Tigers Look to Rebound at Baylor

<i>Julianna Klein has led Mizzou in kills in three straight matches.</i>

Julianna Klein has led Mizzou in kills in three straight matches.

Nov. 18, 2010

Match Info: Mizzou (19-9, 11-7 Big 12) at Baylor (15-13, 8-9 Big 12)
Date: Nov. 20
Time: 5 p.m. (CT)
Location: Waco, Texas
Arena: Ferrell Center
Live Streaming: Mizzou All-Access
Live Stats: Gametracker
Game Notes: Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The Opening Serve - What You Need to Know
• A win Saturday would give Mizzou its first 20-win season since 2005 and it would mark the Tigers 12th conference win, which would also be its most since 2005. A win would also extend the Tigers' win streak to nine of their last 11 contests.

• A win on Saturday would also give the Tigers 11 wins in 17 matches away from the Hearnes Center this season. In 2009, Mizzou won just seven of 17 matches away from home as the 2010 team has played much better on the road.

• Senior Julianna Klein has now led Mizzou in kills for three straight matches and is averaging 3.90 kills per set in that span. She has led the team in kills eight times this season. Klein has also moved into the program's top spot in career sets played (452) and will tie for the most matches played in program history on Saturday (126).

• Freshman Lisa Henning has played well over her last three matches, totaling 30 kills (second on the team) on .306 hitting. She set a career-best with 15 in the Tigers' win over Texas Tech last Wednesday and has pitched in 15 on .351 hitting over her last two matches.

What's Inside? - A Quick Look at the Notes
• Mizzou has won eight of its last 10 matches with its only losses coming against top 10 teams in that span.
• Mizzou is in search of its 12th conference win on Saturday, which would be its most since 2005 (16).
• A win Saturday would be the Tigers' 11th away from home in 2010. They had just seven in 2009.
• The 19 overall wins for the Tigers is their best win total since the 2005 season as well (25).
• At 11-7, Mizzou stands at fifth in the Big 12 but is just half a match shy of third place.
Caitlyn Vann was named Big 12 Defensive Specialist of the Week on Nov. 15 for the fourth time in 2010.
• For the fifth time in 2010, Molly Kreklow was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 15 as well.
• Mizzou has now claimed, 12 weekly conference honors in 2010, a Big 12-best.
• Mizzou continues to lead the league in service aces during Big 12 play with 1.18 per set.
Julianna Klein leads the Big 12 in service aces per set (0.37) during league play.
• Klein became the most experienced Tiger in program history last Saturday. She has 452 career sets played.
• Klein has led Mizzou in kills in each of the last three contests and is averaging 3.90 per set in that span.
• Freshman Lisa Henning is hitting a team-best .306 with 30 kills over her last three matches.
Priscilla Armendariz has not committed a reception error in 15 straight matches (150 chances).
Paola Ampudia has posted double-doubles in four of five matches as she now leads the team with 10.

Tigers Look to Solidify NCAA Tournament Hopes at Baylor
After its first loss in nearly a month, the Mizzou volleyball team will look to rebound at Baylor on Saturday. The match is slated for a 5 p.m. start inside the Ferrell Center. Mizzou All-Access will be courtside in Waco as Ross Taylor and Lindsey Hunter will have the call.

The Matchup
Saturday's contest has huge NCAA Tournament implications for both teams. At 11-7 in Big 12 play and 19-9 overall, a win for Mizzou on Saturday would likely send the Tigers back to the NCAA Tournament. But at 8-9 in league play (sixth overall), Baylor has its sights set on drawing back to .500 in league play in hopes of solidifying its NCAA Tournament hopes. Behind 23 kills from Paola Ampudia, Mizzou topped Baylor at the Hearnes Center, 3-1, earlier this season. Mizzou leads the all-time series with Baylor, 16-13, while its last win in Waco came in 2007.

Last Time Out
The Tigers lost their first match since Oct. 23 (at No. 3 Nebraska) as the eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns swept Mizzou at Gregory Gymnasium Wednesday. The sweep marks only third time that Mizzou has been swept this season, all three of which came at the hands of top 10 teams. Julianna Klein led Mizzou in kills for the third straight match with nine while freshman Lisa Henning pitched in eight kills on .292 hitting. Despite the loss, Mizzou is still one of the hottest teams in the country, winning eight of its last 10 matches.

Padding the NCAA Tournament Résumé
The Tigers enter Saturday's match at No. 42 in the RPI, 19-9 overall and 11-7 in Big 12 play, which is just a half match back of third place in the league. In fact, Mizzou has made a charge in the last five weeks by winning eight of its last 10 matches. Mizzou has also gone 10-6 away from home this season, including six wins in true road matches. Two of those road wins have come against RPI top 60 teams, highlighted by a win over No. 12 Iowa State, which stands at 18th in this week's RPI rankings. Mizzou also went 8-2 in non-conference matches this season and Mizzou received 17 votes in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll, ranking 33rd nationally.

