Molly Kreklow Helps Guide Mizzou to Sweep of LSU
COLUMBIA -- Junior setter Molly Kreklow spread 41 assists and guided the Tigers to .374 hitting as the Mizzou volleyball team swept LSU, 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-14), on Sunday afternoon. The win for Mizzou came against an LSU team that had won three straight SEC matches and five of its last six. The win improves Mizzou to 18-9 overall and 9-7 in SEC play and keeps the Tigers in the running for a possible NCAA Tournament berth.
"I thought we played really well again today and I really think we have been playing some of our best volleyball of the season over the last week and a half or so," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Sundays are really tough on the road teams in this league and I think LSU is probably disappointed, but this is a big win for us. I thought we did a great job of coming out in the third set staying aggressive and we really took control of the match."
As mentioned earlier, Molly Kreklow was outstanding on Sunday, spreading 41 assists (13.67 per set) while tallying five kills on six errorless attacks with two aces, three digs and a pair of blocks as she continued her impressive play as of late. Mizzou's offense was as balanced as it has been all season as every Tiger hitter had at least 14 attempts and no Tiger had more than 24 as Kreklow kept LSU off balance all day.
Kreklow's classmate Lisa Henning was very efficient on Sunday as well as she was the beneficiary of some great setting by Kreklow. Henning finished the sweep with 15 kills on just 25 attacks. Freshman Regan Peliter added eight kills on .263 hitting while Emily Wilson posted seven kills on just 18 attacks. The middle hitting duo of Whitney Little and Lydia Ely added a combined 12 kills on .545 hitting. Both had six kills in the match while Ely had her six kills on just eight errorless attacks.
Defensively, Mizzou was dominant at the net, posting 11.5 total blocks in the match. Little finished the sweep with six blocks (two solo, four assists) as she continues to lead the SEC in blocking. Henning added five blocks and Ely pitched in three more as the Tigers slowed LSU's Desiree Elliott on Sunday. The LSU middle had 19 kills in the meeting between the two teams in Baton Rouge but was limited to just four on .182 hitting on Sunday. Libero Sarah Meister led Mizzou with 11 digs in the sweep.
Mizzou was on fire in the first set, tallying 18 kills on .324 hitting as Kreklow was sensation quarterbacking the Tiger attack. In fact, she finished the set with 16 assists, seven of which went to Henning, as Mizzou ran away with the opening frame, 25-18. Little, Wilson and Ely combined for eight kills and just one error on 14 attacks in the opening frame as well. Meister pulled in four digs in the set.
Following that frame the second set was much sloppier, but Mizzou pulled out another 25-18 win thanks in large part to its defense. In fact, Mizzou limited LSU to .000 hitting with just eight kills and eight attack errors. Mizzou accounted for six total blocks in the set, led by four from Little in the second set alone (two solo, two assists). Mizzou hit .308 in the frame.
The Tigers came out of the intermission and fell behind, 2-0, before jumping all over LSU offensively. In fact, Mizzou tallied 17 kills on .484 hitting in the final frame as it took the clinching set, 25-14.
The Tigers will continue their push towards an NCAA Tournament berth next weekend as they head to Texas A&M and Mississippi State in their final SEC road weekend of the season.