Kansas Keeps Rolling, Set for Jayhawk Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Racking up experience early, the Kansas volleyball team will continue its streak of seven matches in nine days as the Jayhawks prepare to host the Jayhawk Invitational at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, Sept. 7-8.
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The Jayhawks and the Cowgirls from Wyoming will face off for the fifth time in series history, with KU holding the 3-1 all-time advantage. The pair last met during the 2008 season when Kansas held on for a tightly-contested five-set victory. Neither team won by more than the required two points and the fifth set ended in an extended 20-18 score in favor of the Jayhawks.
KANSAS (6-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Nevertheless, the Jayhawks rolled past the UMKC `Roos in their most recent action, taking three quick sets on Tuesday night.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc shined as the team's beacon of consistency, tying a career-high 16 kills for the third time in four matches. The Preseason All-Big 12 selection was named the Tournament MVP last weekend at the Kansas Volleyball Invitational and leads the team with 3.96 kills per set on a .443 attack percentage. What's more, the Calgary, Alberta, Canada native is blocking at a 1.54 per set rate - all three stats land Jarmoc in the top-three among her Big 12 counterparts.
Jarmoc, however, is one of many league leaders on the Kansas roster. Junior Erin McNorton has taken the starting setter role and sprinted with it, averaging a Big 12-best 12.50 assists per set. Fellow junior Brianne Riley broke onto the Jayhawks' top-10 career digs list on Tuesday and her 5.58 average currently leads the conference by nearly a dig per set.
With a pair of key players unavailable on Tuesday, the Jayhawks received a career-best performance from freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery. The Richmond, Texas native pounded out her first double-digit kill effort (13) and her seven digs points to the progress she's making toward becoming a six-rotation player.
Three weeks in, the Jayhawks are all over the Big 12 leaderboard. With their collective .278 hitting percentage, the Jayhawks trail only No. 4 Texas (.310). KU leads the Big 12 in kills per set (15.04), assists per set (14.12) and digs (16.54).
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (3-2, 0-0 Southern Conference) | Friday | 11:30 am
College of Charleston has won either the regular season division title or conference tournament championship each of the last 11 seasons. Over that stretch, the Cougars have amassed 297 wins which ranks eighth among all NCAA Division I volleyball programs.
Sophomore middle blocker, and the 2011 SoCon Freshman of the Year, Sloane White earned Tournament MVP honors after she hit .462 and notched 14 kills and two blocks against Memphis in the weekend's title match. On the season, White leads the team with a .338 hitting percentage, while redshirt junior outside hitter Darcy Dorton sets the standard with an impressive 4.00 kills per set. Both have played in all 22 sets this season.
ARIZONA STATE (6-0, 0-0 PAC-12 Conference) | Friday | 7:30 pm
Fittingly, freshman outside hitter Macey Gardner leads the offense with 4.67 kills per set, already surpassing the 100-kill mark on the season with 112 entering the weekend. Fellow outside hitter, senior Erica Wilson, has also clipped the 100-kill plateau and averages 4.33 kills per set.
As a team, ASU averages 14.54 kills per set, 2.17 blocks per set and swings for a collective .246 attack percentage.
WYOMING (8-0, 0-0 Mountain West Conference) | Saturday | 6:30 pm
An AVCA All-America honorable mention honoree last season, senior outside hitter Jodi Purdy was selected by the conference coaches as the Preseason MW Co-Player of the Year. She currently leads the Cowgirls with 78 kills, good for a 3.00 kills per set average. A versatile player, Purdy's 2.31 digs per set are second only to the team's libero, Becky Stewart.
As a team, Wyoming averages 12.81 kills per set with a .281 hitting percentage and come the closest to KU's blocking numbers with 2.83 blocks per set.
Head coach Ray Bechard
On the team enduring seven matches in nine days:
On the excitement involved in watching the younger, or less experienced, players succeed:
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