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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sports Shorts: Soccer to face Texas on Saturday.

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Missouri midfielder Krista Kruse leaps for the ball Sept. 19 against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Walton Stadium. The Tigers will play Texas and Texas A&M this weekend in Columbia.

Grant Hindsley/Senior Staff Photographer

Soccer

After going 1-1 on the road against Colorado and Nebraska, the Tigers return home to continue conference play against Texas on Friday.

The Tigers (5-6-2, 3-2-0) outlasted the Buffaloes 1-0 Oct. 8. Sophomore defender Jessica Greer scored the game-winning goal in the second half for the Tigers. Missouri couldn’t keep the momentum going, though, and lost 4-2 to Nebraska on Sunday.

Despite a stellar overall record, the Longhorns (8-3-3, 1-2-2) have struggled in conference play. Texas earned its first conference victory of the season against Baylor on Sunday.

The all-time series between the two teams has not favored Missouri. The Tigers are 3-12-2 against the Longhorns, but earned a 1-1 tie in double-overtime last year.

Friday’s matchup will also honor Missouri’s seniors, as well as the annual “Play for Pink” game in support of breast cancer. The Tiger seniors are Kari Adam, Alysha Bonnick, Krista Krause and Paula Pritzen.

The match will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Walton Stadium.

Volleyball

The Missouri volleyball team has struggled in conference play this year with a 4-5 record in the Big 12. The Tigers will look to improve Saturday as they return home to take on the Baylor Bears. Baylor has also had a rough go in the Big 12 so far with a 3-5 record through eight conference games.

Missouri is coming off a big win against Texas A&M, which marked the team’s eighth away victory, already surpassing last years total. Despite the win, the Tigers were outscored in nearly every statistical category, including hits, kills, digs and blocks.

Senior outside hitter Julianna Klein continued to add to her impressive Missouri career, moving into second place all-time in career attacks with 42 in the game. Klein has accumulated 3,875 for her career, which leaves her 606 back of the school record. The senior also recorded a solo block in the victory, moving her into 10th place all-time.

The Tigers will look to senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia against the Bears. Ampudia has 79 kills in her past four matches and a team-leading 270 kills on the season. Freshman setter Molly Kreklow also looks to play a big role in the offense, leading the Big 12 in assists per set with 11.74 and good for 10th nationally.

The match will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hearnes Center.

Basketball

The 2010 Missouri basketball team begins practice Friday with five players who have never worn a Missouri uniform. Leading the pack of transfer students and freshmen is junior forward Ricardo Ratliffe, who was named the preseason Newcomer of the Year by Big 12 coaches Thursday.

The Hampton, Va., native transferred to Missouri after two prolific years at Central Florida Community College. Ratliffe averaged 27.4 points and 11.3 rebounds in his sophomore year to earn national junior college player of the year honors.

Ratliffe’s two years in junior college earned him back-to-back first team all-NJCAA All-American honors, making him one of just 13 players to do so twice in a career. He also set school records in scoring and rebounding with 1,653 points and 580 boards in two seasons.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound post presence was recruited by Missouri for his size and ability to score from the block. The Tigers have lacked a strong inside scorer in past seasons and will also benefit from his rebounding.

This Preseason Newcomer of the Year award was the second for the Tigers under coach Mike Anderson, with DeMarre Carroll winning it before the 2007-08 season.

Missouri fans will have a chance to see Ratliffe and the rest of this year’s team in action at the Black vs. Gold Game on Oct. 28.

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