Monday Musings - The Positivity Edition

Holy smokes were there a lot of different Mizzou sports in action this past week and weekend.  I will do my best to touch upon all of them, though football will likely be touched upon the least since I saw only one drive from each team.  No sense in talking about something if I did not see it, so I'll just kind of gloss over it at best.  However, plenty of other things to talk about, so let's get to talking.

Football:

....yeah....that's about all I got.  As mentioned above and on the national thread, I had a wedding and a reception to attend on Saturday.  The reception started at 6:30, and so I got to see the end of the Penn State/Michigan game and the first drive of each team before the cocktail hour ended.  And while there were at least TWO people at the reception with portable televisions, never mind all the iPhones, I never went back out to see another minute of the game.  In fact, I never even knew what the final score was until reaching the bar after 11pm.  At any rate, as an old friend of mine texted me early during the game, "It is what it is".  I cannot really put any other touch on it.  It was what it was. 

Anyway, Homecoming at Ol' Mizzou is upon us and I will be hitting town to start my celebration on Thursday afternoon.  I only saw the final score of the CU/kSU game, so I doubt I am going to put a lot of thought to the game.  A 5:30 p.m. start time means the bloody marys will be enjoyed a little later than normal, but it should be a great home crowd and hopefully some great (and hopefully warn enough into the evening) weather.  Just two home games remain in the wonderful careers of this senior class. 

Volleyball:

The week really about as well as could be expected for the Tigers, as they got out earlier in the week with a great effort against rival kU, coming out on top of the Hawks 3-1.  The Tigers hit .274 for the match, and were paced by 19 kills from Julianna Klein and 16 kills on .438 hitting from Wendy Wang.  Caitlyn Vann once again was a diggin' fool in the back, getting 26 of them and Annie Lopez added 12.  A nice win for the ladies to get them back to .500 overall at 9-9 and put them at 3-5 in conference.

However, the weekend brought a trip down to Austin to take on the 3rd ranked UT Longhorns.  Mizzou did not have much for the Horns, falling straight sets 3-0.  The Tigers hit well in the second frame, at over .200 though falling 25-20.  However, they hit .030 in the first and hit for a negative percentage in the 3rd as they only combined for 27 points in those other two frames.  They were led with 9 kills by Julianna Klein on .154 hitting and Klein also led in digs with 11.  This week, the Tigers will return home to take on 10-8/4-5 Colorado before heading out again this coming weekend to Ames to take on the 12-8/4-5 Cyclones.  Both winnable games for the 9-10/3-6 Tigers, but the team needs to step up and just flat play better.

Soccer:

Strange schedule for the Tigers, as they were home and out of conference to start the weekend, but on the road and in conference to finish it.  On Friday night, the Tigers took on Francis Marion...which is a school and not just one person, though the score of 6-1 Tigers might say different.  Six different goal scorers for the Tigers, but a fairly costly game, as they lost the services of their assist leader Michelle Collins for at least one game with a hip flexor.  Collins did start the scoring against the Patriots with a goal in the 13th minute, her 5th of the season.  Her teammates of Alysha Bonnick (7th) and  Kat Tarr (1st) would add goals in the first and Bree Thornton (2nd), Kari Adam (2nd) and Krista Kruse (1st) would add goals in the 2nd.  Ashley Hamblin tacked on two assists for the Tigers.

Sunday would see the ladies travel down to College Station to take on the 6th ranked Aggies.  aTm got  upset by kU on Friday, but that was in Lawrence and the Sunday found the Aggies with an 18-game home conference winning streak.  Mizzou would get out to a great start in this important conference matchup with two goals in the first period.  The first goal was scored off a great settle from in the box by Ashley Hamblin for her 1st goal of the season in the 30th minute from a gorgeous cross from Candace Ruff.  Kari Adam would add her 3rd of the season on a hard shot with just a couple of moments left in the half off a nice feed from Hamblin. 

Moving to the 2nd half, aTm controlled the action to start the half just as they did in the first half.  However, aTm controlled the action deep into the 2nd half, getting a number of chances on Tasha Dittamore all throughout the period.  However, the Tiger defense held very strong (which is a lovely sign) and they were able to show some great gritt and toughness and hung on through the pressure.  A free kick would be finished from Krista Kruse with less than three minutes to go to give Mizzou a 3-0 lead and finish.  A very impressive result which moved the Tigers up in the conferenceat 5-2 and 11-4 overall and should see them climb the national standings.

The Tigers will return home to take on Baylor on Friday evening before playing a very solid Texas team on Sunday in what should be a very important match at the top of the Big XII standings.  A home weekend sweep would certainly put the Tigers right in the thick of things for the conference title going into the final game of the season against kU.

