Jayhawks Open 2009 Volleyball Season at MTSU Invitational
Aug. 25, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After three weeks of practice the University of Kansas volleyball team will finally take the court Friday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. to open its season at Middle Tennessee State. The Jayhawks, who are participating in the MTSU Invitational, will play Xavier and Murray State on Saturday to conclude the tournament.
Live stats will be available for all matches at www.goblueraiders.com. Additionally, live streaming for KU’s match versus MTSU will be available for a fee.
» Kansas returns five starters, plus its libero, along with 11 letterwinners overall from its 2008 team. KU finished 13-16 overall and 7-13 in the Big 12 last season.
» The Jayhawks have four newcomers on their 2009 roster- Morgan Boub, Catherine Carmichael, Caroline Jarmoc and Tayler Tolefree.
» The Jayhawks’ top offensive threat returns in junior Karina Garlington, while the team’s defensive specialist Melissa Manda is also back.
» KU went 6-3 in non-conference action last season. The Jayhawks are 92-17 (.844) all-time in regular season non-conference matches under head coach Ray Bechard.
KU returns all but one starter from last season, while also bringing back third-year libero Melissa Manda. Seniors Brittany Williams, Katie Martincich, Melissa Grieb, junior Karina Garlington, who was fifth in the Big 12 in 2008 with 3.66 kps, and All-Big 12 Freshman Team selection Nicole Tate all return from the Jayhawks’ 2008 starting rotation.
Four talented newcomers have joined the Kansas volleyball team in 2009. KU brought in freshmen middle blockers Catherine Carmichael, Caroline Jarmoc and Tayler Tolefree to help fill the void left by graduated middle blockers Savannah Noyes and Natalie Uhart. Defensive specialist Morgan Boub is also new to the team this season adding more depth to an experienced back row.
KU’s schedule features six NCAA Tournament teams from 2008, including semifinalist participants Nebraska and Texas. Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas State and Middle Tennessee State also made postseason appearances in last year’s tournament.
In addition, four opponents are ranked in the AVCA preseason poll- Texas (2), Nebraska (3), Iowa State (13) and Kansas State (22). Four more opponents- Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma and Middle Tennessee State- are receiving votes.
Scouting the Opponents
Middle Tennessee State finished 26-7 last season to earn its third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, where the Blue Raiders advanced to the second round. MTSU, which placed second in the Sun Belt Conference, returns five starters along with its libero and has eight letterwinners back overall. Matt Peck is in his sixth season as head coach of the Blue Raiders and has an 89-37 all-time record with the school. He is 632-233 overall in 25 years as a head coach.
Series Record: KU won the only meeting with MTSU, a 3-0 sweep on Aug. 31, 2001, in Charlotte, N.C.
Xavier returns 10 letter winners, including all six starters, from a team that went 16-15 in 2008. The Musketeers finished 8-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference to place third in the west division.Floyd Deaton enters his 20th season at the helm of the Xavier volleyball program and owns a 391-234 all-time record there.
Series Record: Xavier leads 1-0 in the all-time series with Kansas. The teams’ only meeting came on Oct. 20, 1984, a 3-1 Musketeer victory.
Kansas and Murray State will be meeting for the first time on the volleyball court in this weekend’s Middle Tennessee Invitational.
The Jayhawks made their 2009 debut last weekend in KU’s annual alumni scrimmage. Kansas swept the alumni 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-13) at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Junior Karina Garlington picked up right where she left off leading the team with nine kills on the evening. Similarly, junior Melissa Manda paced the defense digging up a team-high 10 digs. For the match, KU hit .289 while holding the alumni to just a .022 attack percentage. Kansas also tallied 37 kills compared to the alumni’s 24.
Did You Know?
Freshman Caroline Jarmoc is only the second player in KU volleyball history to hail from Canada. In 2001, Kelsi Andrew-Wasylik, a Unionville, Ontario native, was listed on the Jayhawks’ roster. (Note- Andrew-Wasylik did not participate in any matches.)
In Case You Forgot
Last season, two significant changes took place at the collegiate volleyball level. The term “game” was replaced with the term “set.” Also, sets one through four were changed to a 25-point format instead of a 30-point format.
Kansas volleyball will open its 2009 home season Sept. 4-5 when it hosts the Jayhawk Invitational. KU will open the tournament Friday with matches versus Lipscomb and Florida International at noon and 7 p.m., respectively. The Jayhawks will then conclude the weekend with a 1 p.m. contest against Creighton on Saturday.