Mizzou vs Baylor

Senior night starts in 6 min!

Tonight we honored our seniors Lei and Amanda! What a GREAT four years they had with the Tigers! Great crowd here to see them out!

By the way: I am the “sub” blogger, so bear with me..This is my 3rd time, so I think I am getting the hang of it!

SET #1

Tigers take the first point and rolling 4-1 now off of two kills and a block from Paola!

If the Tigers take the match tonight along with Saturdays at TAMU, then odds are in favor of us stamping our ticket to the NCAA tournament. Tigers force Baylor to call a time out (TO) leading 7-2.

Tigers simply dominating this game is all categories so far 11-5 Tigers rolling!

Time out Baylor (2nd one) with the Tigers leading 14-5

Jules with the thunderous kill makes it 19-10…All Tigers so far!

Baylor trying a little bit of a comeback! They are within 5 points now. 20-15 Tigers while Mizzou uses his first time out. No stats just yet, but my hunch is Paola and Jules hitting pretty well!

Tigers control the set to take it 25-16…Tigers rolling!  After the T.O, the Tigers go on a 5-1 run to close out the set GO TIGERS!

SET #2

Big Battle going on in the Hearnes now…Tigers winning this 4-3 so far

Hantouli ends a BU run to make it 5-8 Baylor…Paola with 6 kills leads all Tigers hitting .385 now.

Tigers trying to get in sync! Mizzou takes the time out with the score 7-15.  Tigers rolled in the first set, and might have got a little relaxed so far in set #2, but don’t you worry, Tigers play well at home, and will find it!

12-23 Baylor

Tigers try to fight back, but too little too late, Baylor takes the set 16 -25

SET #3

Stats just in, Jules hitting .222 to lead the team, however Paola has blasted 7 kills along with 7 digs to lead all Tigers in both categories. 2-2 early on.

HUGE block by Paola makes it 6-6 after the time out. Tigers where off to the slow start, but Coach Kreklow got them rolling!

Catie Wilson giving the Baylor Libero a facial (ball that hits off of your face) to knot it up at 10-10.  Lei wang showing her leadership on Senior night with her  2nd solo block of the set. Tigers are back!

Marissa Ferri getting some extensive action today. The Freshman from the Chicago area been off the court for quite a while, but her return has really helped spark the Tigers. I expect to see more of her the rest of the season. 15-20 Baylor.

Behind the great passing from Ferri, Tigers still can’t get the hitter in rhythm.  Tigers block a little out of synch.  Tigers in the huddle and I am sure Coach Kreklow will fix those issue real quick.  Expect a motivated Tiger group in set #4. Baylor takes the 2-1 lead in the match (set #3 17-25)

SET #4

Fact: I think Baylor might be the only school that keeps LIVE bears on campus (two of them!).  Smack in the middle of campus (their version of Brady Commons) you can find a cage (and a small one) with two live bears there. Strange.  Baylor with the early 1-4 lead.

Stats in..Wendy and Paola leading with hitting percentage (.182), but Paola has hung 12 kills so far on Baylor. 4-9 Baylor.

Paola puts another one down to continue the comeback 9-11 Baylor, but closing the gap!

Seriously, the 4 time newcomer of the week Paola is the big 12 definition of “unstopable”…So few teams have had the tools to stop her. 12-16 Baylor, but the hitting is coming along!

Baylor calls it’s 1st time out as Wendy crushes the overpass to make it 15-17.  Here comes the big comeback! Tiger hitting and blocking have surfaced and that is what is clawing them back into this match.

Baylor just finding the seems. 18-21 Baylor. Time out Missouri

Off the outstanding performance against #8 ISU, the Tigers struggle a little tonight.  After crushing Baylor in the first set, they just can’t get the machine going for the match.  Baylor gets the best of the Tigers today winning the 4th set 19-25.

NExt up TAMU in a must win situation to go dancing (NCAA tournament). Great effort tonight, don’t let the score fool you!

 

Mizzou vs. Iowa State live blog

Just got in to Hearnes after a great win by the football team over Iowa State…now let’s see if the volleyball can beat ISU too. If you can’t make it out to the match tonight, be sure to follow along with the Mizzou Volley Blog for frequent updates throughout this pivotal match.