Cross Country:

The harriers of Ol' Mizzou got back into action after quite the layoff, traveling out to Terre Haute, IN and the campus of Indiana State University where they competed in the Pre-National Meet.  The men had a pretty impressive outing, with junior Garrett Jeffries slicing 16 seconds off of his personal best to finish 35th overall in the race.  Junior Dan Hedgecock followed for the Tigers, with sophomore Dan Quigley taking 69 seconds off of his personal best to finish 3rd for the team.  Sophomore transfer Michael Pandolpho was close behind, with RS senior Michael Barrows finishing out the scorers for the Tigers.

On the ladies side, the Tigers saw super sophomore Kinsey Farren finish in first again for the Tigers, as she has in all races this season for the squad.  Her time saw her finish at 119th, with Emily Baker, Angela Potrykus, Jessica Armstrong and Aimee Bontee rounding out the group.  Up next for the squads will be a trip to Ames in two weekends to compete in the Big XII Championships, which will have some Border Stuff points on the line.

Women's Golf:

The ladies completed their competition early in the week down at Las Cruces, NM and saved their best for last, carding their best round of the three on the final day to catapult themselves to a solid 5th place finish.  Once again, it was junior Julia Potter leading the squad with a 3rd place finish, with freshman Hannah Lovelock going from a 1st round 81 to a final round 71 to end up in 15th.  Chelsea Schreiwer was decent in 29th, with Michelle Morgan and Madison Marcolla rounding out the scoring five for the Tigers.

Up next for the ladies will be a lovely trip to Vegas Baby Vegas this coming weekend to play in the Las Vegas Collegiate.  That will represent the end of the fall season for the ladies, who will not take to the course again until February.

Men's Swimming:

The action in the pool kicked off this past weekend for the Tigers as they hosted the 4th Annual Show Me Showdown.  Taking on squads from around the state of Missouri, the #21 men defeated all in-state comers, beating out 2nd place Drury by a very large 112 points and won 12 of 16 events.  The team had winners across almost all classes, with seniors Gilad Kaufman and Jake Hoffman picking up wins, along with junior Martin Cernasky and freshman Jan Konarzewski getting into the act as well.  Junior All-American Greg Destephen also picked up a number of wins over in the diving well on the day for the Tigers.

The men get right back to action this coming week and weekend, taking on aTm down in Lawrence, which will then host the Big XII Relays.  A win on Thursday or a 2nd place showing on Friday would give the Tigers a nice start.

Women's Swimming:

The ladies competed against the same in-state teams this past weekend and came away with the same result.  For the fourth time in as many Showdowns, the ladies took the win against an always solid Drury squad by 36 points.  Excelling for the Tigers was senior Lori Halverson who won on both relay teams and individual events.  Freshman Lisa Nathanson would follow suit with similar results.  Junior Molly Bolen and sophomre Morgan McCleery also won events, showing exciting depth across all years.  Senior All American Kendra Melnychuk got off to a great start like her male counterpart in winning multiple events in the diving well.

The ladies will make the same trip as the men, taking on aTm on Thursday before the Big XII Relays on Friday in Lawrence, KS.

Tennis:

The Tigers closed out their fall campaign with a trip out to New Mexico to participate in the New Mexico Invitational.  The ladies closed out the weekend with a perfect Sunday, as the teams of Giuggiolli/Ritchie, Mera/Weber, and Ayala/Modesto all won their final match yesterday.  On the singles side, the freshman Mera also won her final singles match in Flight A.  In Flight B, two Tigers made the finals, but decided to each take on an opponent from another school, with both Weber and Ayala each winning their match to be...um...co-champions I guess.  Kaitlyn Richie made it to the finals of Flight C, but fell in the finals to her opponent from k-State.

The ladies will start their normal season January 17th down in Florida at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational as they look to build upon a good season last year and a solid fall with the addition of Mera and further development of the freshman class of last season.

Random Thoughts:

  • While watching Mizzou/aTm soccer on ESPNU, I saw an ad that college hockey was starting that night.  REALLY?  ALREADY?
  • The Bears and Vikings both just scored again
  • After two tough weeks, a nice finish by Carl Edwards.  He wont (likely) win the Chase this year, but he definitely showed growth at the types of tracks he had not been strong on previously.  I think a title for him will come in the not-too-distant future
  • Nice job by the students at Penn State to go with a pink S amidst the block of blue.
  • The Jets let that one get away, but I am not sure I have ever seen anyone kick a football like Sea Bass kicked the game winner.  That would have been good from 60+.
  • Two more wins, one via shutout this past week for Martin Brodeur as the records (both all time wins and all time shutouts) get closer.  The Devils are off to a nice start though they still do not score a lot and their new/old additions of Rolston and Holik are a bit banged up
  • Good for you Tampa...you took a couple of BIG punches from the Red Sox over the previous few games and got up off the mat to win the fight.
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