Kansas Volleyball Falls In Border Showdown

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite 20 kills by junior Karina Garlington, the University of Kansas volleyball team could not stop Missouri’s offense as the Jayhawks were defeated 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 27-25, 26-24) in both teams’ Big 12 Conference opener.

The loss stops a four-match winning streak for Kansas and dropped its record to 7-3 overall. MU improved to 8-3 with the victory.

After getting off to a strong start and winning the first set, Kansas suddenly found itself trailing two sets to one.

In the fourth and final set, KU led 24-22 following a kill by Garlington, her ninth of the set, but the Jayhawks couldn’t put the set away allowing Missouri to score four straight points and win 26-24.

Senior Paige Mazour finished with 11 kills to join Garlington in double figures. She also hit a team-high .346 attack percentage. Garlington’s 20 kills match her season high.

Defensively, three Jayhawks had double-digit performances led by junior libero Melissa Manda’s 16. Sophomore Nicole Tate finished with 12 digs along with 43 assists in her third double-double this season. Allison Mayfield added 11 digs in the effort.

Kansas took a lead at 7-6 in the first set and used a 6-1 run to expand its advantage, one the Jayhawks held onto for the remainder of the frame. The Tigers came within two points on several occasions but after 19-16, MU never came closer than four points. Neither team made many mistakes but KU held a 19-12 edge in kills and swung at a match-best .378 attack percentage compared to Missouri’s .212 pace.

KU got off to a slow start in the second set and was forced to play from behind. Trailing 24-17, the situation didn’t look promising for the Jayhawks as MU held all the momentum. In the next play, a Missouri player took a swing that landed the ball on the Jayhawks’ side in what looked to be set-point, but an attack error instead awarded KU the point and renewed Kansas’ chances of a comeback.

The Jayhawks went on to score five straight points to cut their lead to two at 24-22. Unfortunately in the next play Tate went up for a solo block and the ball bounced off her hands and traveled out of bounds.

In set three, Kansas was able to knot the score at 23-23, 24-24 and 25-all but couldn’t make the key plays it needed as it fell 27-25.

Kansas has the weekend off due to a bye in the schedule but return to action next Wednesday, Sept. 23 to host Oklahoma in the Jayhawks’ conference home opener. Match time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.