Roos volleyball bounces back against St. Thomas

UMKC wins against St. Thomas University in latest game. (Ryan Weaver Photography)

Evan Lohman

The Kansas City Roos volleyball team swept the St. Thomas Tommies in three sets to break a three-game losing streak Thursday night at Swinney Center.

Early in the first set, Kansas City immediately turned to their 1-2 punch in Melanie Brecka and De’Janae Arnold as they have all season. Brecka quickly notched three kills and Arnold attacked the ball for a dominant point of her own to give the Roos a fast 8-3 lead.

The Roos offense overwhelmed St. Thomas and consistently forced the Tommies’ defense to play off balance. The team capitalized on weak St. Thomas attacks and funneled the ball to Kansas City’s All-Conference setter, Alli Schomers.

Schomers continued to be the centerpiece of the Roos offense, setting up an easy killshot late in the set for Carly Gillen en route to 15 assists in the first set. Schomers ended with 37 of the Roos’ 41 total assists in the match, and she also served 10 straight points to end the first set 25-8.

“[Schomers] does a lot of things for us, not just deliver the ball,” head coach Christi Posey said after the game. “She has a tough serve and good command of our offense.”

The Roos started slowly at the start of the second set, but after a couple of St. Thomas miscues, Kansas City found their footing. After a 7-6 score in favor of the Roos, Schomers returned to the service line for another big streak to extend the Roos’ lead to 13-6.

Raina Smith joined the attacking party with a bigger offensive role in the second set, recording six kills and totaling 10 kills on the night. Smith teed off on a perfectly framed Schomers set and buried the ball in the opponent’s frontcourt to continue Kansas City’s dominant night.

De’Janae Arnold also had her time in the spotlight when the Roos fed her at the net for three more kills before Arnold defiantly denied a St. Thomas attack. Schomers was also in on the block, helping to extend Kansas City’s lead 19-8.

Schomers spread the ball around to her teammates throughout the night, and Devynn Day crushed the final point of the set for a 25-12 Kansas City win.

The Roos fell behind early again in the third set, but Melanie Brecka’s relentless attacks put the Roos back in the game.

The Roos forced St. Thomas to fight for every point. Odyssey Warren along with Schomers and Arnold consistently got their hands on the Tommies’ swings, making life frustrating for the St. Thomas offense. St. Thomas recorded a meager .133 hitting percentage compared to the Roos’ .456.

Despite the tough defense, St. Thomas kept pace with Kansas City. The Tommies challenged successfully twice and took advantage of Kansas City’s mistakes.

Brecka changed her normal pace of play to score a couple of quick points by tipping the ball over the block, helping Kansas City cling to a 15-12 lead.

Coach Posey turned to her best offensive rotation to help jumpstart the Roos’ attacks, and the Schomers-Arnold-Brecka rotation successfully extended the lead to 19-14.

St. Thomas eventually ran out of luck and Peyton Van Nest finished the match with back-to-back service aces, giving the Roos nine total aces on the night.

Kansas City Roos volleyball will finish the season against two of the Summit League’s top teams, Denver and Omaha.

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