Jayhawks Defeat Aggies in Five-Game Thriller
Sept. 20, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Three Jayhawks totaled 22 or more kills as University of Kansas volleyball defeated Texas A&M, 3-2, Wednesday night in front of a lively crowd of 1,182 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. With the 28-30, 30-26, 30-28, 29-31, 17-15 win, KU (8-4, 1-2 Big 12 Conference) earned its first Big 12 victory of the season while the Aggies moved to 7-4 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Senior Jana Correa and junior Emily Brown led all players with 24 kills apiece — both KU season highs — while sophomore Savannah Noyes was close behind with a career-high 22 and team-best .385 hitting efficiency on the night. Correa also led the Jayhawk defense with a career-best 20 digs and Brown added 16, a season high.
Redshirt freshman Katie Martincich dished a career-high 69 assists to go with her 15 digs and four kills in the win. Rookie Melissa Grieb added a career-best 16 digs while senior Jamie Mathewson added 14 in the defensive effort. Freshman Brittany Williams rounded out the hitters with nine kills.
KU totaled five-game season highs in kills (87) and attack percentage (.233) as it ended a three-match losing streak.
“I thought we were going to win, I thought they were going to win — and then we won,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said after his team’s win. “I’m really proud of our kids. We were resilient and we had some kids who did a great job — especially Brown, Correa and Noyes. There’s a lot of things we could have done better. We couldn’t get the ball to the right places, but the bottom line is in this conference, you’re going to be in some tight games, and we responded really well.”
KU led 10-4 to start Game One, but A&M tied the stanza at 27-all and took its first timeout of the match. Despite hitting just .135 with 14 kills and nine errors on 37 attempts, the Aggies took the momentum late and claimed the game. The Jayhawks came back from an 8-2 deficit in Game Two to tie the game, 20-20, after a 6-0 run. Five unanswered points propelled KU to a 24-21 lead and the Jayhawks capitalized on 12 Aggie hitting errors to claim the stanza.
The Jayhawks took their first break in Game Three down 17-10, but clawed back to a 23-23 score. Behind the arm of Correa, KU traded points with A&M until Williams knocked in a kill on the right side, 29-28, and Brown’s kill ended the stanza. The Aggies were behind through most of Game Four until the 18-18 mark when Brown was called for a net violation. Down 25-23, KU called its first timeout of the stanza. The teams battled to five more ties until KU recorded three straight attack errors to end the game, 31-29.
In Game Five, KU survived two TAMU match points to take the win. The Jayhawks took an 11-9 lead, but the Aggies tied the game five times that. At 15-all, Correa smashed a kill of a TAMU block and Aggie freshman Mary Batis hit an attack out of bounds to end the match, 17-15, in KU’s favor.
KU continues Big 12 action Saturday against Colorado (6-4, 2-1). Match time at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo., is set for 8 p.m.