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We’re getting close to first serve, and Hearnes is starting to fill up. Should be a very good crowd on hand.

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7-5 ISU early. Looks like this’ll be a close match—just like the last time these two teams met.

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Missouri calls a timeout down 10-7. If ISU can set their middles as easily as they have been, it’ll be tough to stop them—but then again, if Missouri can set Paola and Jules well, it’ll be tough to stop them, too.

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13-9 ISU after a kill by Paola— her first of the match.

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Give Iowa State a lot of credit—they’re doing an excellent job of keeping points alive with dig after dig, and eventually, Missouri makes an error or they’ll come up with a good swing. There’s a reason why this is a top-10 team, that’s for sure. 16-10 ISU.

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A big run for ISU has the ‘Clones up 23-13.

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And ISU storms to a 25-14 win in the first set.

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Mizzou takes a 5-4 lead after a huge block by Paola in the second set.

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Amanda Hantouli picks up her third kill of the match. She’s played very well so far.

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Mizzou’s doing a great job at the net so far in this set. They’ve had a bunch of blocks and tips to win/keep points alive.

10-10 now.

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A kill by Catie Wilson ties things up at 12. This is the close set we were all expecting.

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ISU just took a 17-16 lead as Mizzou calls for a timeout. Mizzou is playing well, but a couple of errors have been the difference between a lead and being down right now for the Tigers.

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Paola drills her fourth kill of the match to tie it up at 17. She, Jules, and Catie all have four kills.

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A big mental error by Mizzou gives ISU a 21-19 lead going into a timeout. If Mizzou loses this set, that miscommunication—a ball dropped in for a side out after a real nice dig by Caitlyn Vann—could be the reason why.

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Two straight points for Mizzou tie it back up at 21.

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23-22 Mizzou after kills by Jules and Paola. Iowa State just called for a timeout…stay tuned. This one’s going to go right down to the wire.

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An error and a kill by Jules puts Mizzou up 24-23 as ISU calls a timeout. Jules will be serving for set point after the TO.

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Jules’ serve went into the net and ISU picked up a block. 25-24 ISU, set point.

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Paola picks up a kill to tie at 25!

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After an ISU point, Paola picks up a block to tie it at 26. Wow.

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After an ISU point, their serve went out of bounds. 27-27 now…

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After an ISU point, there was a net violation on ISU. 28-28.

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And ISU finally strings two points together to win an incredibly exciting set, 30-28. Unfortunately, it didn’t go Mizzou’s way…and now the Tigers have steep challenge ahead of them.

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ISU jumps out to an early 7-6 lead. As a team, ISU is hitting just .196, but Mizzou’s only at .125.

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A nice run has given Mizzou a 11-8 lead—their biggest lead of the match. Timeout ISU.

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13-11 Mizzou now, with ISU serving.

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A nice changeup shot by Paola puts Mizzou up 14-12.

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An ISU block ties the set up at 15. A couple of notes: Jules leads Mizzou with 11 kills while Paola has nine and Catie six.

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An ISU point puts the ‘Clones up 19-17.

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ISU is looking in control late. 22-19 as Mizzou calls a timeout.

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Iowa State wins the set 25-20 and the match 3-0. If Mizzou wants to make the NCAA Tournament, they’ll have to beat both Baylor and Texas A&M next week and hope the tournament committee doesn’t overlook them.

Coach Kreklow Q&A: Week 12

Mizzou’s drive to the NCAA Tournament continues this week with a Wednesday match against Texas Tech in Lubbock and a Saturday match against No. 8 Iowa State in Columbia. Here’s what coach Wayne Kreklow had to say about last week’s wins over OU and Colorado and the upcoming week:

On the 3-1 win over Colorado:

Overall, Colorado’s playing pretty well right now. They’re playing much better than they were early in the season. They played a pretty good match out there in Boulder. I thought they served well, they passed pretty well this time—the first time we played them they had trouble with passing a little bit. Honestly, I don’t think we were quite as mentally prepared for this one as we have been in the previous matches. I was a little concerned going in because we’ve had a good couple of weeks with the big win at home against Oklahoma—and I think it’s easy from a player’s standpoint to sometimes start focusing ahead. We told the players prior to the match that everybody in the Big 12 is good, that the records are deceiving and you can’t take anybody for granted. I think that had a lot to do with the closeness of the match.

