No. 2 Texas Downs Kansas Volleyball in Season Finale
AUSTIN, Texas – Despite 11 kills from senior Brittany Williams, the No. 2 Texas Longhorns defeated Kansas volleyball 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-19) in KU’s final regular-season contest of the 2009 season.
With the loss, Kansas dropped to 16-14 overall and 8-12 in Big 12 play. It is KU’s first winning season since 2004. UT, the Big 12 regular-season champion, improved to 24-1 on the year and 19-1 in the Big 12.
Kansas will find out its postseason fate tomorrow during the NCAA Tournament selection process, which begins at 2 p.m. Texas receives an automatic big into the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Tournament as regular-season champions but KU is eligible for an at-large bid since it finished with at least a .500 winning percentage.
Williams was the only Jayhawk in double figures during the match collecting her 11 kills on a .364 attack percentage. Junior Karina Garlington and sophomore Allison Mayfield followed with eight kills a piece. Garlington also passed the 900 kills mark during the contest.
Texas’ Destinee Hooker led all players with 14 kills on the night as the Longhorns hit an impressive .526 during the match and committed just seven attack errors. KU had 19 offensive miscues to hit at a .204 clip.
Defensively, senior libero Melissa Grieb picked up a team-high five digs, while Mayfield chipped in with four. Neither team was able to dig up many attacks as Texas held a 26-20 edge in digs.
Kansas stayed even with the Longhorns through the first half of set one. Trailing 13-8, KU rattled off four straight points, including three from UT errors, to pull within one at 13-12. The Jayhawks continued to stay close tying the score at 15-15 but as Texas led 17-16, the Longhorns used a 7-1 run to expand its lead to 24-17. Kansas managed to hold off set point three times as Kaiser and Mayfield each recorded a kill followed by a service ace from Tate. Unfortunately, Tate’s next serve was in the net as Texas won 25-20 in the opening frame.
Texas’ offense hardly missed in set two as the Longhorns hit a match-best .591 connecting for 14 kills on 22 swings and committing just one error. Kansas struggled to find its rhythm swinging .077 with eight attack errors as the Jayhawks fell 25-15 in the second set.
In the third set, the Longhorns took a quick 7-2 lead to start the frame. The Jayhawks soon responded with four-straight points off two kills from Williams and a kill and ace from Mayfield to pull within two points at 9-7. Kansas struggled midway through the set as Texas built up a healthy four-plus point lead en route to its 25-19 win.
The contest was the final regular-season match for Kansas seniors Grieb, Williams, Katie Martincich and Paige Mazour.