Senior setter Molly Kreklow stood in the Hearnes Center, near the tunnel, before practice. Like usual, she was there early.
“Our passers performed really wel,l and our hitters performed really well,” she said. “It makes my job really easy.”
She’s made the job look easy, too.
Kreklow, who leads the Southeastern Conference in assists per set (12.83), has helped the Tigers sweep through three tournaments in an unexpected 12-0 run.
“I try to go into each game thinking that tonight I’m going to try to perform the best I can,” she said. “I really trust my (teammates) to do their job.”
Last week, she was named the conference player of the week. This week, she made Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section for her performance in last weekend’s Rice Invitational.
“Volleyball is such a team sport, and, especially with honors like these, I couldn’t do my job without the passers, and I couldn’t do my job without the hitters,” Kreklow said.
Kreklow is also quick to thank her coaches, to whom she credits the bulk of her team’s success.
“I just couldn’t be more grateful for the coaches,” she said. “It’s more of them teaching me than what I’m bringing to the table.”
Kreklow and fellow senior Lisa Henning are undisputed leaders of the team, players who have come to practice early and stayed late since last spring.
“Every single time I put in extra work, I think, ‘This is going to pay off for me sometime or someday,’” Kreklow said. “This is just the beginning of, hopefully, some of the benefits the team will see.”
The Tigers seek to reap more benefits after the Mizzou Classic this weekend. If they go undefeated to win the tournament, they’ll have their best start behind coach Wayne Kreklow going into conference play.
“We haven’t achieved our goal yet,” Molly Kreklow said. “Our goal at the beginning of the season wasn’t to win the Mizzou tournament, it wasn’t to win the Yale Tournament. Those were stepping stones to what we want to do.
“Going into it, practice is still very important to us, and we’re still learning a lot, and we have to continue to strive every day.”