Plenty of Benchmarks Could be Reached
Despite seeing its six-match win streak snapped on Wednesday at No. 8 Texas, a win Saturday would still accomplish a lot for the Tigers. A win would mark the Tigers' 20th of the season, which would be the first time they have reached 20 wins since 2005. Also, a win would give Mizzou its 12th Big 12 win, a mark that has not been reached since 2005 (16) as well. A win on Saturday would also guarantee that the Tigers would finish no less than fifth in the league. The Tigers could possibly finish as high as third in the league, but they would need a win on Saturday to do so.

The Crown Jules
Senior outside hitter Julianna Klein has led Mizzou in kills in each of the last three matches and is averaging 3.90 kills per set and 4.35 points per set in that span. She has also tallied a pair of double-doubles in that span and pitched in a pair of service aces. She finished the Texas Tech match with a season-best 19 points as well. Prior to the streak, Klein had led the Tigers in kills only five times this season.

More On Jules
Not only has Klein been attacking the ball well lately, but she has been climbing the Mizzou record books and will rank as the most experienced Tiger in program history after Saturday's match. Should Klein see the floor on Saturday, she will have played in her 126th career match, which would tie her for the most in program history. She also currently occupies the top spot in career sets played (452) in her career at Mizzou.

Paola Among League Leaders
Senior outside hitter Paola 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 (4.05) and points per set (4.52) overall this season. During Big 12 play, Ampudia ranks fourth in kills per set at 4.15 in league play and is fifth in points per set at 4.54. She is 24th nationally in kills per set as well.

Double-Double Trouble for Ampudia
Already leading the team with 397 kills this season, Ampudia has begun to show off her complete game over the past three weeks. In fact, Ampudia has posted double-doubles in four of her last five matches, giving her a team-high 10 this season. She has also been nearly perfect on serve receive in that span, committing just two errors on 47 chances.

More Big 12 Weekly Honors
Both Molly Kreklow and Caitlyn Vann earned Big 12 weekly honors on Monday (Nov. 15), giving Mizzou 12 weekly conference awards this season, a league best. Kreklow has been honored as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week five times while Vann has been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week four times. Also, Paola Ampudia has been named Big 12 Player of the Week twice and junior middle hitter Brittney Brimmage also earned her first career Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season. Mizzou has been recognized in the weekly honors in three straight weeks, claiming six awards in that span.

Kreklow Slips to Second
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow slipped to second on the Big 12 assists per set list after her performance Wednesday. She is now averaging 11.62 per set this season, just behind ISU's Alison Landwehr (11.72). 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 16 matches. Kreklow was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the fifth time this week, more than any other player in the Big 12 this season.

Lisa Lights `Em Up
Freshman Lisa Henning has been one of the Tigers' best attackers over the last three matches, starting with the match against Texas Tech (Nov. 10). Over her last three, Henning is hitting .306 with 30 kills, which ranks second-best on the team in that span behind only Julianna Klein. Henning began that streak by posting a career-best 15 kills against Texas Tech. She followed that outing with seven kills on .462 hitting against Texas A&M. Most recently, she tallied seven kills on a team-best .292 hitting at Texas.

Send `Em Back, Brit!
Junior middle blocker Brittney Brimmage continues to pace the Tigers in blocks this season as she added five to her ledger at Texas, moving her season total over 100. She has 101 blocks on the season and is averaging 1.03 per set. Her blocking numbers have improved from those marks over her last seven matches. In that span, she is averaging 1.38 blocks per set with 33 total (five solo, 28 assists). In fact, Brimmage now ranks 10th in the Big 12 with her 1.03 blocks per set this season and is ranked 10th in league play at 1.08 as well.

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 .325 and is ninth during league play with a .287 clip. Brimmage, following her performance against both Kansas and K-State, earned Big 12 Player of the Week (Nov. 1) honors for the first time in her career.

Rewriting the Record Books
Aside from her aforementioned first-place ranking in career sets played, Julianna Klein also ranks second in career attacks (4,208), second in matches played (125), sixth in career kills (1,407), sixth in points (1,638), ninth in solo blocks (54), 10th in kills per set (3.11) and is eighth in career service aces (120) as well. She is also only the third Tiger during the rally scoring era to have at least 1,400 kills, 800 digs and 100 service aces in her career.

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 leads the league in service aces (0.35 per set) during conference play. She has 31 aces this season and ranks second overall with 0.32 per set. Mizzou as a team leads the Big 12 in aces per set during league play (1.18) and is third overall (1.18). Tiger libero Caitlyn Vann also ranks third in the Big 12 with 0.28 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 15 straight matches (150 chances) and has just two during Big 12 play. She leads the team with a .978 serve reception percentage this season and has seen that mark improve to .989 in league play. After committing four reception errors on 94 chances in non-conference play (.957), she has committed just two on 177 chances in Big 12 play.

