CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – UMKC volleyball split its opening matches of the 2017 season after sweeping Middle Tennessee 3-0 and falling to host Austin Peay 3-0 on Friday at the Winfield Dunn Center as part of the Culver Governors Challenge.
“We had a great outing against Middle Tennessee State this morning,” head coach Christi Posey said. “Offensive efficiency and defensive intensity were keys to victory. Our second match against host Austin Peay, we lacked fire and grit. We had too many errors, and the inability to find a consistent offensive rhythm put us in a situation where we were constantly playing from behind. We'll learn from it and move on. Marshall is a quality team for which we'll need to be sharp and have a high level of focus.”
In the opening match, the Roos rode their offense to a 3-0 win over Middle Tennessee, hitting .366 as team with just nine attack errors.
Notching her first double-double of the season, sophomore Alicia Harrington (Cedar Falls, Iowa) paced the squad, tallying 15 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .480 with three blocks and a pair of service aces.
UMKC started the opening set off hot, jumping out to a 6-1 advantage after kills from Harrington and Emma Dyer (Higginsville, Mo.) and an ace from Rhegan Spiegel (Savannah, Mo.). A kill from Mykal Sadler (Des Moines, Iowa) and a Blue Raider error stretched the lead to double digits for the first time at 19-8. Harrington then wrapped up the set with a game ending kill off an assist from Kynnedy Myers (Rose Hill, Kan.), securing the 25-12 win.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team gaining more than a three-point edge until the Roos used a 6-1 run to break a 13-13 tie and go ahead 19-14 on a kill from Alexia Morey (Colorado Springs, Colo.). MTSU cut the UMKC lead down to one at 21-20, but the Roos answered back with four of the final six points for the 25-22 victory.
UMKC then completed the sweep with a 25-15 set three win. The Roos jumped ahead 4-0 after a block from Brooke Jacobs (Peoria, Ill.) and Sadler. The Roos extended the margin to 14-7 off an Alex Ratzlaff (Hillsboro, Kan.) kill and quickly pushed the lead to double digits at 20-9 after back-to-back points from Harrington and Sadler. Four MTSU errors and the final kill from Harrington then clinched the match for UMKC.
Against the Governors, UMKC jumped out to a 6-4 lead in set one, but Austin Peay came back to build a five-point lead at 15-10. The Roos sliced the lead down to one at 16-15 before falling 25-20.
In the second set, UMKC fell behind 11-5, but rallied back to take a 16-15 lead after an APU error. Austin Peay answered with an 8-2 run to go ahead 23-18, but once again the Roos came back, this time cutting the lead to 23-22 after back-to-back aces from Harrington. The UMKC comeback, however, fell just short as the Governors claimed the set 25-23.
In the third and final set of the match, Austin Peay controlled early, going ahead 8-3. UMKC closed the margin to 8-5, but could get no closer as the Governors took the match with a 25-16 win.
On the day, Harrington finished with 24 kills, 21 digs, five blocks and four aces, while Ratzlaff added 15 kills, 16 digs and three aces.
The Kangaroos will be back in action again tomorrow when they wrap-up play in the Culver Governors Challenge against Marshall at 11:30 a.m.
– UMKC –