Kansas Wins Jayhawk Classic, Jarmoc Named MVP

LAWRENCE, Kan. –¬†Redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc led all Jayhawks with 2.60 kills per set and a .512 attack percentage during the Jayhawk Classic to earn MVP honors and help the Kansas volleyball team go 3-0 during the weekend, including a sweep versus Chattanooga Saturday afternoon to conclude the tournament.

Jarmoc recorded eight kills with a .400 hitting efficiency in KU’s 3-0 win versus UTC as the Jayhawks improved to 7-0 overall, its best start since opening its 2004 season 8-0. Chattanooga fell to Kansas by scores of 29-27, 25-22 and 25-19 as it dropped to 0-6 on the year.

Joining Jarmoc on the all-tournament team was teammates Allison Mayfield and Kara Wehrs. Mayfield, a junior outside hitter, chipped in eight kills, seven digs and two blocks in Saturday’s victory, while Wehrs had 32 assists to go along with another strong offensive outing. The freshman setter collected six kills and no errors for a .667 attack percentage as well as a pair of service aces.

“I was happy with the way we responded in end-game situations,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “It wasn’t our best effort from an execution standpoint. I thought there were some plays that defined the match. Some effort plays that sometimes, if you’re not playing your best from a statistical standpoint, can really impact the match and I thought that’s what we did.”

A balanced Kansas offense saw six players with six or more kills. Senior outside hitter joined Jarmoc and Mayfield with the team high of eight.

KU jumped out to an early lead in the first set but saw its six-point lead disappear as Chattanooga battled back. The Mocs tied the score at 17-17 and then nine additional times after that. The teams went back and forth down the stretch until, at 27-all, Kaiser picked up her fifth kill of the set followed by a service ace from senior outside Karina Garlington to finish the frame 29-27 in KU’s favor.

After hitting just .100 in set one, Kansas improved its efficiency in the second set hitting a match-best .314. The teams remained close until midway through the frame when Jarmoc recorded a kill and solo block to swing the momentum KU’s way. The Jayhawks built just a three-point lead but it was enough as Kansas won 25-22 after another kill from Jarmoc.

The Jayhawks won the third set at the service line. KU collected five of its eight aces in the final set, including two from senior Melissa Manda during a 7-2 run by Kansas. The Mocs made it interesting near the end scoring four unanswered points to come within two at 21-19 but Mayfield, Garlington and sophomore Tayler Tolefree each recorded a kill and UTC’s fifth service error of the set combined to push KU to a 25-19 win.

Kansas, which also won the Creighton Bluejay Invitational last weekend, is back in action when it takes on Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.