The year that was: Awards for alumni, basketball teams off to slow start in 2014

Part two of two parts
Part one

By Darren Hellwege

Yesterday we took a look at Missouri sports highlights from January to June. Today we finish Darren Hellwege’s look at the year.

 

Outside hitter Carly Kan jumps to kill a ball in the fourth set. Kan had a team-high of 12 kills with a .195 hitting percentage in the match.

Outside hitter Carly Kan jumps for a kill during a 2014 match. Kan earned a spot on the All American team.

July

Bruce Walker announces his retirement as offensive line coach. It was an inopportune time to be changing coaches, but Mizzou caught a break as Walker was replaced by Tiger alum and Illinois assistant coach A.J. Ricker.

  • Michael Sam receives the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, giving an emotional acceptance speech at the ESPY awards presentation.
  • Tiger alum Max Scherzer of Detroit gets the win for the American League in the MLB All-Star Game. Scherzer is now a much-coveted free agent.
  • Veteran coach Marc Burns takes over Mizzou Cross Country.
  • Women tennis player Alex Clark is named to the ITA All-Academic team.

 

August

Nationally recognized pitching guru Doug Gillis joins the softball coaching staff. Gillis, one of the great softball players in US history, has been associated unofficially with Mizzou for some time and is noted for his work with Chelsea Thomas.

  • The 2014 football season opens with a victory over South Dakota State.
  • The soccer team upsets No. 4 North Carolina in exhibition play.
  • The volleyball team loses Northwestern State of Louisiana, foreshadowing a disappointing follow-up to their 2013 SEC Championship season.
  • This will sound like a repeat, but it’s not: Kim Anderson dismisses Torren Jones from basketball team.

 

September

It was an up and down month in football as the Tigers are upset by Indiana but win at South Carolina. The team would never truly live down the Hoosiers loss, as Indiana finished the season 4-8.

  • Mizzou soccer beats nationally-ranked South Carolina
  • Sydney Deeken was named SEC volleyball Freshman of the Week as Tigers start league play 2-0. While things would go downhill for the team, Deeken continued to improve and looks like a future leader on Wayne Kreklow’s team.

 

October

  • The saddest day of the year — MU mourned the death of legendary “Mister Mizzou,” John Kadlec. Kadlec’s association with the school went back to the early 50s as a student athlete, coach, announcer and friend to all in black and gold.
  • The football team is beaten badly at home by Georgia, but get key SEC win at Florida to keep SEC title hopes alive.
  • Kaysie Clark and Melanie Donaldson help the soccer team beat No. 17 Georgia in Athens.
  • Lianna Doty suffers foot injury, putting the women’s basketball team’s starting point guard on the bench for the 2014-2015 season.
  • Deuce Bello wins the slam dunk competition at the men’s basketball Black and Gold scrimmage, memorably sailing over coach Kim Anderson for the winning dunk.
  • And fourth verse, same as the first, second, and third — Cam Biedscheid leaves the men’s basketball team (for personal reasons) before he ever appears in a Mizzou uniform after transferring from Notre Dame.
  • Preseason wrestling ratings had Mizzou No. 6 nationally, and so far they’ve shown themselves to be one of the nation’s best.
  • Emily Wilson gets her 1,000th kill in volleyball loss at Florida.

 

November

Remember “Mizzou won’t be able to compete in the Southeastern Conference”? Well, we don’t either: MU wins SEC East for second straight season, clinching the title in new rivalry game with Arkansas. Before that, the Tigers beat Kentucky and Shane Ray won his third SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week award of the season.

  • Mizzou soccer upsets old rival Kansas in Lawrence in NCAA tournament before falling to Washington in second round.
  • Alum Aaron Crow was traded by Kansas City to the Miami Marlins.
  • The freshmen-laden men’s basketball team goes 1-2 at the Maui Invitational, including loss to national power Arizona.
  • Freshman Karissa Schweitzer qualifies for NCAA cross country championships
  • Men’s swimming and diving is ranked No. 3 in nation, the highest ranking in team’s history. Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh named to Team USA staff for Pan-American Games. Lauren Reedy named SEC Female Diver of the Week.
  • Californians Rylee Pierce and Kolby Romaine highlight strong recruiting class for Mizzou softball, while top-40 recruit Alyssa Munlyn is among volleyball recruiting signees and coach Sasha Schmid inks two top-75 recruits for Mizzou women’s tennis team.

 

December

Always a bridesmaid — Tigers lose to Alabama in SEC Championship game, second straight championship game loss. Tiger fans will always wonder “what if” about Bama game, as lineman Shane Ray is kicked out early in game for targeting. The team heads to Orlando for 2015 Citrus Bowl (beating Minnesota.)

  • Young men’s hoops team shows improvement in tough losses, falling to Illinois in St. Louis on a last-second shot, and to Oklahoma State in Kansas City in OT.
  • Bruce Poe is named is named to Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame and track coaches organization honored Rick McGuire with George Dales Award.
  • Drake Houdashelt pin is key as No. 5 Missouri wrestlers beat No. 7 Ohio State 20-19 in Columbus.
  • Tigers rally from 15 point deficit to beat Colorado, but Kayla McDowell becomes the second key player on women’s basketball team lost for season to injury when she hurts knee vs. Buffaloes.
  • Despite a losing season, Tiger volleyball’s Carly Kan earns spot on All-American team.

 

We’re less than a week into 2015, but with a Citrus Bowl championship, the year is off to a great start. While both basketball teams are very young and success may be some time away, Brian Smith’s wrestling team has serious national championship potential.

With the spring comes what should be a dramatically improved softball team. There are a lot of question marks for the baseball team and a coach on the hot seat needing real improvement.

We close with a personal note: 2014 was also a year of loss for this shop. We bid a reluctant farewell to Karen Mitchell, who’s been a major force in taking KBIA Sports from a small-time operation to a real sports journalism outlet. Dozens of students owe her a big debt, but she proved to be a good enough teacher to improve this old dog’s writing, as well (as much as it could be.) I want to thank her for her patience, which I continually tried, and her hard work. She was never as big a sports nut as I am, but we shared one thing always—a love for our students, and hope for their future success. KBIA’s loss is a gain for The Tennessean newspaper, and it’ll be nice to have a friend in Nashville. Good luck, and happy trails, Karen.

 

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