No. 9 Cornhuskers Defeat Jayhawks, 3-0

LINCOLN, Neb. – Despite double-digit dig performances by four Jayhawks and two double-doubles, the University of Kansas volleyball team was defeated in three sets by the ninth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers Wednesday evening in front of sellout crowd numbering over 4,000 fans.

KU dropped to 9-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12 after falling to its second ranked team of the year. Nebraska improved to 11-4 and 4-2 in the conference with the victory.

Sophomore Allison Mayfield shared the team-lead of 12 digs along with junior Melissa Manda. Mayfield added a team-best 13 kills for her fourth double-double of the season and fifth-straight match of 10-plus kills.

Also notching a double-double was sophomore Nicole Tate. She had 28 assists and 11 digs to record her sixth DD of the season.

Senior Katie Martincich contributed 11 digs in the contest as the Jayhawks out-dug NU 55-46. It marked the first time this season KU lost a match when out-digging its opponent as the Jayhawks are now 8-1 when holding a defensive advantage.

The Jayhawks got off to a bleak start in the third set quickly finding themselves down 7-2 but battled their way back into the game. Kansas soon gained the momentum and rattled off five-straight points to cut its deficit to 10-9. Scoring four of the next five points gave KU its first lead of the set at 13-12, which it eventually expanded to 17-14 following four errors by Nebraska.

The Huskers were able to limit its errors down the stretch though, as they eventually strung together a 4-1 run followed by four more consecutive points. KU then found itself on the wrong end of several long rallies near the conclusion of the set as NU’s strong push at the end finally won the match, 25-21.

In the opening set, Kansas was able to take a one-point lead three times taking the advantage at 9-8, 11-10 and 12-11. Near set point however, Nebraska was able to string together four-straight tallies to push ahead 20-15. The teams split the next 10 ten points but the Huskers’ earlier run kept the advantage in their possession as they won 25-20.

Mayfield recorded five kills in the opening frame, including three of the team’s last five points.

Despite seven more kills from Mayfield in the second set, the Husker offense was red-hot recording just two hitting errors and a .417 attack percentage en route another NU 25-20 win.

Trailing 12-8 in the second frame, the Jayhawks scored seven of the next nine points to take its first lead of the set at 15-14. Nebraska bounced back after a timeout using a 4-1 run to take back its advantage. KU again struggled with end-game, scoring five of the set’s final 16 points.

The Jayhawks will take on their second-straight top 15 foe on Saturday, Oct. 10 versus No. 14 Iowa State. The match is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.