Kansas Volleyball Defeats Lipscomb in Season-Opener
OMAHA, Neb. – Senior Karina Garlington collected 20 kills, while junior Allison Mayfield chipped in 17 as the University of Kansas volleyball team defeated Lipscomb 3-1 (32-30, 25-27, 25-22, 25-16) in both teams season opener Friday afternoon at the Bluejay Invitational.
Three Jayhawks made their collegiate debuts in the Kansas starting lineup including redshirt freshman middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, freshman setter Kara Wehrs and freshman libero Brianne Riley. Freshman defensive specialist Jamie Mathieu also appeared for the Crimson and Blue during the match.
Riley recorded a team-best 20 digs and also had a service ace. Wehrs had 16 digs to go along with 42 assists for her first double-double. Jarmoc was dominant at the net as she had nine total blocks in the contest and six kills. KU out-blocked the Lady Bison 13.0-8.0 during the match.
“It was a real dogfight,” said 13th year head coach Ray Bechard. “I liked the way we came back after the break. We played great late in set three and very well in set four. We got a lot from Karina (Garlington) and Allison (Mayfield) but we need more balance on offense. But it was a good win against a team that is going to win a lot of matches.”
In the opening set, Kansas held a lead for much of the set until Lipscomb battled back to knot the score at 17 and ultimately took over the lead. KU used a four-point run to gain back the advantage at 22-20 but the teams tied eight more times before the end of the frame. With the Jayhawks trailing 30-29, Kansas strung together three-straight points to win the match from a Lipscomb attack error and ball handling error, while Garlington notched a kill.
Set two proved to be another closely contested frame with 12 ties and four lead changes. Once again KU held the lead for much of the set but Lipscomb stayed within three points before eventually tying the score at 23-23. At 25-25, the Lady Bison scored a kill followed by a KU attack error that gave Lipscomb the set.
Kansas held a six-point lead in set three until the Lady Bison went on a 10-2 run to lead 19-17. The Jayhawks quickly responded with a four-point run that included three attack errors by Lipscomb and never trailed again. Mayfield was key down the stretch as she was responsible for KU’s last four points with three kills and an ace.
The Jayhawks made quick work of Lipscomb in the fourth and final set. KU finally pulled away at 11-10 with a 6-1 run and never looked back as they defeated the Lady Bison with a match-best .448 attack percentage in set four.
Both teams struggled from the service line as Kansas recorded 10 service errors and Lipscomb had 11.
Kansas will play two more matches on Saturday (tomorrow) as part of the Bluejay Invitational. KU will meet San Francisco at 10 a.m. before concluding the weekend versus host Creighton at 7:30 p.m.