COLUMBIA — Missouri volleyball will welcome fans with leis and Kentucky with something to prove.
Missouri plays the Wildcats at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Tigers lost each of the three previous matches between the two teams — in 1984, 2008 and 2012.
Missouri volleyball will be broadcast live on Mediacom 22:
Nov. 3, 1:30 p.m. vs. Kentucky
Nov. 22, 6:30 p.m. vs. Mississippi State
But right now Missouri stands at 26-0. It holds the No. 7 spot in the national ranking. Senior Lisa Henning just broke Missouri's all-time kill record of 1,658 in Friday's win over Ole Miss. A win Sunday would be the 500th career win for Wayne Kreklow as a head coach. Missouri has proved its mettle again and again this season.
And the Tigers still have time for fun: Sunday is dubbed Hawaiian Day, partly to honor the two Hawaiians on the team, freshmen Loxley Keala and Carly Kan. Look for leis and, unrelated to the theme, volleyball trading cards when you enter Hearnes Center.
Kan and Keala are both excited.
"It's gonna be a big night for us anyway because Kentucky's really good," Keala said, and the team will have youth clinics before the game, too. "I think it's gonna be a really fun night, for everyone."
And the leis and music will remind her of home.
"Even though it is a little stereotypical, I love it," she said. "It's like 'Lilo and Stitch.'"
The Hawaiians both say the biggest difference between Missouri and Hawaii is the weather. But Keala has already picked out a favorite season so far: fall.
"One of the reasons I came here was to experience the four seasons," Keala said.
In addition to bringing a little bit of her home to Missouri, Kan was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Oct. 28.
"It's a really huge honor," Kan said. "I'm just going to keep working hard."
Kan attributed success to the whole team, maintaining the mentality that characterizes the players this year. Look for it again on the court Sunday.