Volleyball Falls Short In Border Showdown

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the sixth time this season the Kansas volleyball team battled back from a two-set deficit to force an extended match, but not even a career-high 20 digs from junior Melissa Grieb could help KU overcome Missouri as the Jayhawks fell 3-1 here Wednesday night.

Kansas, who fell by scores of 25-20, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-19, dropped to 8-9 overall and 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri halted a three-match skid with the victory as they improve to 9-9 and 3-5 in league play.

Despite topping the Tigers in kills, assists and digs and hitting a respectable .275 attack percentage in the opening stanza, KU fell short, 25-20, as Missouri’s .333 hitting efficiency was enough to edge the Jayhawks.

Senior Natalie Uhart picked up a third of the team’s kills going a perfect 5-for-5 with no errors in set one.

After coming within one of the Tigers in set two at 15-14, KU was hampered by errors helping Missouri go on a 7-1 run and eventual 25-19 win to take a two-set edge heading into the break.

Two sets in, sophomore Melissa Manda, who matched Grieb’s 20 digs during the contest, and Grieb already had double-digit digs tallying 11 and 10, respectively.

After three lead changes in the beginning of set three KU took a one-point lead at 12-11 and, although the Tigers came back to tie the score four times, KU always came back out on top. The Jayhawks strung together four unanswered points near the end of the set for a four point advantage. Sophomore Karina Garlington and Savannah Noyes each tallied a kill to help Kansas to a 25-21 win.

The fourth and final set proved another close contest up until the end. As Kansas trailed 21-19, Missouri rattled off four straight points to win the match.

Four Jayhawks finished with double figure kills led by Garlington, who notched 17 along with 12 digs for her third double-double of the season. Uhart and sophomore Jenna Kaiser each added 12, while junior Brittany Williams chipped in 10.

Freshman setter Nicole Tate also picked up a double-double during the match with 51 assists and 10 digs.

Kansas next travels to Baylor Wednesday, Oct. 22 in the first of a two-match road trip. The Jayhawks and Bears are scheduled for a 7 p.m. contest.