Tolefree Perfect as Jayhawks Sweep Mountaineers
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree hit 1.000 for the first time in Jayhawk volleyball history to lead No. 20 Kansas in a three-set victory over West Virginia, 25-16, 25-12, 25-18, Monday night inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
Kansas (20-4, 8-2) tied the record for most home wins in a season (1978, 1991) as the Jayhawks improved to 13-0 at home, while racking up a season-best .418 attack percentage to down West Virginia (8-17, 0-11). KU’s hitting efficiency marked the best by a Jayhawk squad since hitting .423 against Texas Tech (10/30/10).
Tolefree, a Lawrence, Kan. native, went 10-for-10, becoming just the third player in Big 12 history to record a 1.000 attack percentage and the first Kansas player to do so, breaking the previous record set by Ashley Michaels (.917 at Creighton, 8/31/02). Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc also recorded 10 kills without an error to hit .625 and led the Kansas defense with four total blocks.
“I will frame this one for her,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said of Tolefree. “Both of our middles had 10 kills and no errors. Tayler (Tolefree) was great. We were in system and got her the ball. I think the rest over the last few days helped her more than anybody. She got her legs back, was pretty springy and making good connections with Erin (McNorton).”
The West Virginia offense was led by freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett, who recorded 11 kills while the Mountaineers used a balanced defensive effort, with four players totaling two blocks.
After losing the first point of the match, the Jayhawks came back strong and didn’t trail for the remainder of the set, leading by as many as nine. Kansas built its lead with the help of four, 3-0, runs throughout the set. A block from sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Albers and junior middle blocker Jessie Allen provided the final blow for the Jayhawks as they took the set, 25-16. Tolefree totaled three kills to lead the Jayhawks, along with Jarmoc, who had three kills with a .375 hitting percentage and three blocks.
The Mountaineers played the Jayhawks close to start the second set, trailing by just one point, 8-7, before a 3-0 run from Kansas gave them a four-point lead and forced a West Virginia timeout. The stoppage in play did not slow down Kansas, who used an 8-1 run after the timeout to build its lead to 19-10. Kansas would eventually close out the set on an attack error from West Virginia, to take the set 25-12, and a 2-0 lead going into the break. Tolefree remained perfect, while recording five kills in the set, to lead the Jayhawk offense. Senior transfer outside hitter Sylvia Bullock also recorded her first kill as a Jayhawk in the set.
Coming out of the break, Kansas used an early 8-2 run to take a quick lead in the set, 10-4, and force a West Virginia timeout. The Jayhawks would remain in control for the remainder of the set, leading by as many as eight.
A late rally from the Mountaineers would bring them within four, 22-18, but the Jayhawks would respond and close out the match, 25-18, on a kill from junior outside hitter Marianne Beal. Jarmoc had four kills and a perfect hitting percentage to lead the Jayhawks, along with sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton, who contributed four kills and a .429 hitting percentage in the set.
The No. 20 Jayhawks will take the court again on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m., when they travel to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor at the Ferrell Center.