MU's Klein returns to volleyball court

Friday, August 29, 2008 | 2:23 a.m. CDT; updated 2:38 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 29, 2008
Sophomore outside hitter Julianna Klein works on part of her rehab assignment in October 2007. Klein tore her ACL early last season, resulting in a medical redshirt.

COLUMBIA — When Missouri volleyball player Julianna Klein tore her ACL early last season, she considered it a blessing in disguise.
“I don’t think that things like that happen for no reason,” Klein said. “I think that everything has a purpose, even the bad things, the good things that happen to you.”
Klein, an outside hitter who had 2.75 kills per game for the Tigers in 2006, was hurt on Sept. 7 of last season and missed the rest of the year. She was granted a medical redshirt and will be a sophomore this season.
The injury gave Klein a chance to pursue her academic major and allowed her to learn from the sidelines.
“Even though I hated it, at the same time, I was also learning,” she said. “Being able to sit on the sidelines and see my team play, I’d see mistakes my teammates would be making, and I used to make those same things. Things kind of dawned on me like, ‘Oh, I get it now.’”
Klein will be counted on to help this season’s team improve its offensive production after the departure of Na Yang, who led the Tigers with 522 kills last season.
“She and Megan (Wilson) are on the left side and usually your left side hitters are kind of your go-to hitters and they carry the bulk of the offensive burden on their shoulders,” MU coach Wayne Kreklow said. “So, she’ll step in there and she’ll have to swing at a lot of balls.”
Klein said she is avoiding feeling any pressure going into the season.
“I think a lot of times a big mistake, that even I can make, is taking volleyball outside of the Hearnes Center and outside of the athletic complex,” she said. “Because I think that when you’re making that separate distinction, you have a good balance. But when you’re taking it everywhere else, you just get so caught up in it. That can lead to frustration and it all carries onto the court.”
Since coming to MU, Klein said she has separated her life into portions. The Hearnes Center is for volleyball, the academic resource center for studies, and home for recreation.
“As a freshman, they require you to do so many hours of study hall per week,” Klein said. “And, as a freshman, you obviously hate that. It’s inconvenient, you have to go over there on their set times. That was a really good experience for me, because you spend so much time there that you don’t really have a lot of time anywhere else. You really want to capitalize on the time you have everywhere else to hang out with your friends and watch TV and stuff, so I think that having that as a requirement that first year forced me to really organize and separate everything from my life, because now I go into study hall voluntarily, which not a lot of people do.”
When Klein got to MU, she did not have an interest in accounting, but after taking a class on the subject, Klein said she became interested in it as a potential major. Accounting is a five-year program, and the injury ensured that Klein would be on campus for five years.
“I was going to be done with volleyball in four years, but now here everything falls into place so everything is done in five years,” she said.

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