Crimson and Blue Match Showcases New Jayhawks

Aug. 18, 2012

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M. BealLAWRENCE, Kan. –Solid alumni support and plenty of offense highlighted the afternoon as the Kansas volleyball team unofficially kicked off the 2012 season with its annual Crimson and Blue match, Saturday at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Head coach Ray Bechard and assistant coaches Laura “Bird” Kuhn and Todd Chamberlain split this year’s team into a Crimson squad and a Blue squad. The two squared off for four sets, mixing up different combinations for a live-action test run before the Jayhawks officially open the season on Friday.

The Blue team, guided by Kuhn, battled back from a first-set loss to take the next three and claim the match, 3-1.

“Everybody was a little anxious and there were some unforced errors, but that’s why we do this – to get some of those things out of the way,” Bechard said. “I thought we played very hard. There were a lot of good rallies, which is a sign that we’re playing hard but that also says something about our execution, too. We did see some solid things today.”

Redshirt junior Catherine Carmichael displayed many of the solid aspects Bechard referred to, knocking down 16 kills with the Blue team and 17 overall. Sophomore Sara McClintonracked up 13 kills with the Blue team and four more when playing for the Crimson squad as the duo led the floor with 17 total kills apiece.

Leading the newcomers, senior Sylvia Bullock and freshman Janae Hall teamed up for 13 combined kills for the Blue team.

In the middle, redshirt junior Caroline Jarmoc tallied 11 kills and a solo block on the Blue side. Meanwhile, junior Jessie Allen led the floor with five block assists in addition to her nine kills for the Crimson team, displaying the offensive balance on both sides of the floor.

The three Jayhawk setters played interchangeably on both squads. Junior Erin McNorton played primarily for the Blue side and totaled a team-high 44 assists on Saturday.

Defensively, junior Brianne Riley led both teams with 20 digs, playing Blue’s libero role. Senior Morgan Boub manned the libero position for the Crimson side, totaling 15 digs. Juniors Amy Wehrs and Jaime Mathieu dug up 16 and 15 balls, respectively.

Between sets two and three, nearly 20 former Jayhawk volleyball players and coaches were recognized on the court for their time and dedication to the program. A reception in their honor followed the match.

Kansas officially kicks off the season on Friday, Aug. 24 against Northwestern State at 4:30 p.m. in its first match of the Arkansas Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark. The Jayhawks will also take on Tennessee-Martin and tournament-host Arkansas in their opening weekend.