Courtesy: Tim Cowie
Kangaroos Set To Battle Jags In Summit League Semifinals
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
Release:11/14/2012
(Kansas City, Mo.) - The Kansas City volleyball team (17-12, 9-7) will make its first trip to The Summit League Volleyball Championships since 2009 when it heads to Fargo, N.D. on Nov. 16-17.  The Kangaroos will enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed and face No. 1 seed IUPUI (21-9, 13-3) in Friday's opening round at 7:30 p.m.  With a win, the 'Roos will face the winner of No. 2 seed Fort Wayne (23-6, 12-4) and No. 3 seed Oakland (16-12, 9-7) in the championship match on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Venue

The Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse has provided a unique and exciting venue for the North Dakota State volleyball team and several NCAA and conference tournaments since 1978.  The fieldhouse received many improvements with NDSU's move to Division I athletics, including a new digital scoreboard and stats display, replacement of translucent windows for additional daytime light, new floor markings and design, and new chairback seating for 1,206 fans.

Media

Live stats will be available for free at www.UMKCKangaroos.com, while live video will be available for a cost of $4.95 per match at www.GoBison.com.  Match updates, meanwhile, will be available on Twitter through @TheUMKCRoos and @summitchamps.

The Opponents

IUPUI enters the semifinal match as the No. 1 seed with a 21-9 overall record and a 13-3 league mark after knocking off Fort Wayne in the season finale to clinch the regular season title.  Offensively, Moriah Fair (369), Kaitlyn Hickey (335) and Kelsey Hoefer (318) each have more than 300 kills, while Alexis Meeks (639 assists) and Ellyn Jones (625 assists) set up the offense.  Defensively, Beth Howard is tops on the team in digs with 558, while Hickey (433), Fair (351), Meeks (277) and Jones (200) are all over 200.  At the net, two-time Summit League Player of the Week Bethany Fogler has 140 blocks to go along with 237 kills.

   Fort Wayne enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed with a league best 23-6 record overall and a 12-4 mark in league play.  Offensively, Emily Spencer has a team best 468 kills, while Jessie Manwaring (283), Haley Emenhiser (254), Kendall Wienkes (254) and Hailie Ripley (240) each have topped the 200 kill mark.  Megan Steenhuysen, meanwhile, leads the team with 1,350 assists, while Tessa McGill has 688 digs.  In the back row, Spencer (337), Wienkes (298), Jen Milligan (284) and Steenhuysen (238) each have over 200 digs, while at the net, Ripley tops the team with 111 blocks.

   Oakland comes into the championship as the No. 3 seed with a 16-12 record overall and a 9-7 mark in league play.  Offensively, Meghan Bray leads the team with 473 kills, while Taylor Humm (315) and Brittany Holbrook (300) are each over 300.  Ciara Schultz (591 assists) and Alissa Valentine (554 assists) handle the setter position for the Grizzlies, while two-time Summit League Defensive Player of the Week Alli Kirk has a team-high 602 digs.  In the back row, Humm (406) and Bray (388) are each over 375 digs, while Holbrook's 110 blocks are a team best.

Series History

IUPUI leads the all-time series 20-11 after winning 3-1 on Sep. 14 and falling to the 'Roos 3-1 on Oct. 14.  Kansas City leads the all-time series with Oakland 18-13, after splitting the series with the Golden Grizzlies this year.  Fort Wayne, meanwhile, leads the series, 9-3, winning 3-0 at the SRC on Sep. 23 and 3-0 in Fort Wayne on Oct. 19.

Last Time Out

The Kansas City volleyball team (17-12, 9-7) earned a spot in the 2012 Summit League Championships as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed with its 3-1 win over Omaha (6-21, 1-14) on Thursday night at Sapp Fieldhouse.

   The Kangaroos will head to Fargo, N.D., on Nov. 16 where they will face IUPUI in the opening round.  Senior Emily Lucas led the 'Roos in the match, topping the team in kills (17), digs (13) and blocks (3) for her 14th double-double of the season.  Offensively, freshman Jessica Hendin registered 12 kills, while setters Ella Meier and Nicole Wemhoff each finished with 19 assists.  In the back row, Hendin added 12 digs for her fifth double-double this season, while freshmen Taryn Miller and Lindsay Zych each chipped in 10.

'Roos In The Summit League Championship

This will be the ninth trip to The Summit League Championships for the Kangaroos and their first since 2009 when they lost 3-0 at North Dakota State.  Prior to 2009, the 'Roos last made the tournament in 2003, the last of five consecutive trips and the seventh trip in eight seasons.  Overall Kansas City holds a 1-9 record in the tournament, picking up its lone win in 1997 with a 3-2 win at Buffalo.

