No. 1 Nebraska Knocks Off Kansas In Three
Sept. 26, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Despite a combined 15 kills from freshman Jenna Kaiser and junior Natalie Uhart, top-ranked Nebraska scored a three-game sweep of Kansas Wednesday evening in a Big 12 volleyball match at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Huskers claimed all three games by scores of 30-18, 30-24 and 30-18.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Nebraska improved to 11-0 and 4-0 in conference play, while the Jayhawks fell to 9-6 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12.
Kaiser led the Jayhawks with eight kills and a pair of digs, Uhart added seven kills, two digs and a service ace, while senior Emily Brown chipped in six kills, 16 assists and seven digs. Sophomore Kaitie Martincich led the Jayhawks with 11 digs and added 12 assists.
Nebraska took the first game, 30-18 on the strength of a 9-2 run. Senior Emily Brown and Natalie Uhart combined for six kills in the game. KU held tough in the early stages of the game, closing a 10-5 deficit to come within two.
After taking an early 4-0 lead in game two on a strong pair of Jenna Kaiser kills, the Jayhawks were overtaken by a Nebraska surge midway through. Kansas held a 16-14 lead before the Huskers rattled off four of the next five points. KU came within one on a Caitlin Mahoney block at 23-24, however that was as close as it would get.
The Huskers scored nine of the final 10 points to take the second game 30-24.
Nebraska used a 10-1 run in the middle stages of the third game to score a 30-18 triumph. KU scored on back-to-back points at game-point, but could not close the gap any farther.
The Jayhawks will travel to IowaState next Wednesday to battle the Cyclones in a 6:30 p.m. match.
Coach Ray Bechard
On the match against No. 1 Nebraska:
“You have to be really good for a long time, and there were times in game two and a good start in game one where our goal was to get into a 20-20 game. We did that in game two, but they turned it up a notch. They have a national player of the year, Sarah Pavon, and the best player on the floor tonight was Jordan Larson, which is an indication of how deep and how good they are. On our side, we have (Natalie) Uhart, who has been out for 10 matches and I thought she played extremely well, with a lot of courage. (Jenna) Kaiser also played well. In my 10 years here, this is one of the better teams I’ve seen.”
On Natalie Uhart’s Return:
“She raises everyone’s game a level because she’s a great communicator, a great competitor and a great teammate. All of those things are important to what we’re trying to do. I was very surprised with her performance. I expected there to be a lot more rust, because we weren’t sure if she could come back quite this soon. She’s been practicing extremely well, and today she told me she felt good and said she was ready to play.”
On Playing Without Brittany Williams:
“She’s one of our weapons, she plays physical at the net with a lot of energy and emotion. That obviously would have been helpful to us. But at the same time (Caitlin) Mahoney has been through this before and understands what our expectations are. When you’re faced with someone who has to sit out, someone else has to step up.”
Freshman Jenna Kaiser
On her enthusiasm:
“All the freshmen do not know what its like to play against a team like Nebraska, of course we’re all going to be excited, and the upperclassmen are trying to pump us up as well.”
On playing Nebraska:
“We all expected them to be good and do things well; that’s exactly what we got. They’re some of the best players I’ve competed against.”