KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Alicia Harrington (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and Alex Ratzlaff (Hillsboro, Kan.) each recorded double-doubles to power the UMKC volleyball team (5-9, 1-0) to a 3-2 win over Grand Canyon (5-8, 0-1) in the Western Athletic Conference opener at the Swinney Recreation Center.
“It was a rewarding win, everyone contributed,” Head Coach Christi Posey said. “The fifth set was great, we were error free other than a few serves. We talk about how much cleaner we can be in tight sets and those things are happening. I was a little disappointed in the fourth set and thought we had a chance to win it, but we came back, battled and fought hard for the win.”
Harrington led the way for the Roos, tallying 22 kills, 22 digs and four blocks, hitting .291, while Ratzlaff added 14 kills and 14 digs.
“It means the world to us to open WAC play with a win,” Harrington said. “We had a few losses last week and lost Emma (Dyer), so we were a little down. We wanted to come back with a win to get our confidence and momentum back.”
The Roos jumped out to a quick lead in the opening set, breaking a 23-23 tie late with the set’s final two points, including the capper on a kill from Harrington.
UMKC pushed its lead to 2-0 with an identical 25-23 victory in the second set, this time closing the set with a 7-2 run that Mykal Sadler (Des Moines, Iowa) put away with a kill.
The Lopes, though, did not go away as the visitors claimed the next two sets to force a fifth and deciding set in the match.
In the fifth, the Roos jumped out to a 9-4 advantage, getting three kills from Ratzlaff and two from Harrington during the stretch. GCU closed the gap down to 13-11 late, but an ace from Mack Blatcher (Leawood, Kan.) and a kill from Sadler sealed the 15-13 set win and the 3-2 match win for UMKC.
For the Roos, Sadler added 11 kills and a team-high six blocks, while Alli Schomers (Omaha, Neb.) and Kynnedy Myers (Rose Hill, Kan.) finished with 31 and 28 assists, respectively. In the back row, Rhegan Spiegel (Savannah, Mo.) finished with 26 digs.
The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Saturday when they welcome in CSU Bakersfield for a 1 p.m. match at the SRC.
– UMKC –