Jayhawks Welcome Former Assistant, UMKC for Midweek Match
Sept. 3, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – UMKC will make its first trip back to Lawrence since Christi Posey, longtime assistant to Kansas head coach Ray Bechard, took over the volleyball program when the Jayhawks host the `Roos at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
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Tuesday night’s match will stream live – video and audio – on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. The live audio stream will be available free of charge, while the audio and video combination requires a subscription fee. Kyle West will have the call.
Fans can always track the Jayhawks on GameTracker or by following JayhawkVball on Twitter.
The Jayhawks are 29-1 in the all-time series against the ‘Roos that dates back to the 1975 season. The two last met on Aug. 31, 2010 when Kansas took the match in three sets.
Since his arrival at Kansas, Bechard and the Jayhawks have played against UMKC in each of 15 seasons – with the exception of Posey’s inaugural season in 2011.
KANSAS (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)
In the middle of a seven-match homestand, the Jayhawks clinched their first pre-conference tournament of the season by rolling through the Kansas Volleyball Invitational, 3-0. KU swept a feisty Sam Houston State squad in the first match of the weekend. The Jayhawks went on to topple a Tulsa team receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll in dramatic fashion before capping the weekend with a four-set win over Arkansas State for the title.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc was named the Tournament MVP after a weekend of incredible numbers. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native averaged more than four kills per set using a .506 attack percentage. Equally lethal on defense, Jarmoc tallied 18 blocks over the weekend, including a career-high tying nine against Arkansas State in the Kansas Invitational title match. Overall, the All-Big 12 Preseason Team selection leads the team with 3.76 kills and 1.43 blocks per set, while her .422 hitting percentage ranks second in the Big 12.
She has plenty of help as the Jayhawks have displayed a balanced offense through the early weeks of the season. On Saturday against Arkansas State, four different Jayhawks tallied double-digit kills. On the outside, sophomore Sara McClinton is right behind Jarmoc for the team-lead, hitting over .400 for the season with 3.71 kills per set. Her 43 kills and .402 attack percentage for the weekend earned her All-Tournament honors for the first time in her career.
The Jayhawks suffered their first loss earlier than last season, but have only grown from it. With their backs against the wall against Tulsa, a second-round NCAA Tournament team last season and out of substitutions, the Jayhawks rallied from a 23-19 deficit in the fourth set to defeat the Golden Hurricane in the decisive frame, 27-25.
Heading into the week, the Jayhawks are second in the league with their collective .279 hitting percentage, trailing only No. 2 Texas (.310). Kansas leads the Big 12 in kills per set (15.00), assists per set (14.14) and digs (16.10) – thanks in large part to housing the Big 12 leader in assists (Erin McNorton, 12.71 per set) and digs (Brianne Riley, 5.57 pet set).
McNorton also earned her first-career All-Tournament honors following the Kansas Invitational, while Riley crossed the 1,000 career digs mark in the Jayhawks’ last time out.
UMKC (5-3, 0-0 Summit League)
Led by Posey, in her second season after spending 11 seasons as an assistant at Kansas, the Kangaroo volleyball team was picked to finish seventh in The Summit League’s annual preseason poll in a vote by the league’s head coaches. The ‘Roos, who finished the 2011 season with a 12-17 record overall and a 6-12 mark in league play.
In 2012, the `Roos bring a 5-3 record into Tuesday’s contest, following a 3-1 showing at the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic last weekend. UMKC defeated Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast and George Washington before falling the Wyoming in the championship match. KU will welcome Wyoming to the Jayhawk Classic this weekend.
Senior outside hitter Emily Lucas leads the team with 76 kills (2.81 per set), while freshman libero Taryn Miller is holding down the fort on the defensive side with 4.85 digs per set. The rookie also sets the tone from the service with a team-best 14 aces.
As a unit, UMKC is hitting .176 and blocking 1.63 balls per set.
Head coach Ray Bechard
On facing Christi Posey for the first time as an opposing head coach:
“First and foremost, we’re proud of her. She gave a lot of time, energy and sweat to this program. She stayed the course as she continued to try to climb the professional ladder. She had a lot of patience through it all. She landed a job where I know she’ll do an outstanding job and they’re already out to a good start this season. We wish her extremely good luck for every match except one.
Once the match starts, we have to focus on what we have to do. We have to get better. We’re excited for her to be here, but she will have her team pumped up and ready to go and we have to have a good response to that.”
On his team playing a lot of volleyball in a week’s time:
“We’ll practice today and work on some things that were problematic over the weekend. This midweek is a little bit of a different scenario, but this is much like the schedule we’ll have once Big 12 play starts. Obviously, we won’t play three times per weekend, but we’ll have to get geared up in the middle of the week.
On Brianne Riley hitting the 1,000 career-dig mark:
“I didn’t know that, but that’s great for her. That’s probably the earliest that anyone’s ever reached it. She’d also be the first to tell you that she should’ve dug a few more balls against Arkansas State. We’ll continue to challenge her. She’s already doing great things for us as our defensive captain and we anticipate many more things to come from her in her career here.”
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