Story and photos by Kaveh Kaghazi
The Missouri volleyball team made it back-to-back conference wins with a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21) victory against the Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday night at Hearnes Center.
Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning continued her stellar play with a team-high 22 kills. Henning has had more than 20 kills in five of Mizzou’s last six contests. Coach Wayne Kreklow says his young team relies on Henning to provide consistent offense.
“(Henning) has taking a lot of swings and she’s shouldering a lot of the burden right now because we’ve got a lot of freshman hitters out there,” Kreklow said.
Kreklow said he noticed his players feel pressure when Mizzou dropped the second game.
“In one of the timeouts we talked about it,” Kreklow said. “You know we could visibly see them start to tense up.”
Senior outside hitter Amanda Dowdy was the standout for the Red Raiders. Both Kreklow and Henning were well aware of the skills Dowdy brought to the table.
“She’s a legit All-American type talent,” Wayne Kreklow said. “She’s a tough kid to try to defend against and handle.”
Dowdy tied Henning for a game-high in kills with 22. After the match, Henning said she felt herself competing with Dowdy as the match went on
“She just is one of those players where she’s going to get the good kill, she’s going to get the good dig, she’s going to be the smart player,” Henning said.
The Tigers found their groove in the third set thanks to a big performance from Henning. Sophomore setter Molly Kreklow was able to find Henning all over the floor Saturday night. Molly Kreklow followed her 54-assist performance against Kansas with 48 assists against the Red Raiders.
“I think that Molly always is looking for me in the offense either back row or front row,” Henning said. “And I think that even teams scouting me and knowing that I’m getting twice as many sets as people, I think our hitters tonight really did a good job of being ready.
Missouri improved to 16-7 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play with the win Saturday night. Wayne Kreklow said his young team is gaining confidence with each win.
“With this young group you just have to focus on getting better and not get too caught up in wins and losses,” Wayne Kreklow said.
“I feel like we’re making some forward progress now.”
Missouri will look to make it three in a row when it hosts Central Arkansas on Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Tigers’ final non-conference match.
Freshman outside hitter Emily Wilson (13) awaits the serve from the Red Raiders. Wilson struggled against Texas Tech, notching six kills on 20 attempts.
Freshman outside hitter Katie O’Brien (15) looks across the net at Texas Tech’s Dravon Rangel (7). O’Brien finished second on the team in kills with 10 Saturday night, Oct. 15, 2011.
The Missouri Tigers celebrate a kill. Missouri improved to 16-7 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play.
Freshman Whitney Little (8) gets ready to serve in the fourth game. The Texas native had a strong outing all around with nine kills, three aces, four digs and four blocks.
Missouri sophomore setter Molly Kreklow (1) had 48 assists in the win over Texas Tech.