Jayhawks Sweep Cowgirls, Take Tournament Title
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, picked up her second Tournament MVP honor in as many weeks as Kansas took the Jayhawk Invitational title, sweeping Wyoming, 3-0, Saturday evening at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, 25-13, 25-21, 25-18.
The Calgary Alberta, Canada native, finished the match with a team-high 13 kills and a .478 hitting percentage as the Jayhawks (9-1) swept the Cowgirls (9-2) in the final match of the Jayhawk Invitational. For the weekend, the MVP collected a .541 attack percentage for the weekend with 38 kills and 11 blocks.
Senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree and junior libero Brianne Riley also took home All-Tournament Team accolades. Tolefree had a season-high 12 kills in the final match of the weekend and Riley totaled 59 digs in three matches, bringing her career total to 1,078, moving her to seventh on KU’s all-time list.
Kansas stretched its win streak to seven-straight, the longest unbeaten span since beginning the 2010 season at 7-0. The weekend capped a grueling stretch of seven matches in nine days as the Jayhawks gathered an invaluable amount of experience in the opening weeks of the year.
“I thought we progressively got better over the weekend and at this point in the year, that’s what you need,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “I told the team that’s that was a third of our season already – 10 of 31 matches – they were wowed, it seems like we’re just into it. But when you have so many opportunities this early, you have to take advantage of them and I thought we did that this weekend. We played very well at times, but very steady, which is harder when we’re playing three matches in two days.” Wyoming was led offensively by senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy and senior middle blocker Camille Coffman, who tallied seven kills each for the Cowgirls. Sophomore middle blocker Erin Kirby led the Cowgirl defense, contributing on three blocks.
The Jayhawks came out hot in the opening set, using an early 9-0 run to give them a 10-2 advantage. KU would keep the momentum for the remainder of the set, leading by at least six for the remainder of the set, before closing it out 25-13 on a kill from Jarmoc. Jarmoc paced the KU offense in the set, recording six kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Carmichael also hit well in the set, recording three kills with a .750 hitting percentage.
Despite their slow start in the first set, the Cowgirls matched the Jayhawks punch for punch in the second set, resulting in seven ties and two lead changes. KU was able to break away, late in the set, with a 4-0 run to give them a 19-13 advantage. A late push from Wyoming, who used their own 4-0 run to get back within two, 23-21, would make things interesting late, but the Jayhawks were able to put back-to-back points together and take the set 25-21, giving them a two set lead heading into the break. Tolefree lead the Jayhawks offensively in the set, exploding for seven kills with a .556 hitting percentage. Jarmoc also kept her pace up offensively, adding five kills with a .375 hitting percentage.
Coming out of the break, both teams played each other close, resulting in an 11-11 tie, before Bechard needed a timeout. His team would respond, using a 5-0 run out of the break, to give them the separationa they needed to close out the Cowgirls, 25-18, and complete the sweep. Tolefree would add four kills in the set, to give her a season-high 12 for the match.
The Jayhawks will travel to South Bend, Ind., beginning Sept. 14, for the Notre Dame Tournament, where they will face Loyola Marymount at 4 p.m. to begin the weekend.
JAYHAWK INVITATIONAL All-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas MVP
Tayler Tolefree, Kansas
Brianne Riley, Kansas
Macey Gardner, Arizona State
Erica Wilson, Arizona State
Becky Stewart, Wyoming
Emily Neideffer, College of Charleston
JAYHAWK INVITATIONAL RESULTS
Friday: vs. College of Charleston: Kansas, 25-15, 25-18, 25-22
Friday: vs. Arizona State: Kansas: 20-25, 25-19, 26-14, 25-23,br> Saturday: vs. Wyoming: Kansas: 25-13, 25-21, 25-18
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