Mizzou Volleyball Receives Votes in Preseason Top 25
COLUMBIA - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its annual preseason Top 25 poll on Monday and the Mizzou volleyball program found itself ranked No. 29 as it received 68 points in the poll, which is voted upon by a panel of coaches from across the country. The ranking is a slight drop for the Tigers, who finished the 2010 season ranked 22nd nationally, but the Tigers are still the No. 4-ranked Big 12 team in the poll.
Despite losing five seniors (four starters) from last year's Sweet 16 team, the Tigers still are ranked among the national elite due to back-to-back recruiting classes that ranked in the nation's top 25. In fact, nearly 80-percent of the Tigers' roster (11 of 14 players) this season is made up of underclassmen. But of those 11 players, five were selected as top-50 national recruits by Volleyball Magazine coming out of high school, which is a big reason for the Tigers' national ranking heading into the 2011 season.
The Tigers also return a solid nucleus of players from last year's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team, including All-Big 12 Preseason honorees Molly Kreklow and Brittney Brimmage. Also returning to the floor for the Tigers are starters Lisa Henning and Priscilla Armendariz. Henning was an All-Big 12 Freshman Team honoree last season and Armendariz projects as the team's starting libero in 2011 as she is the team's active leader in digs, sets played, matches played and service aces.
Mizzou will open its 2011 season this Friday as it hosts the annual Black & Gold Scrimmage at the Hearnes Center. The match is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and there will be a free youth clinic prior to the match at 4:30 p.m. in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse