Kansas Volleyball Sweeps Oklahoma in Regular-Season Finale
NORMAN, Okla. – Three players collected double-digit kills while the Kansas volleyball team hit a .343 attack percentage as the Jayhawks put away Oklahoma in three sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-16) in both teams’ regular-season finale Saturday afternoon.
With the win, KU’s second conference road victory of the season and first win in Norman since 2005, the Jayhawks conclude their regular season 17-14 overall, including 8-12 in the Big 12. The 17 victories are Kansas’ most wins since 2004. Oklahoma, which had been receiving votes in the top 25 coaches’ poll, fell to 21-10 overall and 13-7 in the conference.
Senior Jenna Kaiser led all players with 14 kills and made no errors in 27 attempts for an impressive .519 hitting percentage. Surprisingly though, it was not a team-high as redshirt freshman Caroline Jarmoc hit .692 with 10 kills and just one attack error in 13 swings. For the match, the Jayhawks committed just seven offensive errors. Senior Karina Garlington joined the duo in double-digit kills adding 13 in the effort.
“We did all the things you want to do to be successful,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “We had good offensive balance and we fought really hard on defense. It was a dominating win.”
“We responded to everything Oklahoma threw at us with good volleyball. They pushed and we responded every time. It was really exciting.”
Kansas opened the first set with three-straight points, which did not seem like a lot at the time, but it was just enough to keep Oklahoma behind for the rest of the set. OU came within one point at 4-3 but it was as close as it would come as the teams traded points through the remainder of the frame with the Jayhawks leading the whole time by two to four points. KU used a match-best .433 hitting efficiency to help but Oklahoma away 25-21.
In the second set, the Jayhawks overcame a four-point deficit to storm back with a 25-21 win. KU led early on until the Sooners knotted the score at 12-12 and then 13-13. OU eventually led 19-15 before Kansas scored five unanswered points to take over the advantage at 20-19. Kaiser tallied two kills and combined with sophomore Tayler Tolefree for a block during the run and was instrumental down the stretch as four of her six kills in the set came during the team’s last 10 points.
With the schools locked at 21 points apiece, Kaiser connected on another kill followed by a combined block with Jarmoc. Junior Allison Mayfield then served one of her three aces in the next play before Jarmoc delivered the winning hammer to end the set with four-straight KU points and send Kansas into the break with a two-set lead.
Freshman Brianne Riley helped limit the Sooners to a match-low .151 attack in set two as she recorded nine of her 16 digs in the second frame.
KU collected 11 aces during the match for its second-highest ace total this season and most aces in a Big 12 Conference match in 2010.
A 5-0 run early in the third set was enough to push Kansas to a quick 25-16 victory in the third and final frame. Oklahoma threatened at 5-4 before Mayfield and Kaiser helped KU score five-straight points for a 10-4 lead. Kansas kept its momentum going with a 3-0 run shortly after to stay ahead 13-6 before coasting on to the win.
Kansas will learn if it advances on to the NCAA Tournament during the selection show, which takes place Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. CST on ESPN News.