What's Inside - A Quick Look at the Notes
Mizzou is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in 14 seasons and is hosting for the third time (2004, 2005)
The Tigers are seeded No. 4 in the national tournament, the best mark in program history.
Mizzou, at 34-0, is the only unbeaten team in the nation and is the first-ever SEC team to finish the regular season unbeaten.
The Tigers claimed an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning the SEC outright with an 18-0 mark.
The SEC Title was the first ever for Mizzou in any sport and the school's first-ever volleyball league title.
This year, Mizzou reset school records in wins, sweeps, consecutive sweeps, conference wins and wins away from home.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Year, the first-ever Tiger to win a conference POTY.
Wayne Kreklow was named the SEC Coach of the Year and should figure into the mix for the national honor.
Carly Kan was named SEC Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches, the first Tiger to win FOTY since 2003.
The Tigers are 8-10 all-time in NCAA Tournament action and 2-2 in their last two trips.
The farthest Mizzou has advanced in the Big Dance was the Elite Eight in 2005.
Mizzou leads the nation in hitting (.362), kills (15.30) and assists (14.55) and has hit .300 in 29 of 34 matches.
Mizzou's .362 attack clip is the best single season clip NCAA-wide since Penn State finished 2009 at .381.
At No. 4 in this week's AVCA Top-25, Mizzou has now been ranked in the top 10 for a school record six straight weeks.
The Tiger offense has been incredibly balanced this season with its top eight attackers all hitting .312 or better.
The Tigers are averaging just 3.52 attack errors per set, the top mark among teams from power conferences.
Mizzou also leads teams from power conferences in points per set at 19.56.
Back in the Dance!
After finishing the regular season at a perfect 34-0 and 18-0 in SEC play, the SEC Champion Mizzou volleyball team will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament this weekend at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers will welcome IUPUI, Purdue and Central Arkansas and they will open play against IUPUI at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 6). Should Mizzou advance, it would play the winner of Purdue vs. Central Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 7) at Hearnes. The Tournament appearance is Mizzou's 11th in 14 seasons under Wayne and Susan Kreklow.
A Courteous Host
Mizzou was selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history and first time since 2005. In all, Mizzou is 3-1 in NCAA Tournament matches played at the Hearnes Center with its only loss coming to Louisville in 2004. Mizzou defeated Arkansas in the first round that year and then defeated Missouri State and Arkansas the following season before advancing to the Elite Eight.
Mizzou in the NCAA Tournament
As mentioned above, this is Mizzou's 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and all 11 have come under the direction of Wayne and Susan Kreklow since they took over the program in 2000. It is Mizzou's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 but it is Mizzou's third trip in four years. With the No. 4 overall seed, it is the first time that Mizzou has been seeded this high in the annual tournament and is the first time Mizzou has been seeded since 2005 when Mizzou was the No. 10 overall seed. Mizzou is 8-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has advanced as far as the Sweet 16 on two separate occasions (2005, 2010). Its best showing came in 2005 when the team finished one match away from the Final Four.
Tigers With NCAA Tournament Experience
Heading into the weekend, the Tigers feature several players who boast NCAA Tournament experience, most notably the senior class of Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning, who have played in four NCAA Tournament games. Also, the Tiger junior class of Whitney Little, Sarah Meister and Emily Wilson has played in one game.
Molly Kreklow - Averaging 11.50 assists per set, 3.06 digs per set in four career matches
Lisa Henning - Averaging 3.25 kills per set on .196 hitting with 12 blocks in four career matches
Whitney Little - Posted three kills and five blocks in her only NCAA Tournament match (2011 vs. UF)
Sarah Meister - Pulled in 14 digs in her only NCAA Tournament match (2011 vs. UF)
Emily Wilson - Had four kills and three digs in her only NCAA Tournament match (2011 vs. UF)
Mizzou vs. The Field
Mizzou played 14 matches against teams that made the Big Dance this season. At 34-0, Mizzou of course won all 14 of those matches. 11 of their 14 wins vs. the field came in SEC play while the other three were at Yale, at Fairfield and vs. Idaho State.
