Kansas Volleyball Rallies Back To Tame Missouri, 3-2

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Several Jayhawks turned in career performances as Kansas volleyball defeated the Missouri Tigers in five sets (25-12, 18-25, 15-25, 25-13, 16-14) at the Horejsi Family Athletic Center Wednesday night.

With the win, KU improves to 10-11 overall and ties Missouri with a 4-8 Big 12 Conference record. Missouri falls to 10-12 on the season.

The theme of the evening was career-high digs as four Jayhawks posted record numbers. Junior Melissa Grieb tallied 21 digs and senior Natalie Uhart contributed eight, while freshman Nicole Tate recorded 50 assists and a career-high 17 digs on her way to her eighth double-double of the season. Sophomore Karina Garlington also had her fifth double-double with a team-high 19 kills and a career-high 17 digs.

Senior Savannah Noyes tied her career-high with six assists. Sophomore Jenna Kaiser added 15 kills and Uhart chipped in with 12 as Kansas tallied a hitting advantage of 66-41. The Jayhawks also topped the Tigers, who lead the league in digs, with a startling margin of 92-68.

The Jayhawks dominated the first set, tallying 18 kills to the Tigers’ six on their way to a .424 hitting percentage. Garlington led the Jayhawks with seven kills and junior Brittany Williams was five for five with no errors as KU won the set 25-12.

Missouri bounced back in the second set, taking the lead at 13-12 and squashing a KU comeback attempt before winning the set 25-18. The Tigers kept the momentum going into the third set, defeating the Jayhawks 25-15.

KU battled back in the fourth set, dispatching the Tigers 25-13 on a strong performance from the Jayhawk offense. Kaiser had five kills and Garlington added four to give the Jayhawks the win.

The fifth set saw five tied scores and Missouri with match point at 14-13, but KU scored nine of the last 11 points to take the set 16-14 and seal the match victory.

“We really set the tone coming out strong in set one,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “I thought the way we played in sets one and five were the best we’ve played all year. We were great from the service line and in transition defense.”

“I think this win really helps us gain some competitive confidence heading into the second half of conference season.”

Rivalry week continues for the Jayhawks as they travel to Kansas State Saturday, Nov. 1. Match time is slated for 7 p.m. against the Wildcats.