigers have won 13 matches away from the Hearnes Center this season, matching their most wins away from home in a season since 2005. Nine of the Tigers' 13 wins away from home have come in true road contests as well, five of which came against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Mizzou had just five true road wins all of last season.
Florida comes into the weekend as one of the most prolific offenses in the country, trailing only the Tigers in hitting percentage (.330) nationally while averaging 18.92 points per set, also second nationally to Mizzou. Led by reigning SEC Player of the Year Chloe Mann and reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year Ziva Recek and freshman phenom Alex Holston, the Gators have all the tools to make a run at a national championship. Florida leads the all-time series with Mizzou, 3-1, but the Tigers won the most recent meeting - a 3-1 decision in Columbia on Oct. 20. All four meetings have come since 2011.
Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina enters the week at 12-13 overall and just 3-9 in SEC play, losing its last four SEC matches. The unquestioned leader of the Gamecocks is Juliette Thevenin, who leads the SEC in kills per set and points per set. She averaged 4.86 kills per set and has 550 more attempts than the next-best Gamecock attacker as they feed her the ball in every rotation. South Carolina averages just 0.74 aces per set as they have served just 67 all year. Mizzou won the first meeting between the two schools this year back on Sept. 27 in the SEC opener. Mizzou hit .559 in the match as both outside hitters - Lisa Henning and Carly Kan - hit better than .700 in the win. Mizzou leads the all-time series, 2-0.
Time to Look at the NCAA Tournament Résumé
At 29-0 and 13-0 in SEC play, the Tigers check in at seventh in this week's AVCA Top-25 poll, but the more important number for the Tigers is their No. 6 rank in the NCAA RPI rank, which bodes well for the Tigers come NCAA Tournament selection time as they have been added to the AVCA First- and Second-Round Host watch list. Below is a look at the Tigers' résumé so far this season.
The Tigers have 10 wins over RPI top-50 teams and two over top-10 teams.
Kreklow Continues to `Set' The Table
In all, the Tigers have 13 wins over RPI top 70-teams.
The Tigers have won an NCAA-best 87 sets this season and lost an NCAA-low eight sets.
Mizzou has defeated nine teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
Although Molly Kreklow's
12.66 assists per set are second in the nation, that total would rank just seventh in school history in a single season. However, keep in mind that Kreklow is playing in 25-point sets while her predecessors all played in 30-point sets. If you average out her current assists per set clip to 30-point sets, she would be averaging 15.19 per set, ahead of the school record (Lindsey Hunter
, 14.43 in 2004).
Little With National-Low 25 Attack Errors
So far this season, junior middle blocker Whitney Little has just 24 attack errors, the fewest of any player in the nation who averages at least 3.33 attacks per set this season. In fact, Little is averaging just one error every 15.67 attacks this year.
Little Rewriting Record Books
After resetting the Mizzou single season blocks record in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, Whitney Little enters the weekend ranked first all-time at Mizzou with a 1.17 career blocks per set average and owns the top two single season block marks in program history (138 in 2011, 139 in 2012). The next two career blocks per set marks on the list are 1.07 by Nicole Wilson and 1.06 by Christi Myers, both of whom were All-Americans at Mizzou. Aside from her blocking, Little boasts a .373 career attack percentage, also the best in school history. Much of that is due to her torrid .497 clip this season, second-best in the nation.
When the Southeastern Conference announced its Preseason All-SEC Team, a pair of Tigers were included on the list in seniors Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.). The selections mark the second consecutive season that both Henning and Kreklow were honored in the preseason by the SEC, and Mizzou joined league-favorite Florida as one of the only two teams in the SEC to place at least two players on the nine-member team. Henning and Kreklow began their Mizzou careers in the 2010 season as the cornerstones of what was the nation's No. 14 recruiting class that year according to PrepVolleyball.com. They have accounted for 89 wins, four NCAA Tournament matches and an NCAA Sweet 16. They have combined for seven major All-Conference Teams selections, a pair of All-America honors, three AVCA All-Region honors, 12 weekly conference honors and two AVCA National Player of the Week awards.
Tigers Picked to Finish Third in SEC East
The Mizzou volleyball program was picked to finish third in the SEC East as the Southeastern Conference announced its annual preseason poll on Aug. 8. In their second year in the conference, it is the highest that the Tigers have been picked in the annual tally, which is voted on by the league's coaches.
Seniors Now The All-Time Winningest Class at Mizzou
With 91 wins through their first three-plus seasons, the Mizzou senior class (Kreklow, Henning) is now the winningest class in program history (post-expanded NCAA Tournament era). They passed the previous class, which has 90 from 2002-05.
Crowds Among Best in School History
So far this season, Mizzou has seen very large crowds at the Hearnes Center as it has returned to being one of the premier venues in college volleyball. The Tigers have averaged 2,767 fans per match this season, 12th nationally, while the 42,820 fans to watch Mizzou at home are the third-most nationally this season. Mizzou's crowd vs. Florida was the fifth-largest on program history at 4,202 and Mizzou had 3,925 last Sunday vs. No. 19 Kentucky. In fact, in 10 of the Kreklow's 14 seasons, Mizzou has drawn more than 20,000 fans per year, including nine of the last 10 and five straight (including 2013).
Henning is SEC's Active Kills Leader
Obviously, Mizzou returns quite a bit of fire power to the roster in 2013, but there is no bigger weapon for Mizzou than two-time AVCA Third Team All-American Lisa Henning. Last season, Henning led the SEC in kills per set (4.64) and points per set (5.28), just one year removed from accomplishing the same feat in Big 12 play in 2011. She is the SEC's active kills leader with 1,701 in her career and sits just 116 kills shy of fourth in SEC history during the rally scoring era. She is the first ever Tiger to post back-to-back 500-kill seasons as well.