On taking Texas Tech (2-23, 0-16) seriously:

We have to. Any time you’re playing on the road in the conference against anybody, you’ve got to be ready to go. People are always going to play better at home. At this time of year, for a team like Tech, they’ve really been out of the running for any postseason play for a long time. I mentioned this before we played at Colorado, it’s a lot easier to play when you’re not really playing for anything other than trying to get better and just trying to enjoy the time you have left in the season. Obviously, there’s no pressure on them. We’re on the road, we need to have this match to keep our postseason hopes alive. I don’t see how we could possibly overlook them. At the same time, you’re looking at somebody who hasn’t won a [Big 12] match yet. But if you go back and look at their game scores, they’re like Colorado—if they start passing well and if you let them run their stuff, they’re like anybody else—they can be tough to beat.

On Iowa State and Missouri’s ability to win any match:

They’re a very, very good team and they’re probably playing as well as anybody in the country right now. They’re on a roll, they’re peaking. It’s going to be a tall order for us. But we’re playing at home, and we tend to play well at home. It’ll be a big challenge, but the first time up there in Ames I felt like we were really competitive. I felt like we could have played a lot better than we did—we made a lot of errors. I would look at us at being kind of a wild card in the conference. We’re capable on any given night of knocking off anybody in the league. Now, there are a lot of factors that have to fall into place for that to happen, but I do feel like we’re capable. If we can get past Tech on Wednesday night, we’ve got two of our last three matches at home which certainly is helpful for us.

On Julianna Klein getting back into action:

When we were up at Iowa State, that was just before Jules had got sick. That was the first match we played with her not really feeling well. At that time, we still weren’t utilizing Paola like we have been. The more Jules plays, the better condition she’ll be in—she’s still struggling with that a little bit right now. And that’s something we’ve gotta work on in practice here to try to get her up to speed to help take the load off of Paola a little bit. Jules did a nice job over the weekend in Colorado—she was up at 15 kills, took 36 swings. So it’s been a long time since she’s been able to do that. And she was feeling the effects—it was obvious as the match wore on that they were serving her and making her work very hard. I felt like she got fatigued as the match went on. But hopefully that extra work will help her get back into physical condition down the stretch because we’ll need her. We need to be able to balance against the good teams.

On Paola Ampudia:

She was off against Colorado. Some of it fell on her shoulders—she could have done some things better. I think overall, for her, she’s gotta be in a rhythm and things have to be consistent. She made some unforced errors that she didn’t need to make or that could have been avoided. I think obviously ball control was a little shaky, Lei was off—there were all kinds of factors that played into each other. I felt in our match against Oklahoma, that was the first time in a long time that I felt we were all clicking at one time. But even in that one, Jules didn’t have one of her better matches. If we can hit on all cylinders, I think we’re capable of really competing well against anybody.

On whether there’s a benchmark in terms of wins:

Obviously, trying to get to .500 in conference is going to be a big benchmark. It’s going to come right down to the wire all the way through next Saturday for a lot of teams, not just us. I think Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas A&M have a challenging last two weeks coming up. And I think what you can see is one team surge way ahead, one team drop way off…it’s going to be a kind of a crapshoot going down to the last two weeks. Our minimum goal is to finish .500. If we can get to 11-9 by knocking off two of the last three…and obviously, that’s where we go back to Tech. That’s a big one. That’s the key, I think, to the last three matches.

