Jayhawk Trio Highlights Big 12 Preseason Team
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball’s first All-American, the returning Big 12 Conference assists leader and an All-Big 12 First Team honoree comprise the trio of Jayhawks named to the 2013 Big 12 Preseason Team, announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, who earned AVCA Second Team All-America status at the conclusion of the 2012 season, earns the conference’s Preseason Team nod for the second-straight season, while senior setter Erin McNorton and junior outside hitter Sara McClinton are first-time members.
Reigning national champion Texas and Iowa State were the only other league schools to land three honorees, which also mark the most Jayhawks on the Preseason Team since 2004. Led by the 2012 Big 12 Coach of the Year Ray Bechard, the Jayhawks are happy with the preseason accolades, but focus the individual awards to foster team success.
“We’re a veteran team and some of these kids had success last year,” Bechard said, who starts his 16th season in 2013. “There are people in the Big 12 who feel like they are capable of repeating those performances. But it’s a situation where everything starts over and each and every one of our team members – including these three – will have to go out and play at a high level to, most importantly, create opportunity for our team to succeed.”
In 2012, Jarmoc became the first Jayhawk in history to record 400 kills (424) and 150 blocks (157) in a season. With her senior season fast approaching, the Calgary, Alberta, Canada native has the opportunity to be the program’s only player to record 200 kills and 100 blocks in four-straight seasons.
The 6-2 middle blocker also led the Big 12 in attack percentage last year (.386), breaking KU’s single-season record in the process. Jarmoc holds the Kansas career record (.330) heading into 2013. Jarmoc’s presence on the defensive side might even be more important, however, as her 1.28 blocks per set ranked fourth among her Big 12 counterparts in 2012.
After not starting a match until 2012, McNorton racked up a Big 12-best 1,443 assists last fall and finished the year ranked seventh in the country in assists per set (11.73). With her consistent passes setting the tone for the offense, the Jayhawks checked in at third in the Big 12 and 34th in the NCAA with 14.13 kills per set and fourth in the conference with a .238 attack percentage.
McClinton served as another vital scorer in the 2012 Jayhawk lineup and accompanied Jarmoc on last year’s All-Big 12 First Team. The Omaha, Neb., native recorded 3.29 kills per set last fall, as she and Jarmoc (3.45) joined the powerhouse combo from National Champion Texas in Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster as the only duos in the Big 12 to rank in the league’s top-five in kills per set. Both Eckerman and Webster are honored on the 2013 Preseason Team, with Eckerman garnering Preseason Player of the Year honors.
“It’s good to have some of these folks recognized, but now it’s time to work as a group on the expectations we set for ourselves,” Bechard said. “Not necessarily on what others think of us.”
The Big 12 Conference will release the Coaches’ Preseason Poll on Wednesday, Aug. 7. The Jayhawks take the court for the first time at their annual Crimson and Blue Match on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. Located in the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, the event is free and open to the public.
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