Roos show promise in Kangaroo Classic

Luke Harman

The Kangaroo Classic was a success for the host Roos. They took two out of three matches last weekend losing only to Belmont 3-0.
The Kangaroo Classic was a success for the host Roos. They took two out of three matches last weekend losing only to Belmont 3-0.

The UMKC volleyball team (5-4) competed in the Kangaroo Klassic this past weekend (Sept. 9-10).

A 3-0 loss to Belmont on Saturday prevented the UMKC volleyball team (5-4) from emerging as a victorious host in the Kangaroo Klassic at the Swinney Recreation Center.

UMKC 3, UT Martin 1

The Lady Roos began the tournament Friday night with a 3-0 win over UT Martin in head coach Christi Posey’s home debut. Junior Emily Lucas led the ‘Roos with 12 kills and 14 digs, while senior Kelsey Knoche chipped in nine kills and nine digs.

UMKC opened the match with a 25-23 first-set win featuring back-to-back kills by sophomore Chloe Jarema. In the second set, the Kangaroos traded blows with their opponent until the game was tied at 22-apiece. UMKC closed the set with kills from Knoche and Lucas claiming a 25-22 win.. A 25-22 victory in the third set saw the Kangaroos jump out to a lead only to see the game tied at 18. Kills from Knoche and junior Brittany Fossier put them in front before a Jarema kill closed out the set and gave the Roos the match

Junior setters Ella Meier and Brittney Robers combined for 28 assists, while senior Nicole Kerkman led the squad with 19 digs. At the net, senior Elizabeth Beck led UMKC with an impressive .357 hitting percentage.

On Saturday, the Roos closed out the tournament with a 2-1 record after splitting its matches. In the nightcap, the Roos downed Montana State 3-1 after falling to Belmont, of Nashville, Tenn., earlier in the day.

UMKC 3, Montana State 1

Against Montana State, the Roos took an early 1-0 lead with a come-from-behind victory over the Bobcats. During the squad’s final run, Knoche ripped off four straight kills before three MSU errors and a kill by senior Christina McQuin kill gave the Roos the 26-24 win. In a hard-fought second set, kills from Beck and Fossier, sealed the 25-21 win. Coming out after the break, MSU would cut the lead to 2-1 with a 25-23 third set win, but could not complete the comeback as the ‘Roos won the fourth set 25-22 and boosted their record to 5-4. In the match, Jarema led UMKC with 15 kills, while Knoche added 13. Senior Christiana McQuin and Lucas, meanwhile, each had nine kills, with McQuin hitting a team-high .400. Setters Meier and Robers finished with 29 and 22 assists, respectively. Defensively, Fossier and Knoche totaled 13 blocks, while Lucas (26), Kerkman (23), Knoche (16) and Meier (16) all had double-digit digs.

Belmont 3, UMKC 0

In the day’s opening match, the Roos fell 3-0 to Belmont, their only loss in their last six matches. Meier led the Roos’ attack with a team-high 22 assists, while Robers added eight. UMKC took an early lead in the first set, before the Bruins used a 22-9 run for a 25-19 victory .In the second set, the two squads battled hard before Belmont closed the set on a 5-1 run to take the set 25-21.

In the third set, the Bruins built a 13-8 lead, before UMKC fought back to pull within 20-19. The Kangaroos, rally though fell short as Belmont hung on for the 25-22 set win to capture the match. Knoche led the ‘Roos with eight kills, while Lucas and Kerkman each had a team-high 16 digs.

Belmont won the Klassic, defeating UT Martin, Montana State and UMKC. McQuin and Kerkman were named to the all-tournament team. The Roos will be back in action again on Thursday when they open Summit League play at Southern Utah at 8 p.m.

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