Kansas City Volleyball battled hard in its third conference game against Grand Canyon University last week. With the Sept. 23-29 WAC Offensive Player of the Week Ty Lukes combating the WAC Defensive Player of the Week Klaire Mitchell, the Roos came up short, losing three sets to one.
“I thought our kids really battled,” said Kansas City Head Coach Chirsti Posey. “Grand Canyon had a great game plan that we worked to counter. Sometimes we were successful, but we just weren’t successful consistently enough.”
Kansas City’s Ty Lukes and Melanie Brecka lit up the court early in the first set, forcing the Lopes into a timeout. Stepping back on the court, the Lopes charged their way to a 25-21 victory.
The stolen momentum proved difficult to overcome for the Roos. Their eight kills in the second set stood no chance against the Lopes’ 17.
But, boy oh boy, did the script flip in the third set.
The energy the Roos brought to floor allowed them to quickly build momentum that left no room for fear. From libero Maddie Renn to setter Alli Schomers commanding the net in the front row, the whole team fed off of each others’ intensity. In addition, the Roo’s threw a little block party, executing 3.5 blocks in the third set and holding the Lopes to a .048 hitting percentage.
“I think we really rallied around each other tonight and hyped each other up,” said Brecka said. Instead of six individual players, we were one unit.”
This cohesiveness lead them to a 25-21 win over the Lopes.
The Lopes still had set advantage with a 2-1 lead over the Roos going into the fourth set. The Roos fell victim to their own unforced errors in the beginning, allowing the Lopes to consistently maintain a five-or-six-point lead.
However, the Roos defense refused to simply hand the set to the Lopes. Fearlessly mopping the floors , the back row sacrificed their bodies digging balls left and right, which pumped life into the hitters. Yet, the perfectly executed slides and blocks did not shake the Lopes, who snatched the last set 25-22 to seal their victory.
The Roos rebounded from this hard-fought defeat with a straight-sets road victory over Chicago State (27-25, 25-20, 25-21) last Friday. Melanie Brecka lead the way offensively, finishing with a game-high 16 kills. The victory moved Kansas City to .500 on the season and marked the Roos’ 18th win over the Cougars in their last 19 meetings.
Kansas City continues their road trip with matches against Utah Valley and Seattle U before returning home to play New Mexico State on Oct. 17th.