The Maneater

What to expect from Mizzou sports this year

Here’s what could be in store from each Missouri team this fall.

The Maneater looks into what to expect from each fall and winter sports team.

Football:

There’s a saying floating around the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex these days: “Show me.” With a new coaching staff on the sidelines and a number of new faces both on offense and defense, the football team will have an opportunity to do that this fall.

And after last year’s 5–7 record, they’ll need to show what they’re made of. High expectations surround the program as they get set to face off against stiff Southeastern Conference competition, and those expectations stem primarily from first-year head coach Barry Odom. Although the Tigers lost Walter Brady and Harold Brantley up front defensively, stalwarts like Charles Harris, Rickey Hatley and Terry Beckner Jr. will anchor what the team hopes will be a similar defense.

On offense, even with the struggles the Tigers have had up front, sophomore quarterback Drew Lock looks to redeem his freshman year with help from Alabama graduate transfer Chris Black at receiver and behind him in Oklahoma graduate transfer Alex Ross at running back.

This season, Missouri will have to travel to West Virginia, LSU and Tennessee, and a substantial turnaround will be difficult. But with a new-look offense, the Tigers could beat expectations.

Men’s golf:

After a 12th-place finish in last year’s SEC Championship, the Missouri men’s golf team — which returns all five of last year’s starters — looks to move up the ladder in another year under head coach Mark Leroux.

Along with Euan Walker, who tied for 18th individually at the SEC Championship, Preston Fleenor, Linus Lilliedahl, Hayden Buckley and Matt Echelmeier, the Tigers have added Trevor Ullestad, a junior college star from Iowa, and Rory Franssen, a member of the Scottish under-18 national team.

Wrestling:

For his fourth and final year, J’den Cox will return to the Missouri wrestling team looking to conquer one final goal — win a national championship as a team with coach Brian Smith, who’s never before done so.

Returning wrestlers Zach Synon, Tim and Willie Miklus, and Lavion Mayes, who placed third at national championships, will join Cox in the team’s quest to accomplish that goal.

Men’s swimming and diving:

The Tigers are coming off an eighth-place finish at NCAA Championships and were named The Maneater’s men’s team of the year in May. Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh’s team has only lost one individual NCAA qualifier (diver Clark Thomas), and they seem poised for a big season.

U.S. National Team member Michael Chadwick will lead the way for the Tigers. The senior is a 15-time All American and one of the top sprint freestyle swimmers in the nation. Senior Fabian Schwingenschlogl won the NCAA Championship in the 100-yard breaststroke last year and should continue to improve in 2016. Seniors Andrew Sansoucie and Carter Griffin will also have big roles on the team.

In the diving well, sophomore Kyle Goodwin will lead the charge. The Colorado native earned Honorable Mention All-America honors as a freshman.

Women’s swimming and diving:

The women’s team had a program-high 11th place finish at NCAA Championships last season, and nine Tigers earned All-America honors.

Although the team lost Anna Patterson and Abby Duncan to graduation, they still should have a strong group in 2016. The backstroke duo of Nadine Laemmler and U.S. National Team member Hannah Stevens is returning, and so is senior Katharine Ross, the defending SEC champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Maddie Gehrke and juniors Kira Zubar and Sharli Brady all have experience at the NCAA level and will look to improve in 2016.

Led by All-Americans Lauren Reedy and Madeline McKernan, the Tigers will also be hard to beat in diving competitions.

Men’s cross-country:

The men’s team is returning all five of its top runners from the 2015 Midwest Regional meet. If they all improve, the Tigers could have a special team this year.

Senior Jordan Cook was Missouri’s top runner for most of last season. The Rock Bridge High School graduate will likely lead the charge again for the Tigers in 2016.

Junior Sheldon Keence and senior Dan Roe will challenge Cook for the top spot on the Missouri team. Keence was the top Tiger finisher at SEC Championships, and Roe was the first Missouri runner at the Midwest Regional. Junior Marc Dubrick also showed promise last season, finishing 24th at SEC Championships.

Women’s cross-country:

It’s an exciting time for the women’s cross-country team.

Karissa Schweizer had a monster track season last year, finishing third at NCAA Championships in the 5,000-meter race. She should continue to be the Tigers top runner as a junior.

Kaitlyn Fischer, a 2013 NCAA Championships qualifier, is set to return from injury. She and Schweizer will set the pace for the Tigers.

Like Fischer, Kate Smith will also be coming back from a season-ending injury and could make major contributions as a sophomore. Teylar Adelsberger could also play a big role for the Tigers. She had a breakout season in 2015 and could continue to develop as a senior.

If all goes well for Missouri, the Tigers could make the NCAA Championships as a team.

Tennis:

On Sept. 18, the Missouri tennis team will open up the season in Kansas City at the Missouri Invitational. Last year, the Tigers went 16–12 and struggled a great deal in conference play, going 3–10. This year will feature a totally new look as last year’s coach Sasha Schmid left for Iowa.

This year, with interim coach Colt Gaston at the helm, senior Bea Machado Santos look to succeed in laying a new foundation for the future of Missouri tennis.

Volleyball:

When Carly Kan returns to the court Friday for the Black and Gold Game, it’ll mark her final year as a Missouri Tiger.

Last year, Kan earned MVP honors at the 2015 Tiger Invitational, a tournament Missouri will hold Sept. 2–3 at Hearnes Center.

With the help of redshirt junior Kira Larson and sophomore Alyssa Munlyn, Kan is hoping to reach the second round of the tournament again and better the team’s finish in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Gymnastics:

The Tigers finished last season ranked No. 20 in the NCAA rankings. With all but one gymnast returning this year, the team could be on the brink of a big season.

Last year, Morgan Porter qualified as an individual for NCAA Championships as a freshman. The Overland, Missouri, native competed in the all-around event and was named SEC Freshman of the Year.

Britney Ward is also set to return in 2016. Last season, the sophomore was named a second team regular season All-American by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches.

If the Tigers stay healthy and continue to approve, they could be in for a monster year.

Women’s basketball:

Led by sophomores Sophie Cunningham and Cierra Porter, the Missouri women’s basketball team raised eyebrows last year by making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, ultimately losing to Texas.

This year, with the addition of Kansas transfer Lauren Aldridge and the improvement from Cunningham and Porter’s supporting cast, the Tigers look to make yet another appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Men’s basketball:

After another disappointing year on the hardwood under second-year coach Kim Anderson, the Tigers, with their five new freshmen, are looking to improve in their ways.

Last year, Mizzou lost five players — one was dismissed and the rest transferred. Joining sophomores Terrence Phillips, Kevin Puryear and K.J. Walton, the new guys are looking to add a boost to a young core.

Ohio natives Willie Jackson and Frankie Hughes have made their mark this summer as each led the team in scoring in the team’s first game in their international trip scoring 18 each. The team looks to eclipse last year’s 10–21 record.

Edited by George Roberson | groberson@themaneater.com

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