Kreklow Anchors Offense
Since 2010, there has been one constant in the Tiger starting lineup and that has been senior Molly Kreklow. She has started every match in her career, played in every set (125 matches, 443 sets) and is second all-time at Mizzou with 5,000 career assists. She has also guided Mizzou to its second-best three-year hitting percentage in program history at .263, trailing only the team from 2003-05 (.271), which was anchored by All-American setter and current assistant coach Lindsey Hunter.
Some Notables This Season
Mizzou has already accomplished a lot in just 29 matches. Below is a quick look at some major achievements.
Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Week on Sept. 9, the first of her decorated career
Tigers With Three of the SEC's Top 20 Active Kill Leaders
Mizzou hit .458 in a win over Pitt, a school record for hitting a four-set match.
The Tigers hit a school-record .606 against SEMO, topping the previous mark of .585, set in 2000
Hit .559 vs. South Carolina, the best ever by a Tiger team against a conference opponent
Mizzou swept a school-record 10 consecutive matches from Sept. 7 through Sept. 27.
Lisa Henning and Carly Kan became the first Tiger teammates to hit over .700 in the same match vs. SC.
Lisa Henning was SEC Player of the Week on Oct. 7, the second of her career
Carly Kan was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Oct. 14, the first of her career.
Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Week and AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 21.
Mizzou was the fourth team to hit above .300 vs. Florida this season, joining Penn State, Stanford and WMU.
Mizzou earned its first win over a top-five team by knocking off No. 2 Florida on Oct. 13
Carly Kan became the first Tiger frosh since 10/8/07, to take home a conference player of the week.
Mizzou earned its first sweep of a top-20 team since Oct. 29, 2011, when topping UK on Nov. 3.
As noted earlier, senior Lisa Henning
is the SEC's active kill leader with 1,701, but a pair of other Tigers - Emily Wilson
and Whitney Little
- also rank among the league's top 20 active kill leaders. The three players in the top-20 ties Mizzou for the most of any SEC school in the top 20, while the three players account for a league-best 3,067 career kills. What is even more remarkable is that the trio has accumulated those kills on a combined .281 hitting with two players (Henning and Wilson) playing on the outside. Below is a look at the ranks:
SEC Rank Player Kills
Freshman Class Garners National Praise
1. Henning 1,701
11. Wilson 715
15. Little 651
PrepVolleyball.com tabbed Mizzou's 2013 freshman class as the No. 18 recruiting class nationally. The No. 18 ranking places the Tigers third in the SEC, trailing only Arkansas (16) and Tennessee (17). The No. 18 national ranking is the highest for Mizzou since the 2010 freshman class ranked 14th nationally. This year's class is comprised of six individuals, the second-largest class in program history: Carly Kan
, 5-9 DS/OH, Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii); Loxley Keala
, 5-11 S, Iolani (Honolulu, Hawaii); Courtney Meek
, 5-5 DS, St. Joseph's (St. Louis, Missouri); Linda Steinhardt
, 5-5 DS, Cedar Park (Texas); Emily Thater
, 6-3 MB, Kickapoo (Springfield , Missouri) and Julia Towler
, 6-2 MB/OH, Blue Springs South (Blue Springs, Missouri).
High School All-Americans
Both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala earned big-time accolades coming out of high school this year. Kan was named to the Volleyball Magazine High School All-America First Team and the PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America First Team. The first team for both publications featured the top 13 high school seniors in the country. Keala was also an Honorable Mention High School All-American according to PrepVolleyball.com. Kan was recognized as a first team Defensive Dandy by PrepVolleyball.com as well. She was one of just 12 players nationally selected to the first team.
As Mizzou volleyball takes the court this season, there will be something that a lot of Tiger fans have not seen too as two Hawaii natives will don the Black & Gold as both Carly Kan and Loxley Keala call the Rainbow State their home. The freshman duo calls Honolulu home and played on rival high schools growing up. As a hot bed for volleyball talent, both Kan and Keala bring extensive beach play to Mizzou and great all-around games. They are the first Hawaii natives to play for Mizzou volleyball. The two were beach partners their senior year.
Kreklows Are Second-Longest Tenured Women's Coaches at Mizzou
Now entering their 14th overall season at Mizzou, Wayne and Susan Kreklow are the second-longest tenured women's coaches at Mizzou and the fourth-longest overall. Only Mizzou soccer's Bryan Blitz has had a longer current tenure as a women's coach at Mizzou and only baseball coach Tim Jamieson, Blitz and wrestling coach Brian Smith have been at Mizzou longer among current Mizzou head coaches. The Kreklows have overseen the longest run by any coach in Mizzou volleyball history.
Weekly Conference Honors Trend
Since the start of the 2009 season, a trend has started for the Mizzou volleyball program. In the last four-plus seasons, Mizzou has claimed 35 conference weekly honors, including nine SEC tallies. What makes that mark even more impressive is the fact that from 1990-2008, Mizzou had just 17 weekly conference honorees.
Tigers On TV
Mizzou will appear on national television through the SEC TV package twice during the 2013 season. Mizzou's match at Arkansas on Oct. 2 aired live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. while its contest at Tennessee aired live on Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southwest on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
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. Ben Wilson will enter his first year behind the microphone in 2013 and will be joined by former Tiger Katie O'Brien. Links to each broadcast can be found on MUTigers.com and MizzouNetwork.com.
Mizzou will return home to face Mississippi State next Friday before heading to No. 17 Kentucky next Sunday. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.