Jayhawks Come Up Short Against Tigers, 3-1
Nov. 18, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Five Jayhawks totaled double-digit kills as the University of Kansas volleyball team fell in four games to Border Showdown rival Missouri, 24-30, 30-28, 30-32 and 21-30, Saturday night at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. With the victory, the Tigers improved to 16-11 overall and 10-8 in Big 12 Conference action while the Jayhawks moved to 10-17 and 3-15 in league action.
“I told the team I was very proud of the effort they put in,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “We were a little disorganized and there were some broken plays we could have taken advantage of in the match. There was also a stretch in the middle of game four where I didn’t think we competed as hard as we needed to. But if you look at the entire two hour match, I thought that for about an hour and 45 minutes, it was good volleyball.”
Senior Megan Hill and freshman Brittany Williams paced the Kansas hitters with 15 kills apiece. Hill’s 15 kills marked a career high while she led the squad with a .342 hitting efficiency. Sophomore Savannah Noyes added 14 kills and two blocks and senior Jana Correa contributed 13 kills and a team-best 19 digs.
Coming off an injury, junior Emily Brown added 11 kills and five digs and senior Jamie Mathewson totaled 18 digs for the fifth time this season. Redshirt freshman Katie Martincich dished 62 assists to go with her 13 digs and career-best five kills. Martincich also set her way to a spot on the KU single-season assist list (1,135) and is currently eighth in the Jayhawks’ career top 10.
“For Megan Hill, it was probably one of her best matches, I’m proud of her,” Bechard commented. “Emily Brown obviously wasn’t full speed; but, she played with an extreme amount of heart. This match was important to her and she played extremely hard. We out dug them, but there was a little difference in the blocks. I was proud of our team tonight, and I told them that we only have one week left, but we’re going to get better if they’re coming to practice ready to do that.”
Missouri jumped to a 10-3 lead following an 8-1 run in Game One. The Jayhawks responded with a 7-1 run of their own to come back within one, 12-11. The Tigers took advantage of nine KU hitting and three service errors to lead, 28-22, and go on the claim the game. Hill led KU with four kills and zero errors on eight attempts (.500).
Correa sparked the KU offense in Game Two with seven kills. The Jayhawks tied the game at 14-all behind the service of Correa and stayed within one point to a 26-26 tie. The Jayhawks pounded two kills to end the stanza, hitting .346 as a squad with 23 kills and just five errors in 52 attempts to tie up the match.
Hill and Noyes each added five kills in Game Three, but errors at the net and serving line doomed the Jayhawks. KU survived two Tiger game points, but MU score the two extra points to take a 2-1 lead in the match. In the final stanza, MU used a 12-3 run to take a 23-13 lead, its largest of the night, and the Jayhawks ran out of steam. KU hit at a .225 clip (15 kills ) while the Tigers swung at a match-high .405 efficiency with 21 kills for the win.
With the win, MU took a 5.5 to 4.0 lead in the 2006-07 Border Showdown.
KU will host No. 1 Nebraska (25-1, 17-1 Big 12) Wednesday at 7 p.m. in its last home match of the season. Five Jayhawk seniors — Correa, Hill, Mathewson, Dani Wittman and Linsey Morningstar — will be honored on Senior Night.