Jayhawks Claim Kansas Volleyball Invitational Title

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Tournament MVP Caroline Jarmoc led the Jayhawks on offense and defense as the Jayhawks took the Kansas Volleyball Invitational title, beating Arkansas State, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, 25-19, 28-30, 25-15, 25-17.

The redshirt junior, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada native, tied her career high in kills (16) for the second time over the weekend and was in on nine blocks, as the Jayhawks (5-1) defeated the Red Wolves (4-4) in four sets.

“Offensively, people had a hard time answering her,” head coach Ray Bechard said about Jarmoc’s MVP performance. “She continues to pick it up on defense and was changing the game with her block, she also created opportunities for us with her serve. She gave a well-rounded effort this weekend. It was fun, too, her mom was here and her sister surprised her so it was a really cool moment for her family to see that go down.”

Sophomore Sara McClinton and junior Erin McNorton were also named to the All-Tournament team. McClinton finished the match with 11 kills and a .375 hitting percentage, while McNorton tallied 136 assists for the weekend, including a career-high 57 on Friday night against Tulsa. The All-Tournament trio and the rest of the Jayhawks put it all together to take their first pre-conference invitational title of the season in front of nearly 1,200 fans.

“I’m jacked about it,” Bechard said about the fan support. “I can’t wait to get over to Memorial Stadium and see Coach Weis and his group go, I’m glad we could end it here on a good note. It’s great to see Jayhawk Nation out here. I love our band right now, too, I know they’re pulling double-duty today. If we continue to play at a high level, this is a really entertaining venue to come and watch the Jayhawks play.”

Arkansas State was lead by redshirt sophomore Taylor Szypulski who finished the match with 14 kills. Senior Kelsie Hodges also made a significant offensive contribution for the Red Wolves, tallying 12 kills on a .409 hitting percentage. Senior Allison Kearney also added 54 assists in defeat.

The opening set saw eight ties and three lead changes, before the Jayhawks were finally able to pull away toward the end of the set. Several service errors from Arkansas State and a string of kills from Jarmoc, put Kansas out in front and provided the Jayhawks with the energy they needed to pull away and finish the set 25-19. Jarmoc led the offensive onslaught in the first set, finishing with six kills and a .667 hitting percentage, while senior Tayler Tolefree added a perfect four kills in four attempts.

The Redwolves would lead for a majority of the second set, until a 3-0 run from the Jayhawks would tie the score at 16 and force an Arkansas State timeout. Another kill from Jarmoc out of the timeout would give the Jayhawks their first lead of the set 17-16. Back-and-forth play would continue for the rest of the set, resulting in 17 ties and eight lead changes. The

Red Wolves were finally able to put together a 3-0 run, while facing set point, to take the set 30-28 on a kill from Hodges, who tallied four kills for the set. Offensively, Tolefree continued to stay hot for the Jayhawks, adding five kills on seven attempts for a .714 hitting percentage in the set.

Coming out of the break, the tight play would continue with six early ties, until KU would use a 5-0 run to take an 11-6 lead and force a Red Wolves timeout. The Jayhawks would stay hot out of the timeout, adding three-straight points to extend their run to 8-0 and give them a 14-6 advantage. KU cruised for the remainder of the set and take it comfortably, 25-15, on a huge kill from Jarmoc. Jarmoc and redshirt junior Catherine Carmichael led the Jayhawks offensively in the set, both adding four kills on seven attempts. Junior Brianne Riley also added three digs, to give her 1,000 in her career at Kansas.

The Jayhawks would carry their momentum into the fourth set and build a 6-2 lead early. KU would maintain a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the set, thanks to solid team defense at the net and timely offense from Jarmoc, to take the set 25-17 and close out the match 3-1. Jarmoc would finish the match with 16 kills, tying her career high, and a .556 hitting percentage. Rounding out the offense, Tolefree and McClinton added 11 kills each while, McNorton would add 42 assists. Defensively the Jayhawks were lead by Jarmoc, who was in on nine blocks during the match.

The Jayhawks will take the court again next Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. where they will host UMKC at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas, MVP
Erin McNorton, Kansas
Sara McClinton, Kansas
Tyler Henderson, Tulsa
Jessica Adams, Tulsa
Allison Kearney, Arkansas State
Deveney Wells-Gibson, Sam Houston State

Friday: vs. Sam Houston State: KU, 3-0: 25-23, 25-22, 25-15
Friday: vs. (RV) Tulsa: KU, 3-1: 25-20, 23-25, 25-16, 27-25
Saturday: vs. Arkansas State: KU, 3-1: 25-19, 28-30, 25-15, 25-17
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