Nothing to Prove, MU Volleyball Ends Season Undefeated

3 years 7 months 3 weeks ago November 27, 2013 Nov 27, 2013 Wednesday, November 27 2013 Wednesday, November 27, 2013 6:35:00 PM CST in News
By: Lowell Thomas, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

After four years with the program Lisa Henning and Molly Kreklow made history on senior night. The MU volleyball team won its 34th consecutive match and end the regular season undefeated after beating Arkansas in three straight sets (25-11, 25-16, 29-27) on Wednesday.

After starting the season outside the top-25 the Tigers are No. 4 in the nation and look to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament next month. No SEC team has won an NCAA volleyball title even though the Florida Gators have made the Final Four seven times. But no matter the outcome next month this team has already had one of the most memorable seasons in the program's history.

The Offseason

The Tigers ended last season with two straight losses at the Hearnes Center against Kentucky and Alabama. Both of those losses also ended the team's hope of making of the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers finished 19-12 overall and 10-10 in the SEC conference.

Over the offseason three players left the team but the core players remained and a top 25 recruiting class, that included freshmen standouts Carly Kan and Emily Thater, came in to fill the gaps.

Kan came to Missouri from Hawaii after helping lead her high school team to a national top 10 ranking. Even though she's listed at 5'9, Kan proved she could reach above the net with the best in the nation and was ready to improve MU's offense.

Thater didn't have to travel as far but came to Columbia with high expectations. The Kickapoo High School graduate was named one of the top 50 recruits nationally by recruiting services, and standing at 6'3 she was expected to contribute immediately.

After eight months of practice and patience the team gathered on the court with renewed focus and more talent, but seniors Molly Kreklow and Lisa Henning didn't want the team to forget the disappointment of last season. During the summer the two made up the motto, "Something to Prove." The phrase can be seen on posters, bracelets, and even on Twitter as the hashtag #STP. In hindsight it was also a sign to fans that they were in for special season.

The Road to Perfection

The Tigers started the season with a loss, but it was against each other in the Black and Gold scrimmage. It was the first time the public got to see the team play together and it would be the last time any of the players would lose over the next three months.

The MU volleyball team breezed through four early season tournaments and lost only two sets in 15 matches. But they still remained outside the top 25 nationally and would have more to prove against conference opponents if they wanted to make the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers swept South Carolina in their first SEC game and traveled to Arkansas, beating the Razorbacks three sets to one in Fayetteville. After beating Auburn two days later the team received national recognition and were ranked 25th in the nation.

A win against Tennessee a week later broke the schools record for most consecutive wins when the team improved to 20-0. But their toughest opponent, the then No. 2 Florida Gators, was still ahead of them.

It was seen as the biggest game of the season for the Tigers and they left strong statement by beating the Gators three sets to one at the Hearnes Center on Oct. 20. After beating the No. 2 in the country for their 23rd straight win an undefeated season looked more probable than it had all year.

The Tigers brushed through their next eight matches, which included a four game road trip where they swept Florida in Gainesville, got revenge against Kentucky at the Hearnes Center, and beat Alabama for the second time in Tuscaloosa.

Ranked No. 4 and with a national best record of 32-0 the MU volleyball team claimed the SEC title after beating Mississippi State at the Hearnes Center in front of 7,879 fans, an all-time high attendance for MU volleyball.

Last year around this time the team was clawing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Now the Tigers stand undefeated (34-0, 18-0 SEC) and proved their ready to play against the nation's best teams in December.

Numbers Don't Lie

The MU volleyball team is the first SEC team to go undefeated in the regular season.

The senior class has accounted for 96 wins over four seasons making it the best four-year span in program history.

34 win are the most for a Kreklow-led team at MU and the most since the 1978 team won 37 matches.

Senior Molly Kreklow is the second Tiger to ever break the 5,000-assist mark in a career.

Lisa Henning holds the school's career kills record with 1,767 kills.

Junior Whitney Little broke the single season solo blocks record at MU this season. Little is also the second Tiger to post three straight 100-block seasons.

Over 50,000 fans attended volleyball matches throughout the season. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia College has seen drastic growth in enrollment and will spend $20-million to expand it's campus. Columbia College... More >>
3 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Medical Center announced the hospital will be closing no later than September 22 and the announcement comes... More >>
4 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
ARNOLD (AP) — Investigators said a motorist who died after a shootout with police along a busy Missouri interstate had... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More than 28,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Democrats voiced concerns over a veto by Governor Greiten's after a public hearing Monday morning. The... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two parents are dead and one child in stable condition after a carbon monoxide poisoning incident that... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri is partnering with a Columbia-based company to fight a familiar condition in cancer patients.... More >>
6 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
Golf, softball, walking the dog… being in the sun means that we need to be diligent about protecting our skin.... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Police Department is looking at whether more training is necessary after an off-duty... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:33:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Some Democratic Missouri lawmakers are reviving efforts to prevent cuts to in-home and nursing care for... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:18:31 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police detectives arrested a man Sunday night after detectives connected him to a weekend shooting that left one... More >>
8 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 1:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A petition to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," was delivered to Sen. Roy Blunt’s... More >>
8 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 1:29:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A central Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to federal charges for defrauding her employer. Prosecutors... More >>
9 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:57:00 AM CDT in News
SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say one person has been flown to a hospital in serious condition and six... More >>
10 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:20:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 10-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head was... More >>
10 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM CDT in News
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man has drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks after jumping off... More >>
11 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:26:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man is charged with attacking four homeless people with a hammer as they slept in... More >>
11 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:22:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators are returning to the Capitol for a special session on abortion legislation. ... More >>
11 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:16:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
10pm 75°
11pm 74°
12am 73°
1am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00p
Midnight, Texas
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
The King of Queens
10:30p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Midnight, Texas
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld