Richard Frazier always sits in section B24 of the Hearnes Center during Missouri volleyball's home games with his wife, Kenya. The couple witnessed the team’s 3-1 loss (20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 17-25) against Texas A&M on Friday night.
“Our concentration doesn’t seem to be as high as normal,” Frazier said. “We’re just a little sloppy tonight. Up until tonight I’ve seen a lot stronger defense but tonight they’re a bit off.”
Frazier, 58, knows a lot about Missouri volleyball — he and his wife started trailing the Tigers to various away games throughout the country about 11 years ago.
The Frazier’s started their road trips slowly by only attending away games at Kansas. It wasn’t until 2005 that they decided to take their journeys to the next level by traveling to Penn State to see the team play for the Elite 8. Since then, the Richards have gone to at least two away games every year. In 2010, they attended away games at Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Penn State and Northern Iowa.
“We try to go when I can get days off from work,” Richard Frazier said. “I usually take Friday off so that we can be on the road Thursday night for away games.”
Frazier works as an immigration officer for Homeland Security and saves his off days to travel to Missouri's away games.
He was not always a volleyball fan. He says his enthusiasm for volleyball stems from working as a high school volleyball coach for nine years in the 1980s at Miami High School in Amoret.
The couple are MU alumni, so it was only natural that the love for volleyball would lead them to the Tigers.
Frazier said his all time favorite player is Tatum Ailes, who played libero for the Tigers from 2004 to 2007.
“I really like excellent defensive players,” he said. “She was the best defensive player I’ve ever seen on our team.”
Though Frazier does not have a favorite player for this year’s team, he said junior setter Molly Kreklow is one of the best players right now because of her ability to play both offensive and defensive positions well.
Frazier seems to have a good reason for his choice. Kreklow posted an eighth double-double for the season during Friday’s game. She had 38 assists, 15 digs and six kills on nine attacks. Despite her personal success, Kreklow said the loss really hurt the team.
“Moving forward we need to not let this hold our team back," Kreklow said. “There’s a whole lot of season left and anything can happen.”
Head coach Wayne Kreklow also had a few thoughts about the team’s poor performance.
"I wasn’t even happy with our warm ups,” he said. “I don’t think we were focused and concentrated, I could tell right from the beginning. I felt like everybody was loose.”
Despite the team’s loss, Frazier is hopeful that they will make it to this year’s national tournament in Louisville, Ky., and display a "We're on the Road to Louisville" banner before every game.
“We got tickets for the national championship in Louisville,” Frazier said. “We'd like for the Tigers to be there playing.”
The Tigers get a chance to redeem themselves in their next game against Georgia at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Hearnes Center.