Jayhawk Volleyball Picks Up Program's First Win at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Behind a career-best 32 digs from freshman Brianne Riley, the Kansas volleyball team recorded its first-ever victory in College Station as the Jayhawks defeated Texas A&M 3-2 Wednesday evening. Kansas won by scores of 25-14, 17-25, 25-20, 22-25 and 15-12.

Riley’s digs tied senior Melissa Manda’s mark earlier this season for the second-most digs by a Big 12 player this year as KU improved to 16-11 overall and 7-9 in the Big 12. TAMU dropped to 12-13 on the season, including 6-9 in the conference.

In the fifth set, KU fell behind as the Aggies used a 5-1 run to steal the lead at 12-11. However, Kansas was able to take advantage of two TAMU attack errors while junior Allison Mayfield provided two kills to push KU to a 15-12 win following its 4-0 run to end the set.

Mayfield finished with nine kills and was just shy of a double-double as she also had 10 digs. Manda was the third Jayhawk with double-digit digs as she matched Mayfield with 10.

The Kansas offense was led by senior Karina Garlington’s 18 kills followed by senior Jenna Kaiser, who pitched in a season-high 17 kills. Garlington also finished the match with four blocks, including two solo rejections, along with sophomore Tayler Tolefree.

Kansas opened the first set with a 15-4 lead, a rally which was started and ended with 5-0 runs. The Aggies scored nine of the next 12 points to come within five points at 18-13, but it was as close as they would come as KU recorded seven of the last eight points, including the final four.

A balanced Kansas attack had six different Jayhawks with at least one kill in the opening frame, led by Garlington’s four tallies. KU also took advantage of 12 Aggie attack errors, while Riley limited TAMU’s offensive production with nine of her 32 digs in set one as Texas A&M hit -.106.

The Jayhawks couldn’t carry its momentum into the second set while Texas A&M’s offense improved dramatically, hitting a match-high .412 attack percentage. The Aggies used an 8-1 run midway through the frame to gain a 13-6 advantage, a gap KU found too wide to overcome. Kansas was unable to string together more than two points at a time in the set.

It was Kansas who made the mid-set push in the third frame. The teams stayed within two points of each other until, with the score 11-all, KU scored four unanswered points with two kills each from redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc and Kaiser, who finished the set with seven kills. The teams continued to trade points through the remainder of the frame but the Jayhawks’ earlier run was just enough to keep the lead as they won 25-20.

KU’s offense committed just two attack errors in the third set to record a match-best .400 hitting efficiency, used to overcome TAMU’s respectable .333 clip.

Despite 11 digs by Riley in the fourth set, Kansas was edged 25-22. Facing an early deficit and trailing 15-13, KU came out of a timeout to score three-straight points and used a 5-1 run overall to take over the lead at 18-16. Unfortunately, the Aggies responded with four unanswered points to take a 20-18 advantage. The teams tied at 20-20 and again at 21-all, but TAMU scored four of the next five points to force a fifth set.

Kansas has a bye in the schedule this Saturday, Nov. 13, and will not return to action until Wednesday, Nov. 17 when it hosts Baylor for a 6 p.m. match. That contest will be televised on Metro Sports in Kansas City and Lawrence