Jayhawks Move Past Mountaineers to Remain Undefeated
LAWRENCE, Kan. –Six different Jayhawks chipped in to rack up 47 kills en route to sweeping Appalachian State in the final match of day at the Jayhawk Invitational inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center, 25-18, 25-14, 25-20.
More than 1,000 fans were on hand to create a distinct home court advantage and watch Kansas move to 5-0 on the season, Friday evening. The Jayhawk faithful were also treated to a well-executed offensive performance as KU posted a .317 attack percentage as a team while holding the visiting Mountaineers (3-3) to .105.
“The players get excited when the band shows up,” head coach Ray Bechardsaid. “They showed up in big numbers tonight and got it rolling in here. Appalachian State has a lot of players so they brought a lot fans. Plus, I was impressed with the number of students here, too. It was fun Friday night and a great way to get things going.”
For the second time on Friday, senior outside hitter Allison Mayfield led the offensive effort, cranking out 18 kills and a service ace. She brought her season average to a team-leading 4.69 kills per set. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Caroline Jarmocalso finished the evening with double-digit kills (11) while racking up six digs and a pair of block assists.
Using an evenly distributed defensive effort, Kansas recorded 52 digs, led by sophomore libero Brianne Riley’s 13. Six different Jayhawks dug at least five attacks in the victory. Additionally, sophomore setter Erin McNorton made a splash in her first appearance of the year. She dished out five assists, including a pair to fellow setter, sophomore Kara Wehrs.
“She can change the game in the way she delivers the ball,” Bechard said. “Plus, it allows us to have another attacker in Kara (Wehrs) and provides some nice offense there.”
The Jayhawks and Mountaineers traded points early on in the first set, with KU grabbing a 7-3 lead from one of Mayfield’s eight first-set kills. Neither team would get more than a five-point lead until Kansas was able to reel off three straight to make it 14-7.
Bechard’s squad would maintain the lead despite the Mountaineers chipping away, getting it as close as 20-17. A crucial block assist by Jarmoc and Kara Wehrsmade it 22-17 as Kansas went on to close out the set 25-18.
An early ace by Jarmoc gave Kansas their first lead of the set, 3-2. ASU would keep it close despite some physical play from the Jayhawks, including a powerful swing from junior middle blocker Tayler Tolefreeinto the feet of a Mountaineer defender to make it 9-6. Appalachian State kept it close until Kansas went on a 4-0 run to and stretched the lead, 19-13. The Hawks would allow the Mountaineers just one more point in the second set as they would close them out 25-14 and go up two sets to none.
Kansas took an early third set lead and once again the Mountaineers would make sure it stayed close, knotting the score in the early points and taking their first lead of the set, 9-8. The set would go back and forth, with eight ties and four lead changes.
With a slim lead, Jarmoc sparked the final rally when she put an emphatic kill past the Mountaineer defense to make it 19-17. Appalachian State would tie it up again at 19-19, but Kansas would surge ahead using consecutive kills from Mayfield and Tolefree to clinch the set, and the victory, 25-20.
Kansas and South Dakota State (5-1) will square off in the Jayhawk Invitational’s final match. First serve is set for 1 p.m., with the schedule pending on the preceding match between Belmont and Appalachian State.
Fans can watch the webcast on Jayhawk All-Access.