Jayhawk Volleyball Falls At Oklahoma In Four Set Battle

NORMAN, Okla. – Despite double digit kills by sophomore Jenna Kaiser and senior Natalie Uhart, the Kansas volleyball team fell in four sets (25-13, 25-13, 22-25, 25-20) at Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks are 12-13 and 6-10 in the Big 12 following the loss. Oklahoma improved to 11-14 and 7-10 in conference action.

Kaiser, who had eight kills in the fourth set alone, led KU with 11 kills in the contest. Uhart followed with 10 on a team-high .286 attack percentage.

Freshman Nicole Tate picked up her 10th double-double with 38 assists and 10 digs. Also digging up double figure balls was sophomore libero Melissa Manda, who tied a season-high 27 digs. Junior Melissa Grieb contributed 14 digs.

The Jayhawks could not get the offensive momentum they needed in the opening set, while Oklahoma was able to put together several runs of five or more points to take down KU, 25-13. Kansas had 10 kills in the set, just two less than the Sooners, but the Jayhawks’ nine hitting errors gave OU too many unearned points.

The teams remained close in the beginning of set two. A pair of kills from Uhart kept the Jayhawks within one of the Sooners, but Oklahoma proceeded with a 6-1 run to pull away where they remained out of Kansas’ reach for the remainder of the set en route to a 25-13 win. OU’s blocking game was also effective collecting seven team blocks after the first two sets.

No stranger to a two-set deficit, Kansas battled back to a 25-22 victory in the third stanza, the eighth time this season the Jayhawks have rallied back to win the third set after dropping its first two.

The teams stayed neck and neck for much of set three as there were nine ties. Up 18-17, Kansas strung together a 6-1 run to take a 24-18 lead. Oklahoma stalled set point rattling off four consecutive tallies and threatening the Jayhawks’ win as they came within 24-22, but KU sophomore Karina Garlington hammered the set-winning blow with her ninth kill of the contest.

The Jayhawks fell behind 7-3 in the fourth set but rallied back with eight unanswered points, jump started by a pair of Kaiser kills, to take the lead at 11-7. Oklahoma slowly chipped away at its deficit eventually knotting the score at 17. From there, OU used a seven point run for a 23-18 advantage. A kill by Uhart and an OU service error gave KU two more tallies on the scoreboard but the Sooners put the match away, 25-20, with a kill to end Kansas’ fight.

Kansas volleyball returns to the friendly confines of the Horejsi Family Athletics Center for the third time in the last four matches when it hosts No. 3 Nebraska Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.