Volleyball Drops Five-Set Battle at Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. – Junior Allison Mayfield recorded a season-high 20 kills, while the Kansas volleyball team battled back from a two-set deficit to force a fifth frame but it was not enough as Colorado edged KU 15-13 in the final set to defeat the Jayhawks 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 13-25, 22-25, 15-13).

Kansas dropped to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big 12. Colorado evened its record to 5-5, including 2-2 in league play.

In the final set, Colorado went on a 4-0 run to take its first lead of the frame, 7-6. Kansas immediately responded with three-straight blocks to take back the advantage. Undeterred, the Buffaloes battled back to tie the score at 9-9 and again at 12-12. With score knotted at 12, CU recorded three of the last four points to edge Kansas 15-13.

Senior Karina Garlington added 14 kills in the effort and sophomore middle blocker Tayler Tolefree chipped in with a career-high 13 kills on a team-best .444 attack percentage. For the match, KU out-hit Colorado .227-.169.

Despite out-digging Colorado 17-8 in the first set and taking advantage of four CU service errors, Kansas could not find the winning piece as it fell 25-23 to open the match.

Freshman Brianne Riley paced the KU defense with a career-best 24 digs, her third contest with 20-plus digs this season. Three more Jayhawks joined Riley with double-digit digs including junior Nicole Tate (16), senior Melissa Manda (12) and sophomore Morgan Boub (10). Kansas’ defense was also aided by redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc, who totaled seven blocks in the contest. Tate tied her career-high with five blocks.

Kansas found itself down 23-17 in the second set before it scored three-straight points to cut its deficit to three. Colorado picked up the next point to lead 24-20 but the Jayhawks did not give up tallying the next three points on two kills from Mayfield and another from Jarmoc. During the next play, a Colorado attack bounced off KU’s block and landed out-of-bounds to award the Buffaloes set point.

Trailing two sets to none, Kansas refused to give up and came out of the break with a strong performance in set three. The Jayhawks used an early 7-0 run to take a 9-5 lead and utilized that momentum to cruise to a 25-13 win. KU, which also benefitted from 10 Colorado attack errors, closed out the set scoring eight of the final 10 points to seal the victory.

A strong push towards the end helped the Jayhawks score a 25-22 win in set four. KU led 20-19 but soon fell behind 21-20. Following a Kansas timeout, the Jayhawks rallied for four-straight points behind two kills from Mayfield, another from Jarmoc and a Colorado attack error. CU held off set-point for one play before Mayfield slammed the set-winning kill, her seventh of the frame.

The Jayhawks return home to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center to host Border Showdown rival Missouri on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. The match will be televised in Lawrence on Metro Sports, which can be found on Sunflower Broadband channel 37.