Common Opponents IUPUI - Mizzou and IUPUI share two common opponents - SEMO and South Dakota. IUPUI went 1-2 with those teams, splitting with South Dakota and losing in five to SEMO. Mizzou defeated South Dakota, 3-0, in its season-opener and hit a school record .606 in a 3-0 sweep of SEMO.
Purdue - Mizzou and Purdue share just one common opponent this season - Pittsburgh. Both teams defeated Pitt with Mizzou doing so on its home floor, 3-1, and Purdue earning a 3-2 win at the USF Invitational in Tampa.
Central Arkansas - Mizzou and Central Arkansas share no common opponents in 2013.
When you go 34-0 and 18-0 in SEC play, postseason awards are inevitable and Mizzou pulled in a slew of SEC awards when they were announced by the league office on Monday (Dec. 2). Below is a look at the Tigers' honors.
Molly Kreklow - SEC Player of the Year, All-SEC (is first Mizzou player ever to win conference POTY)
Carly Kan - SEC Freshman of the Year, All-SEC (first Mizzou frosh to win conference FOTY since 2003)
Wayne Kreklow- SEC Coach of the Year (first since Susan Kreklow was Big 12 COTY in 2000)
Lisa Henning - All-SEC (unanimous pick for second consecutive season)
Whitney Little - All-SEC (second consecutive season)
We Are The Champions!
At a perfect 18-0 in league play, Mizzou is now the 2013 SEC Champion, the school's first-ever SEC Championship and the school's first volleyball league title. It is also Mizzou's first regular season conference title since softball won the Big 12 in 2011. The title clinched Mizzou its spot in this weekend's NCAA Tournament.
Tigers In the Polls
Mizzou is ranked fourth in this week's AVCA Top-25 Poll, marking the sixth consecutive week that the Tigers have been ranked in the top-10, a school record. Mizzou also received a first-place vote in this week's poll, a program-first.
The Senior Class
The names Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning will likely be remembered as some of all-time best athletes to ever play volleyball at Mizzou. The duo, which came in as the No. 14 recruiting class nationally back in 2010, has a 96-36 (.727) record in their four years at Mizzou, the winningest four-year stretch in program history (total wins and winning percentage) and has played in four NCAA Tournament matches, including a Sweet 16 in 2010. The duo have combined for countless awards, including a combined nine major all-conference selections, three AVCA All-Region picks, a pair of All-America honors and two AVCA National-Player of the Week awards.
Molly Kreklow - SEC Player of the Year Molly Kreklow was a clear-cut choice for the league's coaches as they selected the SEC Player of the Year this season. She has quarterbacked the nation's most prolific offense all season and is the first Mizzou volleyball player to ever be named conference player of the year. Below is a look at some notables for Kreklow.
Set Mizzou to .300 hitting or better in 29 of 34 matches and has the team-hitting an NCAA-best .362.
Kreklow has eight different hitters attacking at .312 or better.
Mizzou leads the nation in hitting, assists and kills behind Kreklow's setting.
She leads the NCAA in assists per set at 12.65.
Wayne Kreklow - Coach of the Year
With a perfect regular season, head coach Wayne Kreklow was selected by the league's coaches as SEC Coach of the year. He will also be on a short list for National Coach of the Year honors as well. He has taken a team that went 19-12 (10-10 SEC) and missed the NCAA Tournament in 2012 to a national-best 34-0 record and the program's first-ever conference championship. His team ranks among the national-elite in every offensive category and is among the most efficient side-out teams in the nation at nearly 63-percent. He is also the architect of a team that scores the most points per set (19.56) nationally while committing a national-low 3.52 attack errors per set. The record is great, but it is the team's efficiency that says the most about Kreklow's tutelage. Kreklow has also led the Tigers to a school-record 34 wins (NCAA Tournament era), already the winningest season at Mizzou (winning %) and the most conference wins in school history (18).
