UMKC Set To Face IPFW and Oakland On Final Home Weekend Of The Season
UMKC Athletics 11-3-2011
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(Kansas City, Mo.) - The UMKC volleyball team (10-15, 4-10) will look to continue their four match Summit League winning streak when it hosts IPFW (18-7, 11-3) and Oakland (14-10, 8-6) this weekend.  The match between the 'Roos and the Mastodons is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start on Friday, while the match with the Golden Grizzlies is slated for 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Opponents

IPFW enters the match with an 18-7 record overall and an 11-3 mark in league play after beating Southern Utah and Oral Roberts last weekend.  Offensively, the 'Dons are led by Emily Spencer's 384 kills, while Megan Steenhuysen has recorded 1,085 assists.  Defensively, Tessa McGill has a team-high 550 digs, while Megan Wiler tops the team in blocks with 90.

   Oakland, meanwhile, enters the weekend with a 14-10 record on the season and an 8-6 mark in league play after sweeping both Oral Roberts and Southern Utah last weekend.  Meghan Bray leads the Grizzlies offensive attack with 309 kills, while Alissa Valentine (592 assists) and Ashley Nevelle (342 assists) split the setting duties.  In the back row, Alli Kirk has a team-high 468 digs, while at the net, Jenna Lange's 77 blocks lead the squad.

Series Record

UMKC leads the all-times series against Oakland, 17-10, despite dropping the last three matches to the Grizzlies, including a 3-0 defeat earlier this season.  IPFW, meanwhile, leads the series with the 'Roos, 7-2 after a 3-1 victory on Oct. 8.

Last Week

The 'Roos picked up their third straight Summit League victory on Friday night, downing IUPUI, 3-2, in a come-from-behind five-set match at the Jungle in Indianapolis.  Senior Kelsey Knoche led the 'Roos in the match, finishing with a team-high 17 kills, 21 digs and three blocks while junior setter Ella Meier recorded her career-high in assists for the second straight match, this time registering 52, to go along with 20 digs, six blocks, two kills and an ace.

   On Saturday, UMKC notched its fourth consecutive Summit League victory with a 3-2 win Macomb, Ill., over Western Illinois, its third straight five-set win.  In the match, Meier stuffed the stat sheet, matching her career-high of 52 assists set last night, while also recording 21 digs, eight blocks, including three solo, six kills and three aces.  Senior Elizabeth Beck, meanwhile, set a new career-high with 20 kills and five digs, while junior Chloe Jarema and Knoche also topped the 10 kill mark with 12 and 10, respectively.

Senior Power

On Sunday, the UMKC volleyball team will host its annual senior day where the 2011-12 senior class, consisting of seven different student-athletes whose years in the Blue & Gold span from one to four years, will be honored  In their combined 22 seasons, Elizabeth Beck, Nicole Kerkman, Kelsey Knoche, Christiana McQuin, Kara Thomas, Erin Wellwood and Demetria Williams have combined for 2,095 sets played over 591 matches, while amassing 2,809 kills, 1,797 assists, 344 service aces, 4,179 digs, 106 solo blocks, 791 block assists, 897 total blocks and a .173 hitting percentage.

Making Their Mark

UMKC seniors Nicole Kerkman and Christiana McQuin have each made their mark on both the UMKC and Summit League record books.  Kerkman, who now holds the UMKC career record for digs, sits seventh all-time in league history with 1,535 digs and 10th with a 3.85 digs/set mark, while McQuin holds the UMKC records for both block assists (354) and total blocks (412).  The 412 total blocks place her 10th all-time in league annals.

Four Straight

The 'Roos are currently riding a four-match Summit League winning streak after downing Southern Utah (3-1) and South Dakota (3-2) at home and IUPUI (3-2) and Western Illinois (3-2) on The road.  The streak is the longest since the squad won four straight from 11/5-14/09 against Centenary, Oral Roberts, IPFW and Oakland.

Statistical Rankings

As a team, the UMKC volleyball team currently ranks atop The Summit League rankings with a 2.42 blocks per set average, good for 57th nationally, while Brittany Fossier is 105th nationally with 1.07 blocks per set.  In the back row, the 'Roos rank 29th in the NCAA in digs (17.29), while Nicole Kerkman is 60th with a 4.87 digs per set average.

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