Winning Ways

This season, the 'Roos have already amassed 17 wins, the second most all-time, trailing only the 20 wins by the 1999 squad.

Hagedorn Named Summit League Defensive POW

Freshman Emma Hagedorn captures her first career Defensive Player of the Week award after averaging 2.17 blocks per set on the week.  The Parkville, Mo., native opened the week tallying four blocks against the league's leading offense, Fort Wayne.  She came back in the next match to record nine blocks at Oakland.  On the week, Hagedorn recorded 13 blocks, including 11 block assists and two solo blocks, for her 2.17 average, which is nearly .50 blocks per set better than the NCAA leader.

Joining The Record Book

Currently, several 'Roos have placed their names inside the Kansas City record book, including senior setter Ella Meier who has moved into third all-time with 1,944 career assists, while senior Brittany Fossier is fifth all-time in block assists with 245.  Emma Hagedorn, meanwhile, is tied for fourth in a career and ninth in a single season with a hitting percentage of .261, Taryn Miller is second in career and fifth in single season digs per set (4.74) and fourth in digs (526) and Emily Lucas is fifth in attacks (1,148) in a season, sixth in attacks per set (10.73) in a season, eighth in attacks per set in a career (7.86) in a career, ninth in kills per set (3.69) and kills (395) in a season and 10th in kills per set in a career (2.55) and career attacks (2,675).

'Roos In Five

This season, the Kangaroos have played in seven five-set matches coming out victorious in six with wins against George Washington, Gardner-Webb, Western Illinois, Oakland, Omaha and South Dakota while falling only to Charlotte.  In the matches, UMKC has out-hit its opponents .217 to .191, while registering more kills, assists, aces, digs and blocks.

Killer Lucas

This season, senior Emily Lucas has notched a team-high 395 kills and three times reached her career-high, including registering 34 at South Dakota.  18 times she has led the 'Roos in kills and reached double figures, while topping the league in kills (286) and finishing second in kills per set (4.47) in league matches.

Roos In The RPI

Currently, the 'Roos rank 138th in the NCAA's RPI rankings, the fourth best mark in The Summit League behind Fort Wayne (67), Oakland (131) and IUPUI (114).

Winning With Efficiency

This season when the 'Roos hit well, they win.  Currently, they have a record of 17-0 when they finish with a higher attack percentage than their opponent and an 0-12 record when they are out-hit.

NCAA Top-100's

For the 'Roos, Emily Lucas ranks 89th in the NCAA in kills per set (3.71), while Taryn Miller is 84th in digs per set (4.78).  As a team, Kansas City sits 90th in digs per set (16.05).

Aces High

To date, freshman Taryn Miller has notched a Summit League-high 34 aces, including twice landing four, while Sublette, Kan., native Emily Lucas is sixth with 28, including a career-high five against Omaha.  Overall, Miller's 0.31  aces per set is tops in the league, with Lucas seventh at 0.26.  As a team, the 'Roos are second in the league with 140 aces and a 1.26 aces per set mark.

Preseason All-Tourney Team Selections

Three members of the Kansas City volleyball team were named to all-tournament teams, led by Skyler Muff who garnered honors at both the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic and the Runnin' Bulldog Classic.  Freshmen Taryn Miller, meanwhile, was also named to the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic All-Tournament Team, while Emily Lucas was placed on the North Texas Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Summit League Preseason Poll

The Kangaroo volleyball team was picked to finish seventh in The Summit League's annual preseason poll in a vote by the league's head coaches.  The 'Roos, who finished the 2011 season with a 12-17 record overall and a 6-12 mark in league play, garnered 23 points overall to finish just behind South Dakota.

Fresh Faces

The 2012 Kangaroos include eight newcomers, seven of whom are freshman.  Sophomore Morgan Voorhes is the only non-freshman first year 'Roo after transferring from Pittsburgh State, while redshirt freshman Sydney Crimmins joins the squad after spending a year with the Kangaroo basketball program.  The remaining freshmen consist of Lindsay Zych, Taryn Miller, Emma Hagedorn, Nicole Wemhoff, Jessica Hendin and Skyler Muff.

Kansas City Feel

The Kangaroo volleyball team will have a distinct Kansas City feel to it as six student-athletes come from the area, including Lindsay Zych (Lenexa, Kan.), Taryn Miller (Blue Springs, Mo.), Emma Hagedorn (Parkville, Mo.), Nicole Wemhoff (Kansas City, Mo.), Morgan Voorhes (Overland Park, Kan.) and Jessica Hendin (Overland Park, Kan.).  Three others, Sydney Crimmins (Clay Center, Kan.), Emily Lucas (Sublette, Kan.) and Skyler Muff (Pittsburg, Kan.) are from Kansas.


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