Border Showdown Rival Missouri Tops Kansas Volleyball In Three

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite a .571 attack percentage and four blocks by sophomore Tayler Tolefree, the Kansas volleyball team fell in three sets (25-23, 25-21, 28-26) at Missouri Wednesday evening.

KU, which defeated the Tigers 3-1 in Lawrence earlier this season, fell to 13-10 on the year and 4-8 in the Big 12 Conference, while Missouri improved to 14-8 overall, including 6-6 in league play.

Set three came down to the wire as Missouri edged KU in extra points, 28-26. Kansas trailed 20-17 before redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc’s serving put the Jayhawks back in the match. The middle blocker served three straight aces to go along with a Karina Garlington kill and MU attack error to put KU ahead 22-20.

Missouri responded with three unanswered points to lead 23-22 and the teams went back-and-forth for the remainder of the contest. Senior Jenna Kaiser held off set-point at 25-24 with a hard-hit kill just past the 10-foot line. A Tiger attack error at 26-25 again held off MU set-point but Missouri’s Julianna Klein rattled off two kills to end the match.

Tolefree recorded her high hitting efficiency on eight kills with no errors in 14 attempts. Kaiser matched Tolefree with a career-high four blocks. She also added five kills. Garlington and Jarmoc led the Jayhawks with nine kills each.

KU took advantage of a Missouri service error while trailing 24-21 in the first set to try and make a late run. Mayfield kept KU’s momentum going in the next play with a huge solo block. A Tiger attack error then brought the Jayhawks within one at 24-23 but MU was able to collect a kill in the next play to end the threat.

Tolefree had five kills in five attempts during the opening frame and was one of four Jayhawks with multiple kills as a balanced KU offense hit .333 to open the match. MU was slightly better with a .342 clip.

Despite the fact that Kansas’ blocking improved in the second set, its offense did not as it fell 25-21 behind a .020 attack percentage. The Jayhawks held a lead through the first half of the set before Missouri battled its way back into the lead. With the score tied 12-12, Kansas scored three unanswered points but had its momentum halted when the Tigers responded with four-straight points to edge KU 16-15. Kansas held a brief lead at 17-16 but it was the last advantage it would hold in the set.

KU did manage to threaten again near the end when a kill by Garlington paired with a Tiger attack error brought the Jayhawks within two points at 23-21. Missouri hit a lucky shot down the line in the next play however, followed by a second kill after that to end the set.

The Jayhawks return home Saturday, Oct. 30 to welcome Texas Tech. First serve from the Horejsi Family Athletics Center is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.