Carly Kan - Freshman of the Year
In a year where the SEC was loaded with talented freshmen, Mizzou's Carly Kan was voted as the league's best by the SEC coaches. She is the first Tiger to earn a major conference freshman of the year honor since Jessica Vander Kooi did so in 2003. A six-rotation passer, the 5-9 Kan was also one of the league's top hitters as she finished the year with a .360 attack clip, the top mark among left-side SEC hitters in league play. Not only that, but in SEC play she was the only player to average 3.00 kills per set and 3.00 points per set. She also led the team in service receptions and converted 96-percent of those chances. Additionally, her passing kept Mizzou in system all season as the Tigers converted 48-percent of her first-ball touches into kills this season.
A Quick Look at Mizzou 11 of 14 Seasons - Mizzou is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in 14 seasons, all of which have come since Wayne and Susan Kreklow took over the program in 2000. Mizzou had never been to the NCAA Tournament prior to the Kreklow taking over in 2000. It is also the third trip in the last four years for the Tiger senior class, which has played in a total of four NCAA Tournament matches (2-2 overall). Mizzou is hosting for the third time in history (2004 and 2005) and is seeded No. No. 4, the best in program history.
Undefeated - Of course, Mizzou is a perfect 34-0, including an 18-0 mark in SEC play, heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are the first-ever SEC team to run the table in the regular season. This season, Mizzou reset school records in wins (NCAA Tournament era), conference wins, sweeps, consecutive sweeps, wins away from home and consecutive wins. Obviously, this will be the program's top year by winning percentage as well. Mizzou won 102 of 110 sets played this season and was never pushed to a fifth set. Following Colorado State's loss to San Diego State last Friday, Mizzou is now the only unbeaten team in the nation.
Streaking - Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Mizzou has swept five straight opponents - including two top-20 teams on the road - and nine of its last 10 matches. In all, the Tigers swept 26 of their 34 opponents in the regular season, a program-best. To put that mark into perspective, Mizzou has won just 26 or more matches in seven of 40 volleyball season and this year's team swept 26 matches.
Historic Season - 2013 has been historic for the Tigers so far. Below is a look at some notable accomplishments.
Mizzou has won the most matches during the Kreklow era (34), topping the previous best of 26 in 2002.
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 most in the NCAA Tournament era.
The senior class now has the most wins of any four-year class in the expanded NCAA Tournament era (96).
Mizzou won the most conference games in program history (18).
Tigers Lead 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 19.56 points per set this season, a national-best. A lot of that is due to the fact that Mizzou has lost an NCAA-low eight 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 18.27 points per set, as Mizzou owns a wide margin in that category.
Tigers Boast Nation's Most Prolific Offense - Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Mizzou leads the nation in hitting (.362), kills per set (15.30) and assists per set (14.55) as the offensive numbers for Mizzou are quite impressive. Mizzou's top eight hitters are hitting .312 or better and four average at least 2.35 per set. Mizzou's outside hitting trio of Lisa Henning, Carly Kan and Emily Wilson are averaging 10.05 kills per set on .338 hitting while the trio boasts a kill percentage of .448. The Tigers have hit above .300 in 29 of 34 matches this year. The .362 attack clip is the best single-season mark in a season by any NCAA team since Penn State finished the 2009 season at .381.
Low On Errors - Heading into the NCAA Tournament, 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 9.28 attempts. Stanford and Penn State are the next-closest at 3.76 and 3.96, respectively.
Wins Away From Home - The Tigers won 16 matches away from the Hearnes Center this season, their most-ever wins away from home in the NCAA Tournament era (1981-present). 12 of the Tigers' 16 wins away from home have come in true road contests as well, seven 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.
Talking Points on the Top Tigers Molly Kreklow 6-0 Setter Senior - SEC Player of the Year, the first ever Mizzou volleyball player to earn a major conference player of the year award ... All-SEC pick for second straight season ... Led Mizzou in assists in all 34 matches and quarterbacked an offense that hit .300 or better in 29 of 34 matches ... Has the Tigers hitting .362 as a team and has set up a team which has its top eight attackers hitting .312 or better ... Has a team-high 11 double-doubles this season ... Leads the nation (and SEC) in assists per set at 12.65 ... Is just the second Tiger to ever amass 5,000 career assists ... Makes up one half of the winningest four-year class in program history ... Widely regarded as the best setter in the nation ... Likes to push tempo as Mizzou runs one of the fastest offenses in the nation.
