MUtigers.com: Perfection! No. 4 Tigers Run the Table with Sweep of Arkansas
The Missourian: Missouri volleyball defeats Arkansas for undefeated regular season
The Missourian: Missouri volleyball games wouldn't be the same without army of helpers
The Missourian: Growing up in the Kreklow family
KC Star: Missouri volleyball team wraps up undefeated regular season
KBIA Sports: Henning, Kreklow exit Mizzou volleyball as winners
The Maneater: Volleyball team adds Rick McGuire's sports psychology regimen
Mizzou Network: Highlights: Mizzou Sweeps Arkansas to Finish Regular Season Undefeated
I want you to click on the MUtigers.com link above, select the photo gallery link, and scroll to the final photo. And I dare your eyes not to well up a bit.
Before this year, the best season in Missouri history had to have been 2005, when the Kreklows' Tigers went 25-5 and made the Elite Eight. That was a phenomenal team, one I watched up close many times. Mizzou had the best setter in the country, nice variety, and a solid defense. But Mizzou still lost to Nebraska twice, got swept by Texas, and got upset by Colorado in five sets at home. The Tigers peaked at the right time, but there was room for improvement.
How do you improve this team? Obviously we don't know how the final chapter ends yet. We'll at least learn the plot structure of the final chapter on Sunday night during ESPNU's tourney selection show. (Watch party at Hearnes? Watch party at Hearnes.) But Mizzou barely even dropped a set this year, and while the 2013 SEC is not the 2005 Big 12 when it comes to volleyball, Mizzou took six of seven sets from a top-5 Florida team and absolutely obliterated No. 16 Kentucky in Lexington. This was the most dominant regular season run we've ever seen from a Missouri team, and honestly, if we include individual performances, only Ben Askren can compete with what we've witnessed from this team this year. The defense is brilliant, the offense is, like 2005, loaded with variety and good quarterbacking, and the depth of size and athleticism is staggering. This team has the best senior leadership you could ask for and enough young talent (seriously, watch how high Carly Kan jumps) to know this isn't the end of the road.
There's no need to say much more until we know how the book ends, but just as the 1993-94 basketball team will always be associated with the word "undefeated," this Mizzou Volleyball team will, too. What an incredible performance, ladies. Now it's time to get even better.