KANSAS CITY ROYALS CAREER FAIR

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The Kansas City Royals are excited to announce the Inaugural Career Fair taking place inside the Diamond Club at Kauffman Stadium on Friday, April 29, 2011 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Looking for a job, internship, or a career change? Join the Kansas City Royals and other business leaders for a unique networking opportunity to connect with representatives from a variety of corporate businesses and organizations. Fees and Game Information: $13.00 Career Fair Registration. Cost includes admittance to the Career Fair and a ticket to the Royals vs. Twins Game at 7:10 p.m. on April 29, 2011. For more information on the Royals Career Fair please contact Laurie Ambroson at (816) 504-4390 or email laurie.ambroson@royals.com.

Sweeney, Figueroa Win Big 12 Honors

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The Big 12 Conference announced today the 2010-11 Big 12 Swimming and Diving postseason awards, and two Tigers were selected to receive postseason honors. Jamie Sweeney received the honor of Big 12 Women's Diving Coach of the Year for the first time, while freshman Loren Figueroa also nabbed her first Women's Diver of the Year honor for the conference.

Rise Finishes as National Runner-Up

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With one event left in the heptathlon at the 2011 Indoor NCAA Championships, senior Lars Rise (Trodheim, Norway) found himself in fourth place. Rise was sitting in the middle of a logjam - 62 points separated the second place and seventh place competitors. Rise ran a huge five-second personal-best of 2:40.92 for 863 points in the 1,000m run to jump over two competitors and finish the event as the national runner-up.

Soccer 5k this Sunday!

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3rd Annual Tiger Trot 5K Run/Walk Benefitting True North 9:00 A.M., Sunday April 17, 2011 at Memorial Stadium $25 per person or pledge a dollar amount per mile* (Donations also Accepted) A portion of the proceeds will benefit True North in Columbia, Mo. T-Shirts and Prizes for participants. Please contact Shaunna Daugherty @ daughertys@missouri.edu with any questions and for registration details and visit WeAreMizzouSoccer.com for further detail.

Six Tigers Earn Academic Awards

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Six Missouri Gymnasts have been honored by the Big 12 conference for their academic achievement over the past year. Five Tigers have been named to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 first team and one to the second team. Juniors Mary Burke and Allie Heizelman earned first team honors along with sophomore teammates Sandra Ostad, Lauren Swankoski and Tori Howard. Senior Alex Gold was named to the All-Big 12 second team as well.

Bouchard Takes Bronze Twice at World Trials

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Dominique Bouchard posts lifetime best finish in first event of the competition, and qualifies for World Games in the 200 back. Bouchard qualified for the World University Games with her bronze medal finish in the 200 back Saturday. She finished the event in 2:10.30, just ahead of fellow Missouri swimmer Lauren Lavigna, who finished fourth in 2:10.80. Bouchard will represent Canada at the Games held in August. Lavigna also led off a relay with her club team, earning a gold medal and setting a new Canadian record.

Sophomore Jace Long claims second victory of the spring season

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Jace Long (Dixon, Mo.) led Missouri Golf to its third consecutive victory of the spring season as he shot a second-round 67 and an even-par 72 to win the 2011 Arkansas-Little Rock First Tee Classic on Tuesday afternoon in Little Rock, Ark. The 2011 First Tee Classic was played at the par-72, 7,326-yard Chenal Country Club. The victory was Long's second straight for Head Coach Mark Leroux's club. Long won the Jackrabbit Invitational on March 15 in Las Vegas.

Bradley Takes Third, Schavrien Sixth

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Junior Dom Bradley picked up two wins to secure third place while senior Todd Schavrien finished in sixth as the Tiger wrestling team wrapped up the 2011 NCAA Championships. Bradley is the second heavyweight All-American in program history, joining two-time honoree and National Champion Mark Ellis. Bradley finished the year with a 30-4 record. Schavrien finished 30-9 in his senior season, and wrapped up his career with an 86-44 record while earning his first ever All-America honors along the way.


By MATT DASILVA

The University of Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center in Cedar Falls has a sort of bandbox quality. Three thousand fans can sound like 10,000.
But the University of Missouri women’s volleyball players did not let the noise rattle them. Their five-set victory (25-19, 17-25, 26-24, 26-28, 15-10) over host Northern Iowa last week in the first round of the 64-team national tournament was the event’s biggest upset — an unseeded team beating a No. 5 — since the N.C.A.A. started seeding a portion of the field in 2000.

“Epic,” Missouri’s head coach, Wayne Kreklow, called it in a telephone interview. “It was so loud you could hardly hear yourself.”

Less than 24 hours later, the Tigers survived a scare to defeat unseeded Northwestern in four sets. “I compare it to coming off the sugar high and all of a sudden, you crash,” he said. “But we caught our second wind.”

