It seems Missouri volleyball shattered almost every record last weekend.
Behind senior hitter Lisa Henning and junior blocker Whitney Little, the Tigers (15-0) swept each opponent in three games Friday and Saturday, en route to a Mizzou Classic championship.
Missouri has now swept nine matches in a row, the longest sweep streak in program history.
The records started falling in the Tigers’ first match. Missouri started the weekend with a (25-20, 25-15, 25-18) sweep of Samford on Friday, taking its record to 12-0 for the first time since 2005.
The match started off slow, hampered by service errors, but the Tigers made up for it with a total of 12 team blocks. Even with standout blocking, Henning etched her own personal record, leaving with a career-high hitting percentage of .632.
“It did feel like we were on defense a lot,” Henning said, “but whenever (senior setter) Molly (Kreklow) and I were in system and stuff, I felt like nothing was going wrong. I feel like we were just at practice out there, so I was just swinging.”
In the next game, another record broken. Henning contributed 11 kills as the Tigers beat Towson in straight sets Friday evening, marking the best season start during coach Wayne Kreklow’s 14-year career at Mizzou. The Tigers utilized their well-balanced offense, with five players amassing more than 5 kills.
Southeast Missouri State saw more records fall as Little notched a career-high hitting percentage of .909, with 10 kills and five blocks. Little’s performance helped the Tigers hit .606 for the match, breaking the school record of .595 set in 2000.
Little, however, did not like to concentrate on the specifics of the match.
“I try to take it one game at a time, and once a game is done, it’s done. It’s in the past,” she said. “I really try to focus on the next game and try to refocus as if I didn’t do anything else in the last game, nothing else happened, so kind of starting over.”
In the championship match against Middle Tennessee on Saturday evening, Little tied her season-high total blocks, putting up 6 of the team’s 12 block assists.
She and freshman utility Carly Kan were named to the all-tournament team, while Henning and Molly Kreklow were named co-MVPs. Henning added 15 of the team’s 46 kills for the match, reaching 1,506 career kills. She is just the third Missouri player to surpass the 1,500 kill mark.
“I feel like, as a team, we played so great a game against a hard opponent,” Little said. “You know, we kind of had a little revenge from two years ago when Middle Tennessee beat us my freshman year…. I feel like a lot of us came out with something to prove, not only to Middle Tennessee and to us, but to the fans and everyone else.”
While Wayne Kreklow is undoubtedly pleased with the team’s performance, he looks ahead to make improvements heading into conference play.
“There’s a whole slew of little things that are always the hard things, but I think overall, offensively, we’re doing pretty well,” Wayne Kreklow said.