Match Preview: at UCF Challenge
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas enters the UCF Challenge after wins over Kansas City and Omaha and continue its trek on the road to start the 2019 season, playing three matches in three days at The Venue at UCF in Orlando, Florida Sept. 6-8.
The Jayhawks success to start the season has been possible because of immediate impact by newcomers to the program. Grace Van Driel leads Kansas in kills with 27 in its two matches played, while transfer Sara Nielsen has assumed the primary setter role and has been the team leader in assists. Rachel Hickman, another freshman for the Jayhawks, has 15 kills and finished tied with senior Allie Nelson against Omaha for the team lead in digs (12).
Also, redshirt-freshman Kailea Carrier earned her first start of her Jayhawk career against Omaha and finished the match with three kills on five attempts, while adding four blocks.
Nelson, a senior from Chicago, Illinois, continues her work in the libero role this season and ranks third in the Big 12 in digs per set (4.50) and has amassed 36 digs, while fellow senior Zoe Hill is the team leader with eight blocks to go along with 17 kills.
Fans can watch the matches on UCFKnights.TV or listen on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Nick Springer calling the action.
|Opponent||Albany, South Carolina, UCF|
|Location||The Venue at UCF|
|Listen||Jayhawk Radio Network|
CARRIER CAREER DAY
- Kailea Carrier made her first appearance for the Jayhawks against Omaha and her first career start. Carrier made her impact felt with three kills, one solo block and three block assists in the 3-0 victory over the Mavericks.
VAN DRIEL’S VERSATILITY
- Gracie Van Driel earned her first start of the season against Omaha (9/3) after tallying a team-high 14 kills against UMKC (8/30). Van Driel again led the Jayhawks with 13 kills against the Mavericks and is the team leader in kills (27) and kills per set (3.38).
- Albany enters the UCF Challenge 1-2 with a 3-1 win over Abilene Christian. Akuabata Okenwa boasts a team-best 49 kills and averages 3.77 kills per set, whiel Danielle Tedesco (31) and Grace Cozaed (32) each have accounted for 30-or-more kills this season.
SOUTH CAROLINA PREVIEW
- South Carolina enters the UCF Challenge 1-2 with a 3-2 win over Cleveland State. The Gamecocks last played against (#12) Pittsburgh and dropped the match, 3-0.
- Mikayla Shields (39) and Mikayla Robinson (31) are the only two Gamecocks with 30-or-more kills with Shields also being the team leader in digs (39).
- UCF enters the UCF Challenge after three matches in the Rebel Invitational. The Knights have a 2-1 record, including wins over Iowa State (3-2) and Ole Miss (3-2).
- Kristina Fisher (45) and McKenna Melville (41) each have over 40 kills while Anne-Marie Watson is close behind with 39 kills. Two Knights have amassed over 40 assists this season with Erin Olson leading the way with 62.