Lisa Henning 6-1 Right Side Senior - All-SEC pick for the second consecutive season ... Leads Mizzou with 472 kills (4.29 kps) and did so on a career-best .339 attack clip ... Already a two-time All-American, the senior put together her best season as a Tiger as she also added 26 aces, 243 digs and 80 total blocks ... Leads the SEC in points per set at 4.93 and is second in kills per set at 4.29 ... Is Mizzou's all-time kills (1,767) and points leader (2,003.5) and is the SEC's active kills leader and fourth among active players nationally ... Can hit from anywhere on the floor and is a potent weapon out of the back row ... Named SEC Player of the Week three times this season.
Whitney Little 6-3 Middle Blocker Junior - All-SEC pick for the second consecutive season ... Leads Mizzou with a school-record .473 attack clip this season and has a national-low 31 attack errors this season ... Second nationally in hitting ... Needs just nine blocks to tie her own single season record (139) ... Needs just two solo blocks to reset the single season record at Mizzou (she currently has 39) ... Is the only Tiger to post three straight 100-block seasons in the rally scoring era.
Carly Kan 5-9 Outside Hitter Freshman - SEC Freshman of the year and an All-SEC pick in her first season at Mizzou ... At 5-9, she is the SEC's top-rated left side hitter with a .360 attack clip ... Is the only player in SEC play to finish the year with 3.00 kills per set and 3.00 digs per set in SEC play ... Six-rotation passer that has seen nearly 48-percent of her first-ball passes turned into kills ... Boasts a .960 service reception rate and has 683 chances this season ... Averages 3.19 kills per set and 3.69 points per set ... Is just 5-9 but her 30-inch vertical and hang time allow her to play at the net ... Has a very high volleyball IQ ... Has eight double-doubles and has 18 double-digit kill matches and 14 double-digit dig matches ... Named SEC Freshman of the Week once and SEC Player of the Week once this season.
Emily Wilson 6-2 Outside Hitter Junior - Hitting .312 as she plays in just front row rotations (will be subbed for Loxley Keala when rotating back row) ... Third on the team in kills, averaging 2.57 per set on .312 hitting ... Was the X-factor in Mizzou's 3-1 win over No. 2 Florida on Oct. 20, tallying a match-high 14 kills ... Big, physical swing.
Sarah Meister 5-9 Libero Junior - Athletic libero that is averaging 3.99 digs per set this season with a .958 service reception clip ... Tigers turn 49.2-percent of her first-ball touches into kills as she does a great job of keeping the Tigers in system to run their high-powered offense ... Averaged 6.33 digs per set over her final three matches of the regular season ... Had 24 matches with 10 or more digs on the season ... Boasts a top-spin jump serve that can keep teams out of system as well ... Improved at playing second balls this season, averaging 0.64 assists per set.
Emily Thater 6-3 Middle Blocker Senior - Tall middle that put together a fine freshman season ... Hitting .397 while averaging 0.89 blocks per set ... Averages 1.44 kills per set ... One of the Tigers' top servers, averaging 0.33 aces per set this season ... Had seven matches with double-digit point totals this season.
IUPUI comes into Friday's match at 19-13 overall and is playing in its first-ever NCAA Tournament match after winning the Summit League Tournament Championship after defeating Denver, 3-0, last week. The Jags have won 10 of their last 11 matches heading into Friday's tilt with Mizzou. Moriah Fair does most of the damage for IUPUI but she is one of two Jags to average more than 3.00 kills per set. She chips in 3.87 per frame on .215 hitting and Kaitlyn Hickey adds 3,39 per set on .224 hitting. The Jaguars pull in 16.91 digs per set and average 2.15 blocks as they are very good defensively, limiting teams to .187 hitting. Mizzou and IUPUI last met back in 2001, a 3-0 Mizzou win. That was Wayne and Susan Kreklow's second year at the helm of the program.
