University of Missouri

Undefeated Missouri volleyball team stuns No. 2 Florida

Updated: 2013-10-21T04:24:05Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Missouri’s football team isn’t the only fall sports team enjoying an unbeaten run in Columbia these days.

And there was more Gator chomping going among the Tigers faithful Sunday at the Hearnes Center, where the Missouri volleyball downed No. 2 Florida in four sets for the first win in program history against a top five team.

The 18th-ranked Tigers stunned the Gators 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18) with a raucous crowd of 4,202, the fifth-largest in Missouri volleyball history and the biggest since 2006, watched head coach Wayne Kreklow’s team improve to 23-0 overall and 7-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Florida, 18-2 and 7-1 in the SEC, had won 13 consecutive conference matches before the Tigers’ victory, which extended the program record for wins to start a season.

Missouri and Florida entered play as the top-ranked teams in the nation in terms of hitting percentage, but it was the Tigers’ attack that proved most productive, hitting at a sizzling .303 clip compared to .237 for the Gators.

Senior setter Molly Kreklow led the way, spreading 45 assists among seven hitters.

Emily Wilson, a junior outside hitter, pounded out a team-high 14 kills and hit .351, while freshman Carly Kan added 13 kills (.379 hitting) and 12 digs.

Senior outside hitter Lisa Henning from Blue Springs finished with 12 kills, including seven in the decisive fourth set, while junior middle hitter Whitney Little chipped in eight kills and four blocks and freshman Emily Thater notched five kills.

Junior libero Sarah Meister’s 15 digs led Missouri. Thater and Kan added three aces apiece.

The Tigers, who dispatched Georgia 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19) on Friday night, are at LSU and Texas A&M next weekend.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/todpalmer.

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