Jayhawks Win Hard Fought Battle Against Rival Missouri
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Jenna Kaiser collected a season-high 16 kills against no errors, while fellow senior Karina Garlington led the Jayhawks with 22 kills as the Kansas volleyball team defeated Missouri 25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 25-21.
Kansas (11-5, 2-3 Big 12) is now 11-1 when winning the first set. Missouri fell to 10-5 overall, including 2-3 in league play.
For freshman Jaime Mathieu, the contest marked her first as the team’s libero. Mathieu had a team-high 23 digs in the contest to go along with four assists.
Kaiser set the tone for KU in the first set with six kills on a .667 attack percentage. The Jayhawks never trailed during the first set and took a commanding 18-10 lead, but the Tigers stormed back getting as close as three. Head coach Ray Bechard’s squad staved off the late comeback as the Jayhawks took the first frame 25-21.
In the second set, KU dug themselves in an early 5-3 hole, but surged its way back, scoring eight unanswered points to take an 11-5 lead. Garlington’s 10 kills in the set led the team as KU took the second frame 25-20, to go up 2-0 in the match.
The third set was the closest and most exciting for the sellout crowd of 1,300 on hand as both teams stayed within three points of each other for most of the way. Despite 13 ties and five lead changes, the Jayhawks couldn’t quite get over the hump as the Tigers edged out their first set win by a score of 26-24.
After an early 1-0 deficient, KU took charge in the fourth and final set and would not relinquish its lead. Missouri kept it close with scores of 10-9, 20-18 and 23-21 but
Garlington’s six kills and Kaiser’s along with junior Allison Mayfield’s five were too much as the Jayhawks closed out MU 25-21 behind a match-best .389 attack percentage.
For the match, Kansas hit at a .340 clip and out-dug the Tigers 67-55.
The Jayhawks will look to extend their streak and even their conference record when they travel to Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 2 for a 6:30 p.m. match.