Coach Kreklow’s postgame comments: Oklahoma

Here’s what coach Wayne Kreklow had to say after Mizzou’s crucial 3-0 sweep of Oklahoma Nov. 11:

Oklahoma

Also, some final stat notes from the match:

  • Mizzou hit .226 for the match. That may not look great, but remember, OU was holding opponents to a hitting percentage in the low .160s coming into the match.
  • Paola Ampudia had 21 kills on a .245 hitting percentage.
  • Wendy Wang had eight kills and a .308 hitting percentage, but her serving was the biggest aspect of her game tonight.
  • Julliana Klein, Catie Wilson, and Brittney Brimmage all had seven kills. Brimmage led the group with a .500 hitting percentage.
  • Caitlyn Vann had 15 digs to lead Mizzou. Other high totals: Annie Lopez (10), Paola Ampudia  (9), Lei Wang-Francisco (8), Priscilla Armendariz (8), and Wang (5). As a team, Mizzou had 66 digs to OU’s 62.
  • OU hit just .115 on the match, including .064 in the final set.

Mizzou vs. Oklahoma live blog

****2-0 Mizzou after two sets****

This is the big one. If Mizzou wins, they’ll put themselves in good shape to be at least on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament. While it’s not a ‘must-win,’ it’s about as close as we can get.

Also, the Tigers picked up two very good recruits today in setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and MB/OH Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo. Krekow is the nephew of Wayne & Susan Kreklow and was rated as the No. 20 senior in the nation according to prepvolleyball.com. Henning also ranked in the top 50.

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Alright, we’re about ready to get things underway here at Hearnes. This should be a fun, fun match.

Close start to the match…we’re all tied up at 5 after a Brittney Brimmage kill.

Paola’s looking very good early on—she’s got two kills, as does Catie Wilson. 7-6 OU.

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OU’s setting their middles well right now. 10-8 Sooners.

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Well, as much success as OU is having setting their middles, Missouri is having setting Paola—she has three kills already.

Also, Brittney Brimmage is playing pretty well. She just notched her third kill of the match to make it 13-12.

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Jules just tied it up with a kill at 13 and Paola gave Mizzou a 14-13 lead with a kill. As expected, this has been a close, hard-fought match with a lot of back-and-forth on the points so far.

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16-13 Mizzou at OU calls a timeout to try to stop this five-point Missouri run.

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OU finally stops the Missouri run at six. 17-14 MU.

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WOW. Paola just laid down a HUGE block to make it 19-14 Mizzou.

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OU is responding, though. Mizzou’s lead is down to 19-17 as coach Kreklow calls a timeout.

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An error by Paola ties it up at 19.

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A huge point win for Mizzou—great back and forth—ties it back up at 20.

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OU goes up 22-21 on a side out.

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And Paola quickly ties it back up at 22. What a great set.

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Back-to-back kills by Wendy Wang have Mizzou up 24-22 heading into a timeout by OU. Huge opportunity for Mizzou to set the tone of the match with a win in the first set here.

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Paola ends it with her sixth kill of the set! Mizzou now goes up 1-0 in the match with a 25-22 win.

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Wendy starts the set off with a nice kill. Watch out—she’s playing extremely well so far.

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Paola picks up her seventh kill of the set to make it 4-1 Mizzou early into the second.

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KNOCK ON WOOD KNOCK ON WOOD KNOCK ON WOOD this is the best Mizzou has played a long, long time. The back row has been great, Wendy and Paola have been great, Lei has been great, and so on. 6-2 Tigers.

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Catie Wilson beats OU to the outside and picks up her third kill to make it 7-4 Tigers.

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11-4 Mizzou after a kill by Paola (her 8th) and an error by OU. This might be the best volleyball Mizzou has played all year. Timeout Oklahoma.

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Catie Wilson’s having a huge set. She just picked up her third kill of the set (five on the match) to make it 12-4.

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OU finally stops Mizzou’s seven-point run. Great serving by Wendy was the key to that huge run—now let’s see if Mizzou can keep up the pressure and keep OU out of reach. It’s 13-6 Mizzou right now.

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15-8 Mizzou after a net violation on the Tigers.

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16-10 Mizzou after a kill by Jules.

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Paola just put her ninth kill over the net to make it 18-12 Mizzou as OU calls a timeout. The first set was close. So far, this one isn’t.

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And of course OU is going to make me eat my words. They just cut it to 18-15 as Mizzou calls a timeout.

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A big kill by Wendy stops OU’s run, but she gives it right back on a service error. 19-17 Mizzou. I should’ve known—of course this set would be close.

