Kansas City Kansas Community College has made a sweep of Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week honors after the Lady Blue Devils’ outstanding performance in the power-laden SSC (South Suburban Conference) tournament in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., this past weekend.
Sophomore outside hitter Blair Russell was selected KJCCC Division II Player of the Week; sophomore libero Andrea Aparicio the KJCCC Defensive Player of the Week.
Ranked No. 12 in the first Division II rankings of the season, the Lady Blue Devils opened the year by defeating three ranked foes – No. 4 Illinois Central, No. 9 Des Moines Area Community College, No. 14 South Suburban College and Waubonsee, a team receiving votes in the preseason poll. KCKC’s only loss came in four sets at the hands of No. 1 ranked Parkland in the Blue Devils’ first match of the year.
A 5-10 outside hitter from Marysville, Kan., Russell averaged 3.58 kills per set on offense and 3.32 digs per set on defense and is currently No. 2 in the nation in total number of kills (68), sixth in kills per set (3.58) and 33rd in digs per set.
Aparicio, a 5-4 libero from Dorado, Puerto Rico, is the first Lady Blue Devil to lead the nation in a Division II statistical category, ranking No. 1 in both digs per set (6.26) on defense and the total number of digs (119).
Fargo-Moorhead knocked around 14 hits, and took game two against Kansas City with a 6-3 win Wednesday evening at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, N.D.
The RedHawks took their first lead of the series with a run in the second inning on an RBI double from Brandon Tripp that scored Travis Higgs.
Fargo broke the game open in the sixth inning, chasing T-Bones starting pitcher Casey Barnes, who gave up three consecutive hits opening the frame. Frank Salerno delivered the big blow with a two-run single. He later scored on a C.J. Retherford RBI single that capped off a four-run inning and extended Fargo-Moorhead’s lead to 5-0.
The T-Bones, down 6-0, scored three runs all with two outs in the eighth inning. Vladimir Frias led the charge with a two-out double and then scored on a single by T.J. Mittelstaedt. Matt Padgett drove in Mittelstaedt, and Ray Sadler reached on an error that allowed Danny Richar to score from third.
The T-Bones (42-52) conclude their three-game series at Fargo-Moorhead (40-54) Thursday afternoon at 12:30. The game can be heard in the Kansas City area on 1660-AM or worldwide at tbonesbaseball.com.
Box scores: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=178218 – Story from T-Bones
Sporting Kansas City will play host to the Houston Dynamo in a nationally televised rivalry match at Sporting Park on Friday night.
The Eastern Conference clash will kick off at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network with radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish). A limited number of tickets for the game can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com until they are sold out.
A rematch of the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship, Friday’s contest features two familiar foes.
Sporting KC (12-7-6, 42 points) is second place in the conference, one point behind D.C. United and three points behind Seattle Sounders FC in the Supporters’ Shield race.
Houston (7-13-4, 25 points) is ninth in the East and six points out of playoff position. Since joining MLS in 2006, the Dynamo have qualified for the postseason in eight of their nine seasons.
The clubs have met in each of the last three postseasons, with Houston eliminating Sporting KC in 2011 and 2012 before Peter Vermes’ team prevailed in the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship.
Winners of two MLS Cups each, Sporting KC and Houston have met 15 times during the last four seasons in all competitions, including five playoff tilts and one U.S. Open Cup qualification match in 2011.
Sporting KC holds a 6-3-6 edge during this period and is unbeaten against the Dynamo in seven straight matches dating back to July 2012.