Kreklow reaches milestone, team earns 20th win over Baylor
Lisa Henning put in another strong performance to help her coach earn his 400th win.
Nov. 05, 2011
Missouri volleyball coach Wayne Kreklow’s 400th win came and went like any other victory.
When his team prevailed over Baylor in a 3-1 decision and players celebrated their 20th win of the season, Kreklow went to them, and said “Sweet!” He walked back to the bench with a straight face, grabbed his coaching bag and headed to the locker room. Like any other victory.
“The latest win is always the best win,” Kreklow said of reaching his 400th. “Right now, this ranks up there as number one. In a few hours that might change. I mean, honestly, we look at milestones and those are things that come when you’ve been in it long enough. I’m glad it happened today because this was a very important conference match for us. Right now, that overshadows a great deal of the 400.”
Though Kreklow’s milestone was the game’s top storyline, sophomore hitter Lisa Henning put together a game that was impossible to ignore. She swung 56 times in the game and led with 24 kills. She carried much of the team’s offensive load, responsible for 28 points throughout the game.
Henning, who has made a case for Big 12 Player of the Week after averaging 5.75 kills per set on .380 hitting, says she has not been faced by the extra attention opponents give her. She has seen extra blockers shade her way and heard opposing coaches yell, “Watch number five!”. More than anything, she says she is flattered.
“They’re pressuring me, but really I take it as a compliment. If they want to double-block me, I know I can push it to my teammates. I have so much confidence in them where I know someone else on my team is another option.”
Sophomore setter Molly Kreklow, who tallied her 12th double-double of the season with 46 assists and 13 digs said she feels confident in the roles other hitter play in the game as well.
“Other hitters are helping a lot too,” she said. “It’s not like (opponents) can leave other open. They’re showing that they can do just as much.”
Freshmen hitters Emily Wilson and Whitney Little shined in the game. Wilson had 13 kills while Little had a match-high seven blocks.
With four more Big 12 matches to go on the schedule, the Tigers (20-9, 6-6) are competing for RPI points among other NCAA Tournament bid-hopefuls. Currently, the team has a higher RPI than it did last year before its Sweet 16 run.
Wayne Kreklow, along with his wife Susan, has made nine appearances in the tournament over the last 11 seasons. Only 22 programs in the nation can say they’ve done the same.
“We’ve been so fortunate here,” he said. “I know of a lot of good coaches who never get to (400 wins) – not because they’re not good at what they do – but they don’t have support. Nobody can do this alone, all of the pieces sort of have to be there and we’ve been really fortunate to have come into a good situation.”