Wednesday, June 22, 2022
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Victory at Kangaroo Klassic

UMKC women’s volleyball faced three opponents in the Kangaroo Klassic last week. They came out of the tournament with a 2-1 record, gaining two wins against Cornell and Bradley. Their most intense match was against Northern Iowa (UNI), where the girls battled it out in long rounds. The coaches marched out to center court to challenge calls. Despite their loss to UNI, UMKC won the Kangaroo Klassic title.

UMKC senior, Kaylyn Brandt was awarded MVP of the tournament after 39 assists and 16 digs against Bradley. Thanks to Brandt’s assists, the team was able to claim a 3-0 set win against Bradley.

“She’s a great example of what we want in our players. Hard working, humble, and team-oriented,” said Coach Christi Posey.

Going against UNI proved to be a bit of a challenge for the team. During the first set, the ladies did hold up their end. Whenever UNI scored, the team quickly responded back, resulting in a consecutive tie until the 23-22 run, which Iowa would ultimately win.

The announcer added entertainment to the match by making calls such as, “Not this time,” whenever UMKC blocked successfully. Some fans even danced to the music playing and others worked hard to break the focus of Iowa by saying, “Hit the net.” Despite the long rounds, UNI won the first set.

In the second set, the girls had a hard time responding back to UNI. To boost their spirits during a UMKC timeout call, songs like “Move” by Ludacris would play to taunt the other team that this was the Roo’s house. The score was 1-4 when the refs made an out-of-bonds call on UMKC. Most of the family members and fans attending shouted in disappointment. Even the head coach, saying “no” repeatedly, and the assistant coach stepped on court to challenge the call. However, the ref’s decision was made, giving UNI the point.

Even during some rounds when UMKC had a brief lead, the bench players of UNI would start chanting, “U-N-I” and clap at the same time to break the server’s focus. A few fans from the student section responded back by screaming each time UNI would serve. But the taunting didn’t stop there. Whenever the ladies of Kansas City successfully blocked, the announcer would shout out, “Block party.” Going against the ladies of Northern Iowa proved to be an intense match as they refused to let KC catch up with them. UMKC players, Alicia Harrington and Madison Moser, brought the spirits up for the girls as they landed several of their spike attacks. But despite all that, heading into the fourth set, the win would go to Northern Iowa.

UNI may have been a tougher opponent, but UMKC came out on top during matches against Cornell and Bradley. They spent most of the rounds on the lead and landed powerful spikes. UMKC players Devan Porter and Emma Hagedorn were constantly attacking, thanks to their teammates’ set-ups, giving the women the lead and victory against Cornell. The same results happened during their gameplay against Bradley. After their defeat to UNI, the women did not give Bradley the chance to catch up and took the lead in all three sets.

With the end of the tournament, Coach Posey reflected on the team’s work. “Overall, it was a great weekend,” said Posey. “There were some moments where we really had to battle. Some challenges. All three opponents had quality and brought different styles, so we had to make adjustments.” Posey also mentioned that playing at home provided energy and enough boost to ensure the girls played well at home court.

nrivera@unews.com

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