Volleyball Jayhawks Rally Back To Top Baylor In Four
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three players recorded double digit kills, while three more added double figure digs as a balanced Kansas volleyball team overcame an early deficit to defeat Baylor 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 28-26, 25-18) of the team’s final home contest of the season.
Kansas improved to 13-15 overall and 7-12 in Big 12 matches with the win. Baylor fell to 18-12 on the season and 9-10 in conference action.
Seniors Natalie Uhart and Savannah Noyes made a huge impact in their final match in the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, as the pair provided KU with its winning points in all three of the Jayhawks’ victories. Uhart led KU with a .417 hitting percentage on 12 kills, while adding six blocks, including two solos, for the Jayhawks. Noyes tallied eight kills in the contest along with a pair of blocks and assists.
Heading into the fourth set Kansas, which held a two set advantage, went up 6-5 over the Bears, a lead which they never relinquished for the remainder of the frame. A 9-1 run helped KU to a 21-12 lead and, although BU came back within five at 23-18, Noyes tallied a kill followed by a huge solo block by Uhart to win the set and the match.
Kansas hit a match-high .333 in its final frame, while also taking advantage of 10 Baylor attack errors.
Sophomore Karina Garlington paced the Jayhawks with 20 kills in the contest, her sixth 20-kill outing this season, and added six digs, four blocks and a pair of service aces.
Fellow sophomore Jenna Kaiser also tallied double digit kills as she pitched in 13.
“We beat a very good team tonight,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “We came out a little flat in set one but after that it was a lot of good stuff from our side. I am really happy with the way we executed.”
“It’s encouraging that we are playing our best volleyball at the end of the year,” he added.
After falling 25-20 in the opening stanza, KU used a five-point run and an eight-point run to pull out of the Bear’s reach in set two and pick up a 25-20 win.
KU kept the momentum rolling into the third set, as it led by as much as eight. Baylor continued to chip away at its deficit eventually tying the score at 24, but after two more ties, Noyes and Uhart supplied back-to-back kills for a 28-26 victory.
Junior Katie Martincich recorded eight of her team-high 18 digs during the third set tying a personal best, while sophomore Melissa Manda also chipped in eight in the set. Manda finished with 17 digs, while junior Melissa Grieb contributed 12 more from the back row.
Kansas will play its final match of the regular season when it travels to Iowa State Saturday, Nov. 29 for a 7 p.m. contest.