MTSU Hands KU Volleyball First Blemish of the Season

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After opening its season with seven-straight wins for its best start since 2004, the Kansas volleyball team suffered its first setback with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19) loss to Middle Tennessee State Tuesday evening.

MTSU evened its record to 4-4 overall after the win.

Redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc collected five kills on a team-high .273 attack percentage, but the Kansas offense struggled with errors while the Blue Raiders hit .316 on the night, the best hitting efficiency of any KU opponent this season. Middle Tennessee State also out-blocked KU 13.0-7.0 and recorded 40 digs compared to the Jayhawks’ 25.

“Middle Tennessee State is a very talented team,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “If you don’t do certain things to slow them down offensively, they can create a lot of issues for you and that’s what they did tonight.”

“I know we have a team that is very disappointed. We have got to be better offensively and we have to be better defensively. It was kind of a break down on both sides of that tonight.”

Junior outside hitter Allison Mayfield led Kansas with seven kills, while senior Karina Garlington matched Jarmoc with five kills. Mayfield also added two service aces as did senior defensive specialist Melissa Manda. Manda has recorded multiple service aces in four-straight matches and seven times total so far in 2010.

In the first and third sets, Middle Tennessee used strong runs down the stretch to put the sets away. In set two, Kansas was unable to string together more than two points at a time while the Blue Raiders connected for a match-best .478 attack percentage.

KU concludes its eight-match homestand this weekend when it hosts the Kansas Invitational, Sept. 10-11. The Jayhawks will take on Winthrop and No. 18 Northern Iowa on Friday and Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday.