No. 21 Kansas Wins War at Net, Tops No. 14 Kansas State, 3-1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior Caroline Jarmocled a strong defensive effort from the No. 21 Kansas Jayhawks, propelling them over the No. 14 Kansas State Wildcats in four sets, 26-28, 25-15, 28-26, 25-20, Wednesday night in a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Jarmoc finished the match with 12 total blocks en route to her first career double-double. Her career-high blocking effort powered the Jayhawks to a season-high 18 total team blocks. Redshirt junior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael also rejected a career high with eight blocks, while junior setter Erin McNorton tied her career-best with three blocks.

“An 18-5 (blocking advantage), that’s instant points,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “We got in front of some of their hot hitters at the right time. Jar (Caroline Jarmoc) was locked in defensively, both of our middles did a nice job of moving laterally tonight. I thought we dug ok, but when we picked up that side of it and took over at the net, that’s when we really turned the match.”

With the victory, Kansas (18-3, 6-1) extended its program-best home win streak to 11-straight matches. In 2012, the Jayhawks are 5-1 against ranked opponents or those receiving votes.

Leading the Kansas offense was sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton, who finished the match with a team-high 19 kills and a career-high .545 hitting percentage. Jarmoc also finished the match with double-digit kills, recording 11 with a .280 hitting percentage. Facilitating the Kansas offense was junior setter Erin McNorton, who finished with 49 assists and 12 digs for her seventh double-double of the season.

Aside from McClinton, fellow sophomore outside hitter, Chelsea Albers, shined in the win. After checking in late in the first set, Albers provided a spark for the Kansas offense, cranking out seven kills without an error.

Kansas State (17-3, 4-3) had four players finish with double-digit kills, led by senior opposite side hitter Kathleen Ludwig, who had 17 kills with a .366 hitting percentage. Distributing the offense was senior setter Caitlyn Donahue, who finished the match with 53 assists. Defensively, the Wildcats were led by senior libero Kuulei Kabalis, who had 17 digs for the match.

Kansas State came out strong to open the match using a 4-1 run midway through the set to build a five-point lead, 14-9, and force a Kansas timeout. Out of the pause, the Jayhawks immediately fought back. A 5-1 from the Jayhawks and an ace from McNorton would pull the Jayhawks within one, 15-14, and force a Wildcat timeout. Three straight points out of the timeout would give the Jayhawks their second lead of the set, 21-19, to force another Kansas State timeout. The Wildcats stole back their advantage late in the set, 24-23, but the Jayhawks would fight off set point to extend the set.

Although Kansas railed against set-point three different times, the Jayhawks would surrender a 3-0 Wildcat run to lose the set, 28-26. McClinton had a team-high five kills with a .625 hitting percentage and Jarmoc added four with a .571 hitting percentage to lead the Kansas offense. McNorton dished 13 assists in the set, pacing the Kansas attack.

The Jayhawks responded in the second set, using an early 4-0 run to help build an 8-4 lead and force a Kansas State timeout. The Wildcats rallied after the timeout, bringing the score within one, 11-10, until another 4-0 run from the Jayhawks would extend their lead, 15-10. KU would hold serve for the rest of the set, with the help of a late 5-0 scoring run to close out the set, 25-15, and tie the match going into the break.

Kansas used a balanced attack in the second set, with seven Jayhawks recording at least one kill. Jarmoc led the Kansas defense in the set with four blocks. Senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree and Albers were also big on defense for the Jayhawks, tallying two blocks apiece.

Both teams came out of the break strong and neither team was able to build an advantage early, setting up an, 8-8, tie. The Wildcats would use a 7-0 run to build a, 14-8, advantage in the set. The Jayhawks retaliated, bringing the score within one, several times, before a huge block from Jarmoc and McNorton would finally tie the score at 22 and force a Kansas State timeout. The Wildcats came out of the timeout strong, reaching set point three times. The Jayhawks held their ground and used a 3-0 run to close out the set with another big block from Tolefree and Carmichael. McClinton led the KU offense in the set, recording eight kills with a .538 hitting percentage. McNorton was once again key for Kansas attack, finishing the set with 16 assists.

The Jayhawks came out firing on all cylinders in the fourth set, never trailing and building an early lead, 15-10. A run from the Wildcats brought the score within one, 17-16, and forced a Kansas timeout. The Jayhawks wasn’t fazed, finishing the set strong using a late 4-0 to close out the Wildcats, 25-20. McClinton paced the offense for the second-straight set, tallying four kills with a .571 hitting percentage. McNorton was once again key in the Jayhawk attack, adding 12 assists to her total. Jarmoc and Carmichael had strong defensive performances in the set, each recording five total blocks.

Jarmoc’s 11 kills and 12 total blocks give her 278 and 107 for the season, making her the sixth Jayhawk in the program’s history to reach at least 200 kills and 100 total blocks in three different seasons. Jarmoc’s 11 block assists in Wednesday’s match gives her 296 for her career and moved her into sixth place all-time on the Kansas career list, passing Maggie Mohrfeld (1994-97, 286) and Anne Kreimer (1995-99, 287).

The Jayhawks will take the court again on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 1:00 p.m., when they take on TCU at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.