Purdue comes into the NCAA Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten, winning its final four matches, including wins over nationally-ranked Nebraska and Michigan State. The Boilers are 20-11 overall and are led by four players averaging 2.00 kills per set or better. Mizzou has never defeated Purdue at 0-2 in the series. The two have met once since Wayne and Susan Kreklow were at the helm of the program - a 3-2 Purdue win in Madison, Wis., back in 2004. The only other meeting came back in 1984 when Purdue won, 3-2.
Scouting Central Arkansas
The Sugar Bears enter the NCAA Tournament at 27-3 overall and boast a perfect 18-0 mark in the Southland Conference. They hit .260 as a team and limit their opponents to a very impressive .144 clip. Heather Schnars leads the Sugar Bears, averaging 3.52 kills per set. Mizzou is 2-0 all-time vs. Central Arkansas with a pair of sweeps in both 2010 and 2011, both of which were at the Hearnes Center.
Passing, Side-Out Game Key to Offensive Efficiency
Mizzou is one of the most efficient teams in the nation and is siding-out opponents at a near 63-percent clip this season. A big reason why that number is so high is due to the Tigers' two primary passers - junior libero Sarah Meister and freshman phenom Carly Kan. In fact, 49.2-percent of Meister's service receptions have been turned into kills this season while Kan, an outside hitter, checks in at 47.8-percent. The duo combined sees 48.5-percent of its first-ball passes turned into kills, an amazing percentage. Last year, the Tigers' two primary passers saw just 38-percent of their first-ball passes converted to kills. The in-system passing of Meister and Kan has been a big key to the Tigers' success.
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 1,767 in her storied career. She is the SEC's active kills leader and is fourth in the nation among active players. In Mizzou's 3-0 win at Florida on Nov. 15, she moved into first place at Mizzou in career points and now has 2,003.5 in her four seasons.
Nothing Little About Her
Junior All-SEC middle blocker Whitney Little is currently in the hunt for some school records. Below is a look.
Little needs just two solo blocks to reset the single season record at Mizzou (currently 40).
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 .473 attack clip this year after meeting the 400-attempt minimum.
She needs just nine blocks to reset her own single season blocks record (139).
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 NCAA Tournament, she has 5,278 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. On Nov. 10 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). The Kreklows picked up their 300th win at Mizzou in the SEC-clinching win over Mississippi State on Nov. 22 as well.
Defense Not 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 23 of 34 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.
Kreklow Continues to `Set' The Table
Although Molly Kreklow's 12.65 assists per set rank first nationally, 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 15.18 per set, ahead of the school record (Lindsey Hunter, 14.43 in 2004).
Little With National-Low 31 Attack Errors
So far this season, junior middle blocker Whitney Little has just 31 attack errors, the fewest of any player in the nation who has at least 400 attacks. In fact, Little is averaging just one error every 14.87 attacks this year. Texas' Chiaka Ogbogu has just 25 errors, but has played in just 66 sets and has only 225 attempts.
Seniors Now The All-Time Winningest Class at Mizzou
With 96 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 had 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 3,230 fans per match this season, eighth nationally, while the 58,136 fans to watch Mizzou at home are the third-most nationally this season. Mizzou's crowd vs. Mississippi State that watched Mizzou clinch its first-ever SEC Championship was the largest in program history at 7,879. 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 1,767 in her career and sits just 50 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 (132 matches, 465 sets) and is second all-time at Mizzou with 5,278 career assists. She has also guided Mizzou to its second-best three-year hitting percentage in program history at .267, 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 34 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
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.
Mizzou earned its first road win over at top-five team at No. 15.
The win at Florida was also the first time that the Gators have been swept at home under Mary Wise.
It was also just the Gators' sixth home SEC loss under Wise.
Tigers With Three of the SEC's Top 20 Active Kill Leaders
As noted earlier, senior Lisa Henning is the SEC's active kill leader with 1,725, 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 3,191 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
1. Henning 1,767
11. Wilson 748
15. Little 676
Freshman Class Garners National Praise
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 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 37 conference weekly honors, including 11 SEC tallies. What makes that mark even more impressive is the fact that from 1990-2008, Mizzou had just 17 weekly conference honorees.
Mizzou will need to advance out of the first and second rounds for its season to continue, where it will head to the Champaign Regional. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.