COLUMBIA — A victory over No. 19 Kentucky garnered Missouri volleyball's Wayne Kreklow his 500th win as a head coach on Sunday.
The 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 win, which came against one of only two other nationally ranked teams in the Southeastern Conference (the other is Florida, at No. 5), put the No. 7 Tigers at 27-0.
But the season, like time, keeps rolling on, not leaving Kreklow and the Tigers much time to bask in their records.
"Right now, I don't think it means a whole lot," Kreklow said of his milestone win as a college coach. "But I'm sure at some point, when you got time to go back and reflect on it, it'll be a big thing to do it with this team, this year."
Kreklow's niece, senior setter Molly Kreklow, put up 39 assists against Kentucky to help her uncle get the win.
"Coach is the best coach I've ever had," Kreklow said. "He's family to me, literally and in this sense. He's really family to a lot of us here."
Junior middle blocker Whitney Little added 11 kills to the effort, matching star senior outside hitter Lisa Henning.
Wayne Kreklow said that visiting teams often look for the strongest players and that's why it's important that the rest of the team stepped up Sunday.
"The best players sometimes cancel each other out, and what decides the game, you know, are people that normally aren't the big stat leaders," he said.
Despite the team's unblemished season so far, the Tigers say they have to keep their heads level for their last seven regular season games.
"I feel like you can't really think of the stats," Little said. "At the same time, you can transfer it to confidence."
And even that confidence is tempered with the knowledge that the team is not invincible.
"It's in the back of everyone's mind," Little said. "It's not like a thing that is not spoken of. Before games, we're thinking, 'What's going to happen if we lose? How are we going to react to it? How are we going to come back from it?' And I think it definitely puts things in perspective."
The next challenge for the Tigers is a string of four away games at Auburn, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.
"In the SEC, everyone's good," Little said. "So any day, anyone can win or lose."