Volleyball Media Day Coverage

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Lisa Henning meets with the Mizzou Network.</i>
MUTIGERS.COM
Lisa Henning meets with the Mizzou Network.
MUTIGERS.COM

Nov. 29, 2011

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou volleyball team, which is currently preparing to face No. 17 Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, took a break from its practice schedule to meet with reporters on Tuesday afternoon at the Hearnes Center. Below are quotes from head coach Wayne Kreklow, sophomore setter Molly Kreklow and sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning. Both Henning and Kreklow were named to the All-Big 12 team earlier this week.

Head Coach Wayne Kreklow
On his team making it to the tournament and being so young...
"We'll go in with a much different mindset. To me, it feels really good and I'm really happy for the kids because they are so young and it is really hard to do. It is pretty remarkable to be here."

On expectations for the tournament...
"With this group I think they are much more inclined to have fun and have a good experience anyway. It's all pretty new and I'm sure there are going to be some big eyes as we go in there. But they are a competitive group and they are all used to winning and doing well. To me what I've really seen the biggest change in late in the season is the way we approach to practice and preparation. You never know when things click, you just hope it does at some point."

On Florida...
"They really have the whole package. They have a big, physical team that likes to play close to the net. You never know what you're going to get when the brackets are put together but I think they are a very under-seeded team that are way better than where they are at. But it is what it is and you just hope your name is on that list and you just take whoever's coming your way and prepare the best you can."

Sophomore Setter Molly Kreklow
On the turning point of the season...
"I'm not sure if there really was a specific turning point. The whole year in general was a challenge; it was up-and-down. I think for us, one of our best matches that we played was against Oklahoma here and we swept them. That was a really great game for us and just a great moment in our season. It's something we look back on and try to play up to that potential that we have when we played them here."

On the challenges of a long season...
"It does get long. Having all of the five-setters in a row was really difficult, especially here at home against K-State. We had to start to turn it around. We just realized we had to be more consistent to get into the tournament. Whatever it took we had to do that."

On pushing the younger players on the team...
"Freshmen coming in often don't know how much a certain match means, or how much losing to a teams in five sets at their place really meant. If we had won any of those matches we would have been tied at fifth in our conference. All of those little matches make a huge difference. It's different from going from high school because losing a match doesn't really mean a lot unless you're in the state tournament. But when you're in college and playing in such a great conference, even losing a match on the road in five sets means a lot."

On Florida...
"We haven't got a really good chance to look at them yet but we know they run a 6-2 which is different. They have two setters and then there's always a right side hitter in the front so that's something we are going to be looking at. But, obviously, overall they're just a big, physical team, a lot like Texas."

On team-building throughout the season...
"This long trip, especially this weekend at Lubbock was kind of a bonding thing. Obviously it was frustrating because we wanted to get back here, but overall we got to spend so much time together I think that it ended up being a good thing here during the end of the season. I think the biggest bonding comes from winning tough games; I think that's what brings us the closest. Games like the Oklahoma game were really big gelling moments for us. Even losing close games like Iowa State or Texas those made us closer as a team."

Sophomore Outside Hitter Lisa Henning
On playing up to the team's potential...
"The Oklahoma match really showed what we are able do. Even though our team's really young, we can pull together and beat good teams like that. Even though we started out pretty rough, everyone just kind of realized we still had a lot of big games left and we didn't think about how we had played earlier in the year. We just focused on what was in front of us and keep moving forward."

On keeping the freshmen focused...
"Sometimes there are moments after we lose that the freshmen don't realize just how important every game is. One game can get you in the tournament and one game can keep you from getting into the tournament. Some of the games we just had to stress that this is not ok, we shouldn't be losing, we can't be all cheery and fine after losing, this is what we are here for; we're here to win, we're here to play and take every game seriously."

On the importance of playing well against Texas during the season...
"Taking that game away from Texas even though we didn't win the whole match gave us the confidence that we can play with anyone. Even though they are huge and very athletic and can kind of overpower you, it showed we can stick with anyone, especially them being the top seed in the tournament."

On playing somewhere familiar in the tournament...
"I think it is pretty lucky we get to play at Northern Iowa. Brittany, Molly, Pip, and me have played there before and know what it's like. They have an arena like ours that gives us a defiant advantage.

For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MU_Volleyball.

 

 

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