Armendariz has also been a steady option defensively as she has posted double-digit digs in nine of the Tigers' Big 12 matches and is averaging 2.49 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 62 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.

Winning, it's as simple as...
...Holding your opponents to under .200 hitting. Mizzou is 11-1 when limiting its opponents to below .200 hitting, but Mizzou is just 8-8 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.

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 499 digs this season, Vann is on pace to pull in 535 this season, which would be the fourth-best mark in Mizzou history. Kreklow has 1,139 assists on the season and is on pace to spread 1,221 assists, which would rank 10th all-time and the best mark during the 25-point set era. Lastly, with 397 kills this season, Ampudia is on pace to finish with 425 and 4.05 kills per set, which would rank eighth all-time at Mizzou should she finish the season with that average.

A Look at the Big 12 Standings
Mizzou, as of Wednesday (Nov. 17) is guaranteed to finish no lower than fifth in the league this season. Should Mizzou beat Baylor, they will have a chance at finishing as high as third and it would guarantee Mizzou sole possession of at least fifth in the league. Should Baylor win Saturday, they cannot pass the Tigers in the league standings, but the two could tie for fifth, guaranteeing Baylor no lower than sixth.

Scouting Baylor
The Bears come into Saturday's match as the No. 6 team in the Big 12 at 15-13 and 8-9 in Big 12 play and are in search of a key win, which they hope will be the Tigers.

Led by Elizabeth Graham - who paced Baylor with 13 kills in the first meeting between the two teams this season - the Baylor offense features three players with at least 275 kills. Torri Campbell has 287 kills while Ashlie Christenson has 278. Graham is hitting .312 on the season while Campbell checks in at .297, giving Baylor two very efficient attackers in the middle of the net. Christenson is hitting .188 from the outside, but did not play in the first meeting with the Tigers. Former Tiger Kate Harris leads the team in assists as well.

Baylor also continues to rank among the national leaders in digs per set at 18.74 per frame. The back row is led by libero Caitlyn Trice, who is averaging 5.18 digs per set in 2010. Outside hitter Allison King is averaging 4.12 digs per set as well.

National Recognition for Ampudia
Senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia took home Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Nov. 9 for her efforts in a pair of wins at Colorado and at No. 12 Iowa State. She became only the fourth Tiger to take home the award in program history and the first to do so since 2006. Ampudia totaled 43 kills (5.36 per set) on .265 hitting that week while helping Mizzou claim back-to-back road wins and its first win over a top-15 team since 2006.

Tigers Ink Seven to National Letters of Intent
The Mizzou volleyball program inked seven players to National Letters of Intent last Wednesday (Nov. 10), marking the largest recruiting class for Wayne and Susan Kreklow while at Mizzou. Among the seven players, four rank on the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces list, which ranks the nation's top seniors.

Mizzou signed Jade Hayes (6-0, L/OH, Ozark, Mo.), Whittney Little (6-3, MB, Keller, Texas), Katie O'Brien (6-0, OH, Dallas, Texas), Emily Wilson (6-2, MB/OH, Omaha, Neb.), Melissa Hartsel (6-2, MB, Concordia, Kan.), Sarah Meister (5-7, DS, San Diego, Calif.) and Niki Collier (6-0, OH/DS, Manhattan Beach, Calif./Columbia, Mo.).

Wilson, Hayes, Little and O'Brien all appeared on the Senior Aces list. Wilson leads the way, ranking No. 69 while Hayes checks in just behind her at No. 78. Little is ranked No. 82 on the list while O'Brien ranks as one of the top 15 players not ranked in the top 100. Collier and Hartsel each landed on the Under Armour/AVCA High School All-American Watch List as well. Meister was a member of the USA Volleyball High Performance Select Team.

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 110-71 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 219-117 at Mizzou. Coincidentally, their 200th career win at Mizzou came in Lubbock last season.

Vann Takes Her Spot in Record Book
Senior libero Caitlyn Vann has already earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors four times this season but it is her total number of digs that this season that has her climbing the record books. With 499 digs this season, she has moved her career total to 1,859, trailing only former Tiger Tatum Ailes for first all-time. Vann also ranks fourth among Big 12 players all-time with her 1,859 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 Milestone
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.

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
Through 28 matches of the season, Mizzou currently ranks 17th nationally in average attendance after averaging 2,000 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.

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.

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.

Undisputed Success
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.

Up Next
The Tigers will return to the Hearnes Center for Senior Night in what is shaping up to be a crucial showdown against the Oklahoma Sooners. The match is slated for a 6:30 start on Wednesday (Nov. 24) and Mizzou's five seniors will be honored before the match. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.



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