Missouri volleyball eager to start season

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 9:33 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Even though the Missouri volleyball team begins its season on Friday, it is still recruiting – fans, that is.

With T-shirts and yard signs that read “Match Tonight,” Susan Kreklow, MU director of volleyball, talked to the team after practice to explain how to use the new gear. Kreklow said she wanted those team members who have lecture on Friday to introduce themselves to the class as a Missouri volleyball player and invite everyone to the match.

Missouri Tiger Invitational Matches

Friday's match

vs. Maryland 6:30 p.m.

Saturday's matches

vs. Nevada 12 noon

vs. Utah Valley 6:30 p.m.

The team roared with laughter when senior Julianna Klein explained what she was going to do with her yard sign.

“I’m going to put it on the top of my car like a Jimmy John’s sign,” Klein said.

“If you want people to come, you have to work at it,” Tigers head coach Wayne Kreklow said.

During the 2009 season, the Missouri volleyball team had an average attendance of 1,731, which ranked 20th among NCAA Division I teams.

Although the team is eager to get even more fans in the seats, it is excited to start play on Friday.

“We have a countdown on our mirror in the locker room,” Klein said.

The Tigers are looking to improve upon last year’s 18-14 season. They are also looking to the NCAA tournament this season after not making an appearance last season.

Although Klein dealt with a knee injury in 2007 and mononucleosis in 2009, she is healthy and ready to start her senior season.

Freshman Molly Kreklow was the starting setter for the USA Volleyball Junior National Team that won the title at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Continental Championships this summer in Tijuana, Mexico.

She dislocated her right pinky finger during practice more than two and a half weeks ago, but she is expected to play this weekend.

“She’s a tough kid,” Wayne Kreklow said. “But (her injury) has definitely set us back.”

The team will face Maryland, Nevada and Utah Valley at the Tiger Invitational this weekend.

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