Jayhawks Extend Match Against Top 5 Team For Second Time This Season

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second straight match, the Kansas volleyball team was able to take a set from a top-five team. The Jayhawks (7-6, 1-3 Big 12) fell to No. 3 Texas (8-2, 2-1 Big 12) in four sets here at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Kansas, who lost 25-14, 20-25, 25-20 and 25-23, was led by sophomore Jenna Kaiser who connected for a season-high 12 kills, while seniors Savannah Noyes and Natalie Uhart contributed nine and seven, respectively.

A balanced Jayhawk defense saw three players with nine digs in junior Katie Martincich, sophomore Melissa Manda and freshman Nicole Tate. Tate was just shy of her third double-double of the season as she also posted 33 assists on the night.

In the opening stanza, the Longhorns took advantage of seven Kansas errors to quickly take the first set 25-14.

Texas then took an early 5-1 lead to begin the second set, but the Jayhawks fought back and a service ace from Tate tied it at 13 all. KU continued with four unanswered points to take its first lead of the contest and never looked back. Junior Brittany Williams delivered the final blow to give the Jayhawks a 25-20 win. Before last week’s 3-1 loss to No. 2 Nebraska, the Kansas volleyball team had not won a set from a top-five team since 2005.

Kansas fell behind in the opening points of set three and trailed for the rest of the set, unable to find an offensive answer as they struggled hitting just .143.

The Jayhawks stayed close behind the Longhorns in set four and finally came within one at 21-20 following a service ace from Manda and a UT attack error. Texas soon got ahead 24-21, but Kansas was able to hold off match point when, after a UT service error, KU freshman Allison Mayfield tallied her first service ace of the season to bring the Jayhawks within one again at 24-23. Unfortunately for Kansas, Texas’ Ashley Engle tallied the winning kill on the next play.

Kansas will return to action Wednesday, Oct. 1, when they face in-state rival Kansas State at 7 p.m. inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.