Juliana Godoi is loud.
“I am vocal,” Godoi said. “I am always talking to the girls, telling them they are doing good and what to do next.”
Godoi will attempt to lead the Missouri volleyball team to its second straight win at 7 tonight at Hearnes Center. The Tigers host Big 12 opponent Iowa State (11-17, 3-14).
Godoi is making the most of her second opportunity to play Division I volleyball. She never got on the court at the University of Southern Mississippi.
While Godoi was at Southern Mississippi, an error was made in determining her eligibility, and she could not play for the Golden Eagles.
She got that chance at Missouri (17-9, 10-7) when Columbia College coach Susan Kreklow became the Tigers’ coach in the spring of 2000. Godoi stayed at Columbia College for the 2000 season.
“When I played at Columbia College, our team was much better than everybody else,” Godoi said. “There wasn’t very good competition, except for one or two teams from California. But when you come to a D-I team, especially in the Big 12, you have 12 good teams in your conference. The level of competition is so much better.”
Godoi said there was nothing left to accomplish with the Cougars. In her two seasons at Columbia College, the Cougars won the NAIA national championship and finished second.
“I always wanted to play D-I,” Godoi said. “The fact that they (the Kreklows) are here and are the coaches here made the biggest difference.”
Kreklow knew Godoi from the 1999 season at Columbia College and knew that Godoi would fit with the Tigers.
“Juliana is just very charismatic,” Kreklow said. “I think she just has a passion for the game, and she plays and practices that way every day. She has a lot of energy and always has a smile on her face.”
Junior Sara Parks also transferred to Missouri, leaving the University of Nebraska. Kreklow said that when the MU coaches look at possible transfer players, they look beyond what the player contributes on the court.
“The No. 1 thing we look at is what kind of people are they,” Kreklow said. “It’s real important when you are putting a program together, that you look at the kind of people you are recruiting to put in your program.”
Despite the success the Tigers have had with transfers, Kreklow said in an ideal situation MU would take fewer transfers. She would like to recruit freshmen who could then redshirt for a season before playing.
“There are always situations in which players are leaving programs for one reason or another,” Kreklow said. “And in certain situations that could be a very positive addition for your team and your program.”
SMITH LEAVES: Senior Mary Lauren Smith has left the Tigers for personal reasons. Smith aggravated an abdominal strain at Kansas State on Oct. 8 and has not played since.
ACADEMIC HONORS: Four Tigers were named to the Academic All-Big 12 team, and a fifth made the second team.
Godoi, Lisa Boyd, Lindsey Hunter and Shen Danru made the first team, and Lindsey Noll was named to the second team.