The week started out better than expected for the Kansas Jayhawks. On Monday, the Jayhawks received a No. 24 ranking on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll. This is the first time all season where the Jayhawks have been nationally ranked.
According to kuathletics.com, head coach Ray Becherd said, “To me, it doesn’t change our process, our preparation or how we’ll go about handling our business.”
It was exactly that for Kansas as they had a trip to Morgantown, West Virginia and a home game against Baylor on the agenda for this week.
On Wednesday, Kansas played their first ever Big 12 Conference game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The match did not start off well for the Jayhawks as they dropped the first set to West Virginia, 25-15. This was only the second time all season where Kansas lost the first set of a match. It was also the worst margin of defeat this season for the Jayhawks as they could not muster much offense with a .000 attacking percentage.
It was after that where Kansas picked things up and swept the next three sets to take the match. The Jayhawks were led by no other than the redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc. Jarmoc had 14 kills without a single error and led the team with a .538 hitting efficiency. The .538 percentage marks the ninth time this season that she has hit .500 or better.
Kansas also got nice performances out of redshirt junior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael, senior middle blockers Tayler Tolefree, and sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton. Carmichael had the most kills on the team with 15 while Tolefree and McClinton both had nine kills apiece.
On Saturday, Kansas came back home to host the Baylor Bears. This match played out much like the one against Iowa State. Kansas won the first two set, but still needed five total sets to get the win.
According to kuathletics.com, “McClinton paved the way with 15 (kills)” and she truly did. She was just one of five Jayhawks to record double-digit kills against Baylor. McClinton (15), Jarmoc (12), Tolefree (11), Carmichael (14), and freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery (11) all had double-digit kills in the match.
The Jayhawks also got pretty good play out of junior setter Erin McNorton and junior libero Brianne Riley. McNorton led the team in assists for the match with 55 and Riley led the team in digs with 22.
With the two wins this week, Kansas improves to a 16-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
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