No. 21 Kansas Posts Four-Set win over TCU
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc led four Kansas players with double-digit kills by posting a career-best 23, as the No. 21-ranked Jayhawks remained unbeaten at home with a four-set win over TCU 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19 in Big 12 Conference action on Jayhawks for the Cure day at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Saturday.
Kansas improved to 19-3 overall and 7-1 in the conference, while extending its school-record home win streak to 12 matches. TCU fell to 13-8 and 2-6, respectively, in a grind-out-style match.
“It’s a grind sometimes,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “Today that’s what it was. TCU has lost its last four or five matches, all to really, really good teams. They are just trying to make something good happen, so they are playing at a high level. What I thought you saw in the third set was `hey, we can’t lose’ but what I thought you saw at the end of the fourth set was `hey, we need to go win’. There’s a big difference in those mentalities.
“There’s ebb and flow as the match goes along. In the end, we did enough against a good team. Now, this is a good team, and we now we ended the first half of conference in pretty good shape.”
Kansas jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the first set thanks to a pair of kills from both Jarmoc and redshirt junior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael, who finished the match with 11 kills. The Jayhawks pushed their lead to 15-7, before TCU rattled off five-straight points. The Horned Frogs got to within two points, 23-21, but a kill from junior setter Erin McNorton followed by a solo block by sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Albers gave KU the first set. McNorton guided the Kansas offense the entire match with 52 assists, moving her into 10th all-time at Kansas with 1,124 career assists (passed Emily Brown, 2004-07).
The second set started the same as the first with KU’s Carmichael scoring the first two Jayhawk points. TCU never led during the set, but Kansas could not push its lead to four points until Jarmoc’s kill for the 11-7 edge. The Jayhawks added a 6-2 run later in the set and eventually cruised to the 25-20 win. Sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton paced the Jayhawks in the set with seven kills, while Jarmoc added six powered by an .857 hitting percentage. McClinton finished the match with 17 kills.
Despite only leading once in the first two sets, TCU posted a 25-22 victory in the third set of the match. With KU leading 10-8, TCU rolled out four-straight points and took only its second lead of the match, 12-10. KU regained the lead, 15-14, following a block by senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree, however TCU scored the next two points to regain the lead. Kansas forced five more ties and never trailed by more than two points until the set’s final point.
In the fourth set, the two teams continued the seesaw battle. With the set knotted, 17-17, Kansas ended the match on an 8-2 run. Once again, Jarmoc led the way for the Jayhawks with eight kills on nine attempts in the game’s final set for a blistering .889 attack percentage in the final frame. Tolefree also added three kills in the fourth set and finished the match with 12, tying her season-best. Junior libero Brianne Riley led the KU defensive effort with a game-high 15 digs and Albers tied her season-high with seven blocks.
Tolefree’s five blocks on the day moved her into fourth all-time in career block assists, while both she and Jarmoc sit tied in fifth-place in career total blocks (365) at Kansas. Riley jumped to sixth in single-season digs as a Jayhawk (438), passing Jill Dorsey (435, 2003).
No. 21 Kansas hits the road again to start the second half of the conference season, traveling to Ames, Iowa to face No. 22 Iowa State. First serve on Wednesday, Oct. 24 is set for 6:30 p.m.
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