Missouri volleyball player focuses on blocking during win over Texas Tech

Saturday, October 15, 2011 | 9:46 p.m. CDT; updated 9:54 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 15, 2011
Missouri Volleyball middle blocker Whitney Little hits the ball during the game against Texas Tech Saturday evening. The Tigers won against the Red Raiders 3-1.

COLUMBIA — She enjoys seeing that "uh-oh" moment in the faces of her opponents.

Whitney Little, a middle blocker on the Missouri volleyball team, sometimes sees these moments right before she is about to record a block. Little remained involved throughout Missouri's 3-1 win over Texas Tech, spending time on the front and back line. Missouri won 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21. 

On one occasion, Lisa Henning stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Little. Little and Henning jumped up at the same time, keeping their hands straight up in the air and when Texas Tech's Amanda Dowdy went up for a kill, she wasn't able to get the ball past Little, who blocked it.

"Having that girl (Dowdy) have that 'uh-oh' moment is big for a (middle) blocker because you know you're doing something right," Little said.

The Dowdy block was Little's only one of the match, but there were other moments where the Little-Henning combo forced Texas Tech to hit away from them. She added nine kills. Little said blocking has been a hard skill for her to learn, especially because it requires her to constantly watch where her opponent goes.

Missouri head coach Wayne Kreklow agreed that blocking isn't easy to get right.

"You can have them hit over it (blockers) or around it. You just can't have them hit through it," Kreklow said.

He added that blocking, when done right, looks pretty.

Henning said Little doesn't need to put up huge numbers but can take some of the pressure off of her by putting opposing players in awkward positions.

Missouri will take a break from Big 12 Conference play with a match against Central Arkansas on Monday night at the Hearnes Center.

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