Efficient Offense Powers KU Volleyball Past Akron in Three

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball hit a season-high .359 attack percentage to sweep Akron and remain perfect for the season, moving to 5-0. The Jayhawks won all three sets in convincing fashion, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-13 in their first match of the Jayhawk Classic.

It marks KU’s best start to a season since the Jayhawks began 8-0 in 2004. Akron fell to 2-2 with the loss.

“I thought we had pretty good balance offensively and we hit at a high efficiency,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “We served well, too. We just need to get off to a better start next time. We got off to kind of a slow start.”

Senior outside hitter Karina Garlington and junior outside Allison Mayfield led the team with nine kills each. Senior outside attacker Jenna Kaiser chipped in seven more kills on a .455 hitting efficiency. Freshman setter Kara Wehrs also had a strong outing collecting five kills and no errors for a .625 attack percentage. She also added 30 assists and six digs in the effort.

In the back court, senior Melissa Manda led KU’s defensive specialists with 13 digs, while freshman Brianne Riley also had double-digit digs with 12.

The Jayhawks fell behind early in the first set and trailed 11-7. Kansas then rallied for five straight points, including a Morgan Boub ace, to tie the game at 11 followed by a kill from redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc to give the Jayhawks their first lead of the match. KU never surrendered the lead for the remainder of the set, winning 25-15. Wehrs led the team with four kills in the first set swinging at a perfect 1.000 attack percentage.

In the second set, KU trailed early again, 7-3, but the Jayhawks won nine of the next 10 points to take a 12-8 lead before coasting to a 25-16 win.

In the final set, Kansas jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead en route to a 25-13 victory to complete the sweep. KU hit a match-best .467 attack in the final frame. Garlington had five of her nine kills in the set while Manda and Riley each contributed five digs.

The Jayhawks will play again at 7 p.m. Friday evening (tonight) against Arkansas, which defeated Chattanooga in five sets in its opening match of the Jayhawks Classic.