Kansas Sweeps TCU in Conference Opener
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore outside hitter Tiana Dockery led the Jayhawks with 14 kills as they defeated TCU in three sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-22, claiming a victory in their 2013 Big 12 Conference debut, Saturday afternoon inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
Dockery, a Richmond, Texas native, used 32 attempts and committed only one error for a .406 hitting percentage and added three blocks to give Kansas (11-3, 1-0) the sweep over TCU (11-5, 0-2) and the team’s seventh-straight win.
The Jayhawks were equally strong defensively, led by redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, who recorded eight total blocks – including a solo rejection that passed former KU great Josi Lima for second all-time in career solo blocks at Kansas (90). Seniors Brianne Riley and Jaime Mathieu protected the back row with 14 digs each.
“Defensively, we were good, too.” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “This team leads the Big 12 in hitting percentage at .260 and we held them to .138. Our goal was to hold them under .200 so that’s a good number.”
Conversely, Kansas’ hitting numbers were excellent, raking at a .369 attack percentage in the win – the third time in the last four matches KU has hit .350 or better. In the second set, the Jayhawks pounded out 14 kills without an error for a .667 mark, besting their previous season-high of .650 set at No. 24 Creighton earlier this month.
The Horned Frogs’ offense was led by senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan, who finished the afternoon with 10 kills in the losing effort. Defensively, libero Shane Peters controlled the back line with 15 digs and freshman middle blocker Natalie Gower recorded four blocks.
Kansas came out strong to open the match, taking four of the first five points from the Horned Frogs, 4-1. Despite a 3-0 run from TCU, the Jayhawks continued to control the set with the help of Dockery’s three-straight kills to give KU its largest lead of the set, 17-11. KU continued its dominance late in the set and built the lead to six before closing out the Horned Frogs, 25-19, never trailing in the set. Junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers led the Jayhawk attack in the set, finishing with seven kills on 11 attempts for a .636 hitting percentage.
Back-to-back blocks from Dockery sparked a 3-0 run for the Jayhawks to open up the second set and gave them the early advantage, 4-1. Much like the first set, the Jayhawks asserted their dominance and built their lead to seven, 15-8, going into the media timeout. A 4-0 run brought the KU lead to 10, 19-9, before TCU called a timeout to attempt to slow down the Kansas attack. The strategy would work temporarily and as TCU took the next two points out of the timeout, 19-11, but six of the next eight points fell in favor of the Jayhawks as they closed out the set, 25-13. Jarmoc dominated both sides of the net for the Jayhawks, finishing the set a perfect five-for-five offensively to lead the KU attack and recording four blocks to lead the Kansas defense.
TCU took the first point of the third set to give them its first lead of the match, but it wouldn’t last long as KU took three of the next four points to regain the advantage, 3-2. The Horned Frogs took back the lead with a 3-0 run to give them a two-point advantage, 6-4. KU quickly re-found its rhythm and connected on four-straight points, until TCU answered with three-straight of its own to retain its lead, 11-10. The Jayhawks had another run in them, connecting on five in a row to take a four-point lead, 15-11, into the media timeout. This time the Jayhawks wouldn’t give it back, leading by as many as six before closing out the Horned Frogs, 25-22, for their fifth sweep of the season.
– Senior libero Brianne Riley’s 14 digs to moved her into seventh all-time on the Big 12 Conference’s career digs list (1,760), passing former Kansas State standout Lauren Mathewson (1,755; 2007-10). Riley is now chasing former Missouri star Tatum Ailes (1,997; 2004-07) for sixth on the all-time list.
– Riley now has double-digit digs in 40-consecutive matches.
– Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc’s 1,141 career kills are the second-most among current Big 12 players. She trails fellow senior Kaitlynn Pelger from Kansas State (1,336).
– Jarmoc’s five blocks pulled her closer to the KU all-time blocks leader. Her 483 career blocks ranks second only to Amanda Reves (514; 1996-99).
Kansas hits the road for the first installment of the 2013 Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
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