Jayhawks Fall Short to #1 Huskers, 3-0
Sept. 13, 2006
LINCOLN, Neb. –
Senior Jana Correa led all players with 14 kills as Kansas volleyball opened Big 12 Conference play with a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Nebraska Wednesday night at Nebraska Coliseum. Playing in front of a national audience live on CSTV, the Jayhawks (7-3, 0-1 Big 12) put up a fight, including solid defense, but fell short to the top-ranked Huskers (8-0, 1-0), 24-30, 21-30 and 24-30.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
“I think the team was disappointed that we played a little tentatively and we are a much better passing team than we showed tonight,” head coach Ray Bechard commented after the loss. “We held Nebraska to a low hitting efficiency, but 36 kills and 31 errors is not a good hitting ratio for us. In games One and Two we came out strong but we just couldn’t hang for the whole 30 points.”
In addition to her 14 kills, Correa posted 10 digs in a solid defensive effort by KU. Sophomore Savannah Noyes, an Indianola, Neb., native, added eight kills and three blocks and junior Emily Brown had five kills, 10 digs and seven assists to round out the top Jayhawk performers.
Redshirt freshman Katie Martincich dished 24 assists and added 11 digs while senior Jamie Mathewson paced the KU defense with 15 digs. Freshman Melissa Grieb added seven digs and an ace in the effort. NU junior All-American Sarah Pavan tallied 12 kills for the Huskers and sophomore Jordan Larson had 11.
The Huskers, who coming into the match led the Big 12 with a .339 hitting percentage, were held to a .159 clip. KU hit a season-low .038 and was outblocked by NU, 14.0 to 6.0.
The Jayhawks took advantage of a block by Noyes and two Husker hitting errors to take a 15-13 lead at the first media timeout. NU tied Game One at 21-all and answered with a 4-1 run, forcing KU’s second called timeout of the match, 25-22. Despite four kills and five digs from Correa, a Jayhawk serve into the net and hitting error by Brown closed Game One in the Huskers’ favor.
Game Two began with long, exciting rallies and impressive defensive plays by both teams. The Huskers pulled away, 15-10, after rattling off three straight kills. After recording a .051 attack percentage (12k/10e/39a) in Game One, KU continued to struggle offensively in the second stanza, hitting at a .061 clip with 12 kills and nine errors on 49 attempts. Martincich notched seven of the Jayhawks’ 21 digs in the game.
Nebraska jumped ahead, 17-12, and later used seven unanswered points to take a 22-14 advantage. A kill by Correa and a Jayhawk block brought KU within five, 24-19, but hitting mistakes kept the Jayhawks out of reach late in Game Three. KU had 12 kills and 12 errors in 43 attempts (.000) in the final stanza.
KU’s slate does not get any easier as No. 5 Texas (6-2, 1-0) visits the Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Saturday. Match time in Lawrence is set for 7 p.m.