Volleyball Battles Back From Two-Set Deficit, Falls 3-2

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Despite a season-high 18 kills from Jenna Kaiser, the Kansas Volleyball team fell to Texas A&M in five sets (25-20, 25-19, 16-25, 19-25, 15-8) before 1,036 fans at the Horejsi Family Athletic Center.

The Jayhawks, who battled back from a two-set deficit for the fifth time this season to extend the match, dropped to 8-8 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 play, while the Aggies improved to 8-8 overall, 3-3 in Big 12 play.

“We made some changes after the break and we improved our passing,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “But Texas A&M really stepped up their blocking and we didn’t respond like we needed to in set five.”

Sophomore Karina Garlington continued her strong play with her second double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs. Her 15 kills marks the sixth time in seven matches she has recorded 10 or more kills. Natalie Uhart joined Kaiser and Garlington in double digit kills chipping in 11.

The Jayhawks took an early nine to five set one lead, but the Aggies stormed back to take 16 of the next 22 points behind a .400 attack percentage to take the first set, 25-20.

Texas A&M added to their lead in set two. After gaining an early edge at 3-2, the Aggies were able to hang on to their lead for the duration of the set to win 25-19 and take a 2-0 advantage.

Garlington and Kaiser combined for eight kills in set three to ignite the Jayhawks to an 11-3 run and eventual 25-16 victory.

The Jayhawks and Aggies traded the first 14 points of set four, before the Jayhawks won 14 of the next 20 points to claim the set, 25-19 and tie the match at two sets a piece. Kaiser added seven of her season-high 18 kills in set four, while the team swung at a match-high .400 attack percentage.

A balanced defensive attack for the Jayhawks held the Aggies down in sets three and four, but the Aggies used an impressive .556 hitting percentage in set five to lead them to a 15-8 victory.

Junior Katie Martincich dug up 11 balls on defense for KU. Sophomore Melissa Manda and freshman Nicole Tate added nine a piece. Tate was just shy of her third straight double-double as she had a team-high 51 assists.

The Jayhawks, who have a bye this weekend, return to action Wednesday, Oct. 15 when they travel to Missouri to compete in the Border Showdown at 7 p.m.