Missouri volleyball coach Wayne Kreklow, now in his 14th year at the helm of the program, hasn’t experienced this in his career.
“They’re playing well,” he said.
Missouri (13-0) feasted upon the opposing Towson Tigers (5-10) in its second match of the Mizzou Classic (25-11, 25-16, 25-15) to make its undefeated mark the best start Kreklow has seen at MU.
“It gets harder and harder,” he said. “As the number gets bigger, it becomes a little bit more front-and-center, and people start thinking … about it a little bit more.”
In the match, Missouri outhit it counterparts .481 to .022. Missouri has maintained a sizeable disparity between hitting percentages in its momentous winning streak, a testament to its stout defense and dynamic offense.
Missouri struggled with service points at the start of the match, and once freshman Carly Kan stopped that, the team sunk its teeth into TU. Kan served her teammates through their early dry spell, winning four consecutive points to a safe 16-8 lead.
“I’m just going after it, trying to be aggressive and smart at the same time,” Kan said.
Kan was serving when Missouri led 1-0 in the second set, commanding the Black and Gold to six consecutive points in a set dominated by Missouri’s well-balanced offensive assault.
“Offensively, we’re doing pretty well,” Kreklow said. “The good thing about having a lot of options is (that) your team’s better.”
Five Missouri players collected more than five kills — Kan (5), senior Lisa Henning (11), junior Whitney Little (8), junior Emily Wilson (8) and freshman Emily Thater (6). For Henning, having more threats on the team allows her to improve her all-around game.
“I can rely more on my defense and get better at different things,” said Henning, who led her team with 13 kills in the early match.
Heavily-favored Missouri next plays Southeast Missouri State (2 p.m.) and Middle Tennessee (6 p.m.) to close out the tournament on Saturday. A pair of victories would make Missouri 15-0, four victories shy of Missouri’s all-time record of 19 consecutive in 1982. But as the winning streak grows, the pressure grows, no matter the opponent.
“We’re going to have to come back and be ready to play,” Kreklow said.