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New setter should boost MU volleyball team

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | 8:03 p.m. CDT; updated 11:12 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Senior Julianna Klein, top, watches as freshman Molly Kreklow reacts to a ball hit her way during a drill to improve accuracy in a controlled environment on Monday, during the women’s volleyball team's first practice.

COLUMBIA — Molly Kreklow has called Columbia her second home since she can remember. As a child, Kreklow visited MU frequently to attend volleyball camps and to visit her extended family. 

But she was caught off guard during her junior year at Delano High School in Delano, Minn., when her uncle, Missouri women's volleyball head coach Wayne Kreklow, offered her a spot on the Mizzou team.

“I always knew the coaches and attended the camps. But I never once thought about playing on the Mizzou team for college,” she said.

After weighing her options, Molly Kreklow, a setter, decided that Missouri was the best fit for her and she agreed to play. She said she hopes to help Missouri gain an NCAA tournament spot this season.

Wayne Kreklow said he has similar expectations for his team and his niece.

As a top-20 recruit, according to PrepVolleyball.com, and an AAU All-American in 2008 and 2009, Molly Kreklow, 18, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program. Most recently, she led the USA Volleyball Junior National team to a North American, Central American and Carribbean (NORCECA) Continental Championship title.

Wayne Kreklow said he hopes the offensive efficiency that has been lacking in the Tigers' play the past few years improves by adding his niece to the team. Molly Kreklow began training with the team in the spring after graduating early from high school.

“One of the positive things I noticed this spring, with the help of Molly, was our hitting percentages as a team going up by as much as 80 points – just like that,” Wayne Kreklow said. “I think this is going to be key for us this season.”

However, Wayne Kreklow said he also realizes his niece is still just a freshman, and he does not want to expect too much out of her.

“My focus with her this year is to make sure she gets acclimated and to not set the bar to high,” he said. “As good as she is and as many great things as she’s already done, she is still a freshman coming through for the first time.”

The setter on a volleyball team orchestrates the offensive attack and places the ball in the air for attackers to score points. As a setter, Kreklow possesses the characteristics required for the position. She is a hard-worker with top-notch leadership qualities, important for working with everybody on the floor, and her quickness is another asset.

Kreklow said the Big 12 Conference is one of the top volleyball conferences in the country, and that she is excited for the season to start.

“It’s going to be really fun facing good competition every single time we play,” she said. “Coming to Mizzou was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really can’t imagine being anywhere else.”



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