Jayhawks Top Baylor in Four as Manda Becomes School's All-Time Digs Leader
WACO, Texas – Senior Melissa Manda become Kansas volleyball’s all-time digs leader as the Jayhawks defeated Baylor in four sets (25-22, 25-27, 26-24, 26-24) Wednesday evening. Manda led KU with 28 digs on defense, moving her career total to 1,362 to pass Jill (Dorsey) Hall.
KU, which is 13-2 when winning the first set, scored its first Big 12 Conference road victory as it improved to 13-6 overall and 4-4 in the league. Baylor dropped its fourth-straight home contest and fell to 10-9 on the season, including 3-5 in the Big 12.
Junior Allison Mayfield led the Jayhawks with 19 kills during the contest to go along with 19 digs, one shy of her career best, as she recorded her third double-double of the season. KU’s defense held the Bears to a .133 hitting efficiency, the 14th Jayhawk opponent to hit below .200 this season.
Senior Karina Garlington and redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc added 12 kills a piece for Kansas. The mark tied a career best for Jarmoc, who recorded her kills on a .500 attack percentage while adding eight blocks.
In the first set, the teams stayed within three points of each other through the entire frame and tied 15 times. As KU trailed 20-19, Jarmoc and Mayfield helped the Jayhawks to three unanswered points to regain the lead. Mayfield tallied a kill and then teamed up with Jarmoc for a block. In the next play, Jarmoc and senior Jenna Kaiser provided another block as Kansas went up 21-19.
Baylor broke the run with a kill but Mayfield responded right away with a KU kill and then added a block assist with Jarmoc once again to keep a three-point lead at 23-20. The Bears recorded two straight points to prompt a KU timeout, and the Jayhawks came out of the breather with back-to-back kills from Mayfield and Jarmoc. The pair contributed five and four kills, respectively, in the opening set while Jarmoc also had five blocks. Kansas dominated at the net in the opening frame out-blocking BU 6.0-1.0.
Set two was another close contest with 22 ties and 14 lead changes. Kansas looked as though it would pull away halfway through the frame when it scored a 3-0 run on kills from Garlington and junior setter Nicole Tate and then aided by a BU attack error as the Jayhawks took an 18-17 lead. Unfortunately, the Bears called a timeout to spoil KU’s momentum. Baylor errors gave Kansas its next six points but BU ended the set with three-straight points to win 27-25.
The Jayhawks looked as though they would take set three easily but the Bears refused to give up. Kansas scored four-straight points early in the set which it eventually extended into a 13-3 run to lead 17-9. Following a pair of kills from Jarmoc and a dig from Boub that went over the net and turned into a kill, Kansas held a commanding 21-13 lead.
That’s when Baylor took a serious cut out of its deficit scoring seven unanswered points to come within one at 21-20. Eventually, the Bears came back to knot the score at 24-all but Mayfield was able to end the frame for Kansas as she collected back-to-back kills to help KU to a 26-24 win.
Set four also came down to the wire as KU edged Baylor 26-24 to win the match. The Jayhawks built up an 18-14 lead but struggled towards the end of the set as BU battled back late and took a 23-21 lead after tallying five-straight points. Undeterred, Kansas scored five of the last six points for the victory.
Mayfield was key in the final points as she collected two kills and combined for a block in the final four tallies. Jarmoc recorded a crucial solo block that tied the score at 24-24.
Kansas returns home this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 16 to host Oklahoma at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Match time with the Sooners is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.