Senior All-American setter Molly Kreklow led the charge in the Missouri volleyball team’s historic undefeated regular season, earning the Tigers their first-ever Southeastern Conference Championship.
“I just had a really, really, really fun year and a really great team,” Kreklow said over the phone from Team USA workouts in Anaheim, Calif. “Being away from them now, I miss that experience. It was a fun year, and we accomplished so many of our goals. The group was special, and that group made our team do well.”
On the court, Kreklow led the nation in assists with 12.65 per set. The player teammate Whitney Little called a “born leader” sponsored 5,366 career assists, coming close to matching Missouri’s school record of 6,097.
Kreklow’s setting quarterbacked the Tigers to a team attack percentage of .356, a new school record. She also helped Missouri top four offensive categories, leading the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005.
After a 34-0 regular season, the Tigers’ postseason run came to an early end in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Purdue, marking their record at 35-1. It was the last match Kreklow would ever play at Hearnes Center.
At the time, it was a crushing blow, one she had not yet processed.
“It’s all really kind of not sunk in yet, the whole season and tonight,” Kreklow said immediately after the loss. “I think a couple years from now, we’ll look back at this and it’s definitely been a special year.”
Now, almost five months later, Kreklow sees the silver lining.
“I’m so thankful for our coaches, and everything that happened this year really built my love for volleyball and competition,” she said. “You put in hard work and sometimes it doesn’t work out. The season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but I’m still grateful for that experience.”
Her performance earned her the title of SEC Player of the Year as well as the Collegiate Sportswoman of the Year award. She was selected to the all-SEC team for the second consecutive year. Both Kreklow and fellow senior standout Lisa Henning received Special Achievement Awards from the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Most recently, Kreklow was honored at Mizzou Athletics’ annual ROARS Awards Ceremony on April 28. The Delano, Minn., native was awarded the Director of Athletics Leadership Award.
The setter remains characteristically humble regarding her nationally recognized success.
“A season will be great if you work hard,” Kreklow said. “We had the season we had because we worked hard.”
Kreklow graduated in December, and she is currently training with the USA National Team in Anaheim, Calif. She was initially selected to participate in an eight-week training program in January and then received a callback in April. Later in the month, Kreklow accepted an offer to stay in Anaheim and train with Team USA for the summer. She is in the process of signing a contract to play professionally in Europe next year.