🏐 Balanced Jayhawks Sweep West Virginia, 3-0
LAWRENCE, Kan – In their second matchup of the season, the Kansas Jayhawks swept the West Virginia Mountaineers 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) Saturday afternoon at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. Super-senior Anezka Szabo led the Jayhawks offensively with 11 kills.
Kansas improved to 17-8 on the season and 7-6 in the Big 12, while West Virginia dropped to 7-19 on the season and 0-13 in conference play.
The win was Coach Ray Bechard’s 208th career Big 12 Conference victory, putting him second all-time in league history. He trails Jerritt Elliott from Texas, who has 333 career Big 12 wins.
“We worked on our blocking (today),” Bechard said. “Ayah Elnady and Caroline Bien, I thought, did a good job there. We had nine blocks and I think that really set the tone early.”
A double block by super-senior Anezka Szabo and graduate transfer Lauren Dooley kicked off the match, allowing Kansas to take an early lead 1-0. The Mountaineers took the lead from the Jayhawks, however, back-to-back kills by Szabo gave KU a 3-2 advantage.
The Jayhawks and Mountaineers went back and forth, but kills by Elnady, Szabo, and super-senior Rachel Langs kept Kansas ahead, 8-6. A West Virginia kill would tie the set up 10-10. The Jayhawks would go on a 3-0 run, which included kills by Szabo, Junior Kennedy Farris, and a solo block by Elnady.
The Mountaineers would shorten the lead with kills of their own, however, Kansas would go on a 4-0 run with kills by Elnady, Bien, and Langs, 18-12. The Jayhawks would only allow the Mountaineers to tally two more points, while going on another set of 3-0 and 4-0 runs. The runs included West Virginia errors and kills by Bien, Szabo, and a set winning kill by Dooley.
The Jayhawks took set one, 25-14.
The Jayhawks opened set two with a 3-0 run, capped by a kill from sophomore Camryn Turner. The Mountaineers responded, shortening the lead to one.
A kill by Dooley and a kill by Langs, forced a West Virginia timeout, making the score 7-2. A double block by Turner and Langs gave KU a six-point lead, 10-4.
The Jayhawks kept adding to their score off kills by Langs and Bien, however, WVU would shorten the gap to four, at 13-9. A double block by Szabo and Dooley extended the Jayhawk lead. Szabo and Dooley tallied four blocks together in the match.
A kill by Elnady extended the lead back out to six, forcing another WVU timeout. Turner and Bien tallied two more kills for Kansas, making it 20-15. Another double block by Dooley and Szabo took the Jayhawks to set point. Dooley closed set two the same way she closed set one, with a kill.
Kansas won set two, 25-19.
Szabo opened set three with a kill, giving Kansas a 1-0 lead. The Jayhawks would go on a 3-0 run, however, West Virginia would come back to tie the set at 6-6.
A service and attack error by the Mountaineers gave the Jayhawks the lead again. Kills by Bien, Szabo, and Dooley extended the Jayhawk lead to five, 14-9. Following a timeout, Kansas tallied two more points off a kill by Turner and a double block by Bien and Langs.
Langs and Szabo tallied two more kills for the Jayhawks, making it 23-14. West Virginia collected two more points of its own, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Kansas lead. The Jayhawks would go on to win set three, 25-16 and take the match, 25-16.
- Szabo led the Kansas offense with 11 kills, hitting .556 percent. Szabo tallied double digit kills for the eighth time this season.
- Turner collected 24 assists, 11 digs and four kills.
- The Jayhawks held West Virginia to a negative hitting percentage (-.097) and a .037 hitting percentage for the match.
- Farris tallied 20 digs, 7 assists, and 1 kill. Farris has only tallied a kill in one other game this season.
- Graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and super-senior Anezka Szabo collected four double blocks together.
Kansas will take on No. 1 Texas on Wednesday (November 15) in Austin, Texas at the Gregory Gymnasium. First serve will take place at 6 p.m. CT and be streamed on the Longhorn Network.