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Columbia Missourian

Missouri volleyball team adds former club team player

By JoVona Taylor
November 14, 2012 | 10:41 p.m. CST
Missouri women's volleyball player Molly Kruse cheers for her teammates during practice Wednesday at Hearnes Center. Kruse, a sophomore, entered a game for the first time this season when the team played Florida on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — Sophomore Molly Kruse, a former member of the MU club women's volleyball team, has become the newest member of the Missouri volleyball team.

“When I got the text, I called my dad, and I freaked out,” Kruse said.

Weekend matches

Missouri (18-9, 9-7 SEC)

at Texas A&M (21-5, 13-4 SEC)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. 
WHERE: College Station, Texas 

Missouri (18-9, 9-7 SEC)
at Mississippi State (4-21, 0-16 SEC)
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. 
WHERE: Starkville, Miss. 

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Missouri's team, an NCAA Division I program, has been playing with a thin roster after one player left the team and another decided to take a leave of absence for personal reasons. So the Tigers turned to the club team, a program for MU students who have an interest in the sport.

It all started with a text message from Susan Kreklow, the director of the Missouri volleyball team. Soon after meeting with team officials, Kruse began practicing with the Tigers.

Krus played volleyball for Lindbergh High School and during her senior year for High Performance Volleyball Club, a junior-amateur volleyball organization in St. Louis that Tigers freshman middle blocker Lydia Ely also played for.

“I wanted to stay involved with volleyball. I just didn’t know how much I wanted it,” Kruse said about the decision she faced after high school. “I knew Division I was going to be very intense, and I didn’t know if I could handle that.”

Kruse decided against pursuing a spot on a Division I program, and during her first year as a student at MU she joined the club team instead. After being asked to play with the Missouri team, Kruse realized that she could not turn down the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Although optimistic about her new position as a defensive specialist for the Tigers, Kruse is still unsure about her future in the role. She said that she has yet to confirm how long her stay with the Tigers will be.

A biological sciences major, Kruse said that because her academic duties can be demanding, she will have to tightly prioritize her schedule as a member of the Tigers. If she has to make a choice between her education and playing for the team, she said that she knows what choice she would make.

“I think that schooling is always more important, so I’d chose school,” Kruse said.

Kruse will travel with the team for the first time this weekend for Southeastern Conference games at Texas A&M and Mississippi State. She said she is excited and a little nervous about her first experience as an official Tiger.