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HUGE kill by Paola makes it 20-18. Let’s see if Mizzou can hold on here…

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A serve into the net by Catie Wilson makes it 20-19 and an error by Mizzou ties it at 20.

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A kill by Brimmage and a kill by Paola put Mizzou up 22-20.

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Mizzou takes set two by a score of 25-20 on a kill by Paola, an error by OU, and (what else) a kill by Paola. She now has 13 on the match and Mizzou has a chance to sweep one of the best teams in the nation.

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We just had an awesome performance from the Mid-Missouri high-steppers at the break. That was really, really cool.

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The third set starts off with a kill from Wendy, her seventh of the match.

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Mizzou wins another long, drawn-out point to go up 4-2.

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7-5 Mizzou after an OU side out.

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15 kills for Paola. 8-5 Mizzou.

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I didn’t mention this earlier, but Mizzou had 40 digs through the first two sets. The back row today has been incredible—Vann has 10, Lopez has 9—and that’s why Mizzou is winning this match so far. OU is really good at keeping points alive and forcing errors from its opposition, but it’s hard to do that when the opposing team is digging everything you’re putting over the net.

10-7 Mizzou now. Paola has 16 kills.

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Brittney just picked up a block to make it 13-8 Mizzou. This has been really fun to watch.

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I’ll have a full stat post up after the game, but it’s going to be a fun one to do. 15-10 Mizzou after Brit notches her sixth kill of the match.

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Paola with her 17th kill of the match to make it 17-11 Mizzou.

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A three-point run by OU makes it 17-14 Mizzou as Kreklow calls a timeout.

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Nice point for Mizzou. Vann yelled out “Watch that dump!” right before OU tried the changeup tip shot over the outside hitter. Catie Wilson played it perfectly and Lei set up Wendy for a kill. 19-15 Mizzou.

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A shot goes out for OU to make it 21-16 Mizzou.

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A net violation on OU makes it 22-17. Mizzou’s starting to feel it right now.

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Mizzou wins the set 25-18 and the set 3-0. That’s a HUGE, HUGE win for the Tigers!

The most important game of the year: Oklahoma

Mizzou’s march to the NCAA Tournament hopefully begins tonight against a 17-7 (10-5 in conference) Oklahoma team that is ranked No. 26 in the nation. The Sooners are right on the top 25 bubble, receiving the most votes of any non-ranked team in the most recent AVCA poll.

OU comes into Columbia riding a four-match winning streak that has included a three-set sweep over No. 21 Baylor in Waco. Defensively. OU is stout—as a team, the Sooners are limiting Big 12 opponents to just a .170 hitting percentage, third-lowest in the conference. The team’s 1,004 in conference play leads the Big 12.

So what OU is best at is getting opponents out of system, keeping points alive, and forcing errors.

But the Sooners aren’t indestructible, especially on the road. Of OU’s six losses, five have come on the road. And while two of those road losses have been to No. 9 Nebraska and No. 2 Texas, three have been against opponents who are not receiving votes in the AVCA poll: North Carolina, Wichita State, and Kansas.

With a large, loud crowd behind them, Missouri has a good chance of winning this match tonight. Like the headline says, this is, right now, the most important game of the year.

Beating Oklahoma would give Missouri’s NCAA Tournament chances a significant boost. With key home matches against Baylor and No. 8 Iowa State looming, beating Oklahoma would be huge toward getting Missouri the four wins I think the team needs to make the tournament.

That’s not to say Colorado and Texas Tech will be easy wins, especially on the road. But, when stacked up against Missouri’s remaining competition (OU, ISU, Baylor, and A&M, all of which have received votes or are ranked in the current AVCA poll), the Buffs and Red Raiders should be easier opposition.

But it all starts tonight. If Missouri beats Oklahoma, the Tigers’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament will really be bumped up.

If you can’t make it out to Hearnes Center tonight, be sure to follow along at MUVolleyball.wordpress.com for a live blog of all the exciting action.