With that victory, the Tigers advanced to Friday’s regional semifinals at Penn State, where they will face 12th-seeded Duke.

Underdogs again. It is a familiar, if not preferred, role for Team Kreklow. That is what the volleyball community calls Kreklow and his wife, Susan, who arrived in 2000 to take over a program that had drifted to the bottom of the Big 12. They came from across town, where as co-head coaches they had led Columbia College to N.A.I.A. championships in 1998 and 1999.

The husband-wife tandem wasted no time turning around the Tigers, who as recently as 1996 were 0-28. Under the Kreklows, Missouri posted three straight 20-win seasons (2000, 2001 and 2002) for the first time since the 1980s.

Their titles have changed over time. Susan Kreklow started as the head coach, with Wayne serving as associate head coach. They swapped positions in 2005 for more flexibility to raise their three children, the oldest of whom, Rick, is a freshman on the Missouri basketball team.

That 2005 season was the last time Missouri advanced this far. The Tigers fell just short of the national semifinals, losing to Tennessee in a regional final.

“I don’t think we really planned it,” Wayne Kreklow said of coaching with his wife. “It just kind of fell together.”

In 2007, Susan moved behind the scenes to become director of volleyball operations, which was difficult for her because it limited her courtside role. Otherwise, she said, the title changes are semantics.

“We do what we do,” she said. “Titles change to fit the role. Part of the reason it does work is because we work together. Coaching a Division I program has a lot of time demands. It’s not really a job. It’s a lifestyle.”

Wayne, a basketball all-American at Drake who won an N.B.A. title as a reserve for the Boston Celtics in 1980-81, met Susan when they played on the Midwest postcollegiate club volleyball circuit. Both were high school coaches and teachers at the time.

“They’re my parents away from home,” said Catie Wilson, a senior middle blocker. “They know how to win and how to coach us in a positive way. Wayne will be sitting there in a timeout telling us whatever we’ve got to do to win the game, and Susan will be there tapping him on the shoulder telling him, ‘You’ve got five seconds to get these girls back on the court.’ ”

The Kreklow family dynamic has evolved this season with the addition of the freshman setter Molly Kreklow, their niece, who graduated from high school early and enrolled at Missouri last January in part to try to preempt any misgivings upperclassmen might have because of her last name. Kreklow, from Delano, Minn., arrived on campus as the nation’s 20th-ranked recruit.

“One of the first things I thought about was I really have to establish a relationship with everybody and prove myself as a good player,” she said. “Give them anything to doubt, and they’re going to take that opportunity.”

Setters play the most visible role on the court. They control the tempo of the offense, and they determine which player will attack the ball or try to catch the opposing defense off guard with a dump for the kill.

With Kreklow setting, the Tigers have become more aggressive and efficient on offense, traits they lacked when they missed the N.C.A.A. tournament the last two seasons.

A dislocated right pinkie forced Kreklow to block with one hand and to serve underhand at the beginning of this season. The injury broke skin and required surgical insertion of a titanium pin, procedures she underwent with her aunt at her side.

“But I would have been there with any player,” Susan Kreklow said. “That’s part of what we do.”

Molly Kreklow’s setting has not suffered. She leads Missouri with 12 double-doubles in 32 matches and ranked second in the Big 12 in assists per set despite also playing with a stress fracture in her right foot that may require surgery after the season.

The outside hitter Julianna Klein, a fifth-year senior who had decisive kills in the third and fifth games of the upset of Northern Iowa, said that Kreklow stepped right in. “It was just seamless, her transition into our team,” Klein said. “It helps that Molly has been distributing the ball well among hitters. We’re all pretty happy.”

It also helped that Kreklow knew the coaches. But she tries to keep family matters separate.

“My roommate is a girl on the team,” Kreklow said. “I said, ‘Yeah, my uncle said. ...’ And she said, ‘You have an uncle that lives in Missouri?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, Wayne.’ It’s something I’ve tried to be careful with so people don’t get put off.”

Kreklow’s forthright approach on and off the court might be the best indicator that she is, well, a Kreklow. Her approach is similar to the one Wayne Kreklow said he took when he and his wife entered what he called the dog-eat-dog world of major college athletics and again as they have seen top-level programs invest more substantially in their sport.

“It was an opportunity to see if you could be successful at a really high level while still trying to operate with some character,” he said. “I wanted to prove you could be successful, still be a good person and account for people in the program — and maybe not be the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs kind of person that seems to be more and more prevalent as the money increases.”

1 Response to "New York Times: Mizzou Volleyball Resurgence Built on Family"

  1. Carl Said,

    The information is pretty good to read about the University of Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center,also the facts are just great.
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