Volleyball team defeats Kangaroos, former KU assistant coach returns
- Sep. 4, 2012
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The Kansas volleyball team defeated the University of Missouri, Kansas City Kangaroos 3-0 Tuesday at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, spoiling the return of the Kangaroos’ head coach Christi Posey, a former Jayhawk assistant coach.
The Jayhawks began the first set on a 6-2 run, which set the standard for the rest of the match. They never trailed in the first set, which they won 25-15, or the second set, which finished 25-17. The team briefly trailed in the third set but still handily won 25-17.
“I thought our blocking set the tone in the first set,” Kansas coach Ray Bechard said. “We blocked six balls (in the first set) and I think that put them back on their heels a little bit. I thought they changed offensively a little bit what they were doing.”
Although Bechard said his team could have been more efficient, the Jayhawks’ .275 hitting percentage was above their season average of .266, and was easily better than UMKC’s .045 hitting percentage.
They also had more assists than UMKC (42-23) and digs (59-36). Junior libero Brianne Riley finished the game with 17 digs, which moved her into the top 10 in Jayhawk history for career digs.
“I think we’ve been real scrappy this year,” Riley said of the Jayhawks’ defense. “I’ve said it before, but we’re all veterans back there, and we work really well together.”
During the young season, multiple Jayhawks have frequently threatened the 10 kill (otherwise known as a spike) mark each match. Against the Kangaroos, only two players had at least 10 kills, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc and freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery. Jarmoc had 16 kills, tying a career high, and Dockery had 13 kills, easily setting a career high.
“It was just working in transition again, getting my feet to the ball,” Jarmoc said. “I was trying to emphasize going behind the setter and just driving and getting kills.”
The Jayhawks also varied their lineup this match and played natural setters juniors Erin McNorton and Kara Wehrs at the same time. Wehrs received extensive playing time as an outside hitter and contributed two kills, a dig and a block assist.
Graduate student Sylvia Bullock also received her first time on the court as a Jayhawk late in the first set. Sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton, who was named to the Kansas Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament team, didn’t play.
“The roster that was ready yesterday (Monday) is the roster we went with,” Bechard said. “And as you go through these pre-conference tournaments where you’re playing a lot, you deal with certain things, just dinged up or a little injury here or there. It was an opportunity for some other folks, and that’s what we needed.”
The match was the first time Posey coached in Horejsi without wearing crimson and blue. Posey is in her second year as the UMKC head coach after serving 11 years as an assistant to Bechard at Kansas.
“We visited before, and I’m sure we’ll visit a little bit after,” Bechard said. “During the match, she’s about what I thought she’d be. Pretty intense, pretty fired up, and her team would play hard. I’m just really proud of her.”
The Jayhawks will host the Jayhawk Invitational this weekend at home. They will open the tournament against the College of Charleston Friday at 11:30 a.m., continue at Arizona State Friday night at 7:30 and finish against Wyoming at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
— Edited by Allison Kohn