COLUMBIA — Jungle-clad performers busted the house down.
The J-City Riot, a show choir from Jefferson City High School, performed during halftime of the Missouri volleyball team's 25-21, 26-24, 20-25, 28-26 victory over Kansas on Wednesday night at Hearnes Center.
The Missouri volleyball team beat Kansas 25-21, 26-24, 20-25, 28-26 Wednesday night at Hearnes Center.
Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning led the Tigers offensively. She racked up a career high 27 kills for the second time in row. Setter Molly Kreklow chipped in with 54 assists and 10 digs.
Defensively, senior libero Priscilla Armendariz tallied 23 digs. Freshman Sarah Meister chipped in with a career best 15 digs.
Missouri jumped out to 2-0 lead but Kansas rallied in the third game. The Jayhawks led by as many as 6 points in the fourth game before Missouri stormed back to win 28-26, clinching the match.
With the win, the Tigers are now 15-7 for the season and 2-4 in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri plays against Texas Tech on Saturday at Hearnes Center.
Boys, wearing long fur coats and black pants, interlocked arms with girls, who wore orange skirts and Tiger-striped tops. They walked barefoot out onto the volleyball court in unison before stopping to the right side of the net. After a short pause, the group sang "You're a good soldier, choosing your battles," the opening line to Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa.)"
A tribal dance followed. The girls jumped causing their skirts to swirl in the air, and the boys swayed back and forth.
Beth Dampf, who co-directs the group along with Kiesha Daulton, said Missouri invited the group to perform via e-mail, and she thought it was a good way to kick off the dance crew's season. She said the group considered several songs for their halftime performance, but decided to go with Shakira's "Waka Waka" because it fit with the atmosphere.
"We decided that would be the one we do because it's an upbeat song that the crowd would enjoy," Dampf said.
Judy Tracy, mother of Jamie Rector, a singer and dancer in J-City Riot, smiled when she talked about seeing her daughter perform.
"She (Rector) loves to sing and dance. She lives it, eats it, breathes it," Tracy said.
Tracy said that most of the boys and girls in the group have to split their time among Jefferson City High School's show choir, operetta and choral groups.
"My daughter will go to school at 7:30 and get home at 9 at night," Tracy said.
J-City performers Morgan Fankhauser and Nnamdi Ihenacho, who are dance partners, said they did not have a choice when it comes to selecting partners. They said their choreographer and director make that choice. Dampf said sometimes selecting partners is random while other times it's about how a specific person fits in with the group.
"It's about how they fit in. Some of the students are put in positions because of their abilities," she said.
Ihenacho said people don't squabble over who they get as a partner.
"Being together and having fun with each other, that's really all that matters," Ihenacho said
Fankhauser's first performance with the group was Wednesday night in front of 2,639 people at Hearnes Center.
"New slate. Black slate. It felt good, but it was really nerve racking," Fankhauser said.
She did have the benefit of Ihenacho, a senior with three years of experience. He said that he was nervous, too, but that practicing as a group in the concourse before halftime helped him to calm down.
Fankhauser said that being able to cheer on Missouri in a big match against Kansas made things special.
"We just thought it was cool. We have our Tiger uniforms on. Proud to represent," she said.