Saturday, October 16, 2021
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Player of the Week: Kelsey Knoche

Volleyball star propels team to victory

Kelsey Knoche
Kelsey Knoche

Volleyball star Kelsey Knoche has been in rich form as of late, putting in some dominant displays and helping her team accumulate a four-game win streak in recent Summit League contests, in particular against South Dakota, IUPUI and Western Illinois last week.

Against the South Dakota Coyotes on Oct. 22, Knoche ripped off a career-high 18 kills as the Roos recorded a 3-2 set victory for the team’s second Summit League victory of the season. In a contest at IUPUI in Indianapolis, Knoche followed with 17 kills in 3-2 win over the Jaguars. Continuing to produce crucial points when her team needed her most, she also rattled off 10 kills in another 3-2 victory over the Western Illinois Leathernecks to give the Roos three consecutive Summit League wins in the week.

The senior has been a dominating presence in the volleyball program for a number of years, leading the team in kills for the past three seasons. After transferring from the University of Memphis, Knoche’s sophomore year seen her feature in 30 matches, finishing with a team-high 312 kills and ranked second on the team with 355 digs and 29 aces.

Last season, Knoche recorded a team-high 117 sets played, registering a team-high 34 service aces, while finishing second on the team with 293 kills and 360 digs and notching 27 assists, 45 blocks and a .123 hitting percentage. She also finished with 10 or more kills 17 times and 10 or more digs 19 times, notching a team-high 15 double-doubles.

The 6’0” Lee’s Summit, Mo. native has not only been a fantastic addition to the growing volleyball program here, she has also showed great promise in her field of academic study. Knoche majors in electrical and computer engineering and has received numerous accolades for both her athletic and academic performance. As a sophomore, she was named to The Summit League Fall Academic all-League team and recognized as a Scholar Athlete. In her junior year, Knoche was the recipient of the Jack Gant Award, an honor presented annually to the best overall student-athlete at UMKC, which includes both athletic and academic performances. She was also named to the Summit League Fall Academic all-League Team as a Distinguished Scholar, as well as being named to the Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence.

Kelsey is the daughter of Scott and Lori Knoche and has previously been honored as the KMBC-9 News Scholar Athlete for Kansas City and also participated as a member of the National Honor Society and served as the Vice President of the Student Senate.

After a slow start to the season, which saw the volleyball team lose their opening 10 Summit League Conference contests, Knoche has revitalized the team with her recent performances. With the towering senior registering consistent kill figures, the blue and gold can surely continue their win streak and finish the year on a high and build for next season. So after 45 kills in just three top-level Division 1 contests, Kelsey Knoche is the Player of the Week for her outstanding displays against South Dakota, IUPUI and Western Illinois last week.

lharman@unews.com

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