Friday, January 28, 2022
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Thunderbirds fly in to win, barely

Roos begin the game against the Thunderbirds
Roos begin the game against the Thunderbirds

On Friday, the UMKC volleyball team welcomed the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds (SUU).

The women entered the night with a 5-11 record overall and a 2-4 mark in the Summit League. It was a close match, but ultimately the Roos couldn’t come out on top and saw SUU take a 3-2 win.

Swinney Recreation Center seats were filled with excitement and anticipation as students and families filed into the bleachers, ready to watch the match.

Junior Nicole Kerkman had a phenomenal game taking a new career-high of 28 digs, while Junior Kelsey Knoche had the team high of 12 kills and 22 digs.

“My biggest goal for this season is to be a consistent player and to be someone my teammates can depend on,” Knoche said.

Friday night’s match between the Roos and SUU began at 7 p.m. at Swinney Recreation Center. In the first set, UMKC was in the lead until SUU came back scoring the last two points of the set taking a 25-22 win.

Once the second set emerged, Number 21, senior Christina McCarthy, Number 11, senior Holly Schmidt and Number 23, sophomore Brittney Robers, showed their defense skills, strongly guarding the net. There was fantastic defense put forward by Number Four, senior Kayla Riggs as well. SUU couldn’t overtake the Roos, fouling once, giving UMKC a 25-20 win.

In the third set, it was back and forth with both teams fouling once. Number 16, junior Demetria Williams, performed well, keeping her defense on point.

UMKC owned the third set as well, ending at 25-20.

Things were looking up at the beginning of the fourth as UMKC took a 5-1 lead. Unfortunately, our ladies fouled twice, with SUU only fouling once. The set was back and forth seeing the score tied many times. But the Roos couldn’t capitalize, and SUU finished with a 25-21 win.

In the deciding set of Friday’s game, the Roos scored first, leading SUU by three points. But SUU responded with four in a row. That was the first of three four-point runs made by SUU, giving them a 15-9 win on the set and the match.

“Our ladies need to work on their overpasses and communication,” Head Coach Joan Rickert said. “I feel like our ladies took a step forward tonight, but needed a couple more steps to win the game.”

To get more info on all UMKC volleyball home and select road matches, visit

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