Jayhawks Take #17 Kansas State to Five Sets, Fall 3-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In front of a sellout crowd of 1,300, the Kansas Jayhawk volleyball team fell to No. 17 Kansas State in five sets (22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 18-25, 15-9) at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Wednesday night. It was the third straight contest in which the Jayhawks extended a match against a ranked opponent.
With the loss, Kansas evens its record at 7-7 overall and drops to 1-4 in the Big 12. Kansas State improves to 14-2 and 4-1 in conference action.
Kansas head coach Ray Bechard knew the match would be competitive.
“It was a really important match for us tonight,” said Bechard. “After playing so well last week, we were really feeling positive. We slugged it out with them for four sets, but they grabbed the momentum right away in the fifth set. We just couldn’t finish them off.”
Behind strong blocking, Kansas took the first set 25-22. The Jayhawks rattled off seven straight points to win the set after 14 ties and five lead changes.
The second set saw the two teams trade scoring runs until the Wildcats came out on top, 25-19. Kansas State took the third set as well by a score of 25-18.
The fourth set ended in Kansas’ favor however, as the Jayhawks downed the Wildcats 25-18 behind the serving arm of junior Melissa Grieb. Grieb, who served for 10 straight points, set a new career-high for services aces with five and tied KU’s season match high of five set by sophomore Karina Garlington against NC State on Aug. 30.
Kansas matched K-State point-for-point in the last 10 points of the fifth and final set, but the Wildcats’ healthy lead built in the opening of set five kept the Jayhawks well out of reach.
Garlington led the Jayhawks with 17 kills on the night, her 11th outing with double digit kills, while senior Natalie Uhart tallied eight and junior Brittany Williams chipped in with seven. Garlington also totaled a career-high five blocks. Freshman Nicole Tate recorded her third double-double of the season with 43 assists and 14 digs.
Kansas State’s Natalya Korobkova led all players with a season-high 20 kills.
Kansas returns to action at Texas Tech this Saturday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.