Coach Kreklow Q&A: Week 11

Missouri’s hitting the stretch run here, with six important games coming up that should determine whether the Tigers make it back to the NCAA Tournament or not. Every match, every set, every point is going to be important from here on out. Here’s what coach Wayne Kreklow had to say about the stretch run, among other topics:

On looking ahead:

When you look at big picture things like overall record, obviously that’s something that we’re really shooting for. We know we’ve got some tough matches ahead of us…nobody’s easy in the Big 12. And when you have Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma all at home and Texas A&M on the road, it’s gonna be tough. It’s certainly doable—I think we’re certainly capable of doing that, but we’re going to have to get to work and really focus on one step at a time. It’s easy at this time of the year to look ahead and start doing math and all the what-ifs and that kind of stuff. You really have to avoid looking too far ahead—we just have to take it one at a time here.

On whether matches at Colorado (Nov. 14) and Texas Tech (Nov. 18) could be traps:

Absolutely. Those two matches, particularly on the road, are pretty scary matches. You can easily focus too much on the others—Iowa State, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. And Colorado and Texas Tech are good teams, they’re just in a really tough conference this year. They’re certainly capable of knocking off a lot of people at home. We’ve gotta make sure we don’t look too far ahead.

On how the team played despite losing to Nebraska and Texas last week:

One of the things we keep focusing on here as we go into the last couple of weeks is that we’re really playing some pretty good volleyball. We’ve played some tough teams—when you take a look at [recent] losses we’ve had, we’ve lost to Texas at home and Nebraska on the road. Even with the exception of game two against Texas, which was kind of an anomaly—the bottom fell out, and that happens sometimes—we’ve been playing fairly well, with the exception of that single game. You really have to be careful in this conference because at times the result doesn’t accurately reflect how you’re playing. So I’m hoping our players understand how well we really are playing and how capable we are of beating a lot of teams.

On how Texas shut down Paola Ampudia but opened doors for other players to have success:

Texas did a really nice job of finding Paola. She’s not going to sneak up on anybody anymore. What happened in the Texas match was ball control was a little off—we weren’t quite in rhythm as we were in some of the earlier matches. Paola was getting the ball, but wasn’t getting it quite in the same location at the same tempo. We’ve gotta play with a certain tempo, especially against a huge team like Texas. And we were a little bit too slow, Paola was getting the ball a little high, and it gave them just enough time to make it seem like they always had a really big block on her.

But Jules got some more swings and put the ball away. The last couple of matches, Rosa’s actually been hitting the ball fairly well. I think what we’re going to have to do here is go back and start having a plan ‘B.’ Often what we do—and this is a common thing, all coaches do it—as we’re getting ready to play the next match, obviously what you do is go back and say “okay, if I was the coach for the other team, how would I prepare to try to beat Missouri?” Obviously, based on what Paola has done the last three or four weeks, that would be a big component—how do we slow her down? How do we serve to take her out of the offense? How do we block to force some of the other players to have to carry the load? Those are the things we look at when we go down to the practice floor. We’ve now gotta figure out a way to get the ball more to Catie, Rosa, and Jules in particular.

On how important it is to be able to turn to his team’s depth when Paola is shut down:

That’s a big help. I’d certainly rather be in our situation now where they’re going to key on Paola and try to take her out of the offense and we can look to Catie, Rosa, and Jules. We have some other options. What we have to do now is run the offense, look at the options, and make sure those people are prepared come match time so they feel comfortable and are in a good rhythm when they start getting the ball.

On the back row and doing the little things:

We’ve gotta be more consistent. Prior to Texas, I thought we had been really, really solid in the back row. I felt like against Texas, we were a little bit scattered. It wasn’t one thing, and it wasn’t really bad, but there were too many swings between good and marginal. What we’ve gotta be able to do as a team is each person needs to focus on the little aspects of their game to try to make everybody’s job easier. We need our defensive players to try to control the first touches, to make Lei’s job a little easier. Lei needs to control her tempo and placement to make the hitters’ job a little bit easier. Blockers need to do their job so the defenders have a little easier job to do, and so on. We’re going to continue to focus each position on those little things. We don’t need anybody to step up and do amazing things at this point, we just need for everybody to step up and have everybody do the little things better.