Molly Kreklow will now be in the hunt for her first AVCA All-America honors.
Dec. 10, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The awards keep coming in for the Mizzou volleyball team as four players earned a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Southeast Regional team, as announced Tuesday (Dec. 10). Additionally, Head coach Wayne Kreklow was named Regional Coach of the Year and outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) was also recognized as she was named the Southeast Region's Freshman of the Year in addition to earning a spot on the All-Southeast Regional Team. Joining Kan on the All-Region Team are seniors Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), and junior Whitney Little (Keller, Texas). The four players are the most that Mizzou has ever had on an AVCA All-Region Team and Wayne Kreklow is the first Tiger coach to ever be honored as an AVCA Regional Coach of the Year.
Starting with head coach Wayne Kreklow, he was a clear-cut favorite for Regional Coach of the Year after taking a team that went 19-12 overall and 10-10 in SEC play in 2012 and guiding them to a perfect regular season and the school's first-ever SEC Championship title in 2013. Mizzou reset records in wins (NCAA Tournament era), conference wins, sweeps, consecutive sweeps and consecutive wins. The Tigers boasted the nation's most prolific offense as well, averaging NCAA-bests in kills (15.29), assists (14.56) and hitting (.356). Mizzou also averaged a national-best 19.49 points per set and averaged the fewest attack errors per set nationally at 3.60. Kreklow is now a finalist for AVCA National Coach of the Year.
Looking at Kan, she is the first Tiger to earn Regional Freshman of the Year honors since Molly Kreklow was named Central Region Freshman of the Year in 2010. She is just the third Tiger ever to be named Regional Freshman of the Year. Kan was sensational this year as a true freshman and defied the odds as a 5-9 outside hitter. She was the only player in the SEC to average at least 3.00 kills per set and 3.00 digs per set in league play and finished the year second on the team with 383 kills on .364 hitting, the top mark among Tiger outsides. She earned 20 of 25 first-place votes for Freshman of the Year in the Region and was the top-voted outside hitter for the All-Region Team, getting 24 of 25 votes as a unanimous pick (coaches cannot vote for their own players).
Molly Kreklow was also a unanimous pick to the team at the setter position. The SEC Player of the Year is arguably the top setter in the nation as she led Mizzou to national-bests in kills, assists and hitting and she leads the nation in assists per set at 12.65. Additionally, she guided Mizzou to better than .300 hitting in 30 of 36 matches. She quarterbacked a Tiger offense that saw its top eight hitters all hit .310 or better. She finished the season with 1,480 assists and finishes her Tiger career second in career assists.
Henning just missed being named a unanimous All-Southeast Region pick with 23 of the 24 possible votes and finished second in the voting behind only Kan. Henning, one of the nation's most prolific right side hitters, just missed going over the 500-kill mark for the third consecutive year with 499, but 2013 was arguably her top year as a Tiger. She reset her career-high with a .330 attack percentage. She also added 26 aces and 86 total blocks while averaging 4.89 points per set, tops in the SEC. Additionally, she had a great year in the back row, collecting 260 digs while converting 98.5-percent of her service receptions. This is the third consecutive season that Henning has landed on an All-Region Team as she is now in the hunt for her third consecutive All-America honor.
There was nothing little about Little's play all year as she finished with 22 of a possible 24 votes for the All-Region Team, finishing behind only Florida's Chloe Mann in the region. Little became the first Tiger to ever post three consecutive 100-block seasons to open a career and matched her own school record with 139 this season. She also reset the single season record for solo blocks with 42 and was the nation's second-most efficient hitter with her .463 clip, trailing only Mann.
For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.
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