Fifth-Ranked Nebraska Downs Kansas Volleyball in Three

Lawrence, Kan. – Despite a team-high 10 kills from junior Allison Mayfield, the Kansas volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to No. 5 Nebraska Wednesday evening by scores of 25-17, 25-14, and 25-19. The fifth-ranked Huskers were the third top 15 foe in the last five matches for the Jayhawks.

With the loss, KU dropped to 14-11 overall and 5-9 in conference play. Nebraska improved to 21-2 on the season, including 13-1 in the Big 12.

“They (Nebraska) had good balance. The are experienced, they have four senior who have played a lot,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “If you have one four or five-point run against a team, like they seem to have every set, that really creates a difficult situation for you. It seems like we were at 10-10 every set and then they made that little push. We needed to slow them down more offensively. I thought it was more of an issue of their offense then anything else.”

In the first set, Kansas stuck with Nebraska early on but the Huskers slowly built up a six-point lead and the Jayhawks could not catch up. Nebraska closed the set scoring the final four points. Senior Karina Garlington and sophomore Tayler Tolefree collected four kills a piece for KU in the opening frame but the team’s .200 attack percentage could not match NU’s .471 clip as it fell 25-17.

Nebraska’s offense stayed hot through the remainder of the match as the Cornhuskers hit a .423 hitting efficiency. KU managed just .173 on offense.

NU’s offense kept the Kansas back row busy as four players collected five or more digs. Freshman Brianne Riley led the team with nine digs, while senior Melissa Manda followed with eight. Junior setter Nicole Tate added six digs and Mayfield chipped in with five.

The second set began in a very much back-and-forth manner with KU holding a one-point lead at the beginning. At 8-8, Nebraska gained the advantage in the next play and soon used a 10-1 rally to pull out of reach en route to its 25-14 win.

In the third and final set, Nebraska once again used a strong push midway through the frame to pull just out of reach of the Jayhawks, often leading by no more than four points. An ace by Mayfield put KU within two points at 14-12 but Nebraska quickly responded with two-straight points to keep the Jayhawks’ threat at bay. The Huskers struggled near end-game as Kansas’ last five points came from NU attack errors but the Jayhawks could not muster a rally of their own as they fell 25-19.

The Jayhawks will next host the Buffaloes from Colorado Saturday Nov. 6 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Match time is set for 6:30 pm.