Rome committed only two errors for a .467 attack percentage and added two service aces on the night. Junior Ashley Michaels followed closely with 12 kills and a .455 hitting mark while freshman sensation Janaina Correa added 11 kills, 10 digs and two aces in the winning effort. Josi Lima tied a career-high with four aces and libero Jill Dorsey led the KU defense with 11 digs.
Andi Rozum (26 assists) and Ashley Bechard (16 assists) split time at setter as all 14 Jayhawks saw action against the Kangaroos. Despite 14 service errors, Kansas hit .342 as a team and allowed only 31 UMKC kills in the match. KU now leads the all-time series against UMKC 23-1.
Kansas hit well in game one, taking the lead from UMKC early and holding on for the win. After a slow start in game two, the Jayhawks rebounded from their services errors and rallied behind outside hitters Rome and Correa, who were able to break down the Kangaroos' blocking. Kansas led by a small margin (10-8) in game three until Lima served nine consecutive KU points to take a commanding lead. The 'Hawks took game three convincingly, 30-18 and the match, 3-0.
"I thought UMKC battled hard the first two games," KU head coach Ray Bechard said. "They were pretty efficient offensively, and I think we were able to break down their passing in game three. When our setters have a lot of good options, we are able to have good balance. Sarah [Rome] and Jana [Correa] were both pretty strong on the outside tonight and Ashley Michaels was in good shape too."
"It was tough to jump out of conference play, but we felt this is the right time to do that and now we have the rest of the week to get ready for Baylor," Bechard added.
The Jayhawks will return to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Saturday night to continue Big 12 Conference play against Baylor. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.