University of Missouri

Missouri volleyball team aims higher after record start

Updated: 2013-10-11T00:00:49Z


The Kansas City Star

Missouri volleyball matched the best start in program history Tuesday, improving to 19-0 with a sweep of Austin Peay.

Being undefeated isn’t the goal, however, for the Tigers, who jumped in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll this week at No. 25.

“Our goal is to play our best every time we go out there and, whatever the outcome is, it is,” said outside hitter Lisa Henning, a senior from Blue Springs who was chosen as the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week. “It’s obviously been in our favor lately, but our goal isn’t to be undefeated. It’s just happened that way.”

In fact, Missouri, which resumes SEC play Friday night at Tennessee, is one of three unbeaten teams left in the country led its two seniors — Henning, who leads the SEC in kills per set (4.80) and points per set (5.90), and Molly Kreklow.

The Tigers have been devastatingly efficient, leading the nation in hitting (.387) with the lowest attack errors per set (3.07) among major college programs.

Missouri also ranks second nationally in assists (14.23) and third in kills (15.05) per set.

“We felt like we had potential to have a good year,” Missouri director of volleyball Susan Kreklow said. “A lot of things have to fall in place, but we’ve got really strong leadership and a good incoming group of freshmen. Players in the program are really committed to what they’re doing right now and we’ve got really good chemistry, so we felt like the potential was there to have a good year.”

Missouri missed out on the NCAA Tournament for only the second time since 2000 last season and the Tigers — Henning and Kreklow, in particular — are determined not to let it happen again.

“The SEC championship is one of our top goals and making it to the (NCAA) Tournament is another goal,” Henning said. “We hold ourselves to a high standard.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to Follow him at

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