🏐 Elnady’s Aces Top Texas Tech in Five-Set Match
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a packed Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on Saturday, the Kansas Jayhawks topped the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a five-set thriller 3-2 (20-25, 25-13, 25-17, 23-25, 15-8) to win their second-straight home match.
KU moved to 14-5 (4-3 Big 12) on the season, with Texas Tech dropping to 14-5 (3-3 Big 12).
Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady set the school record for service aces in a five-set match, tallying seven aces in the win.
“Ayah gets points from the service line,” stated head coach Ray Bechard. “She got 18 kills in three rotations across the net and she makes plays in the biggest moments. We are so excited about Ayah’s competitive nature and she’s worked so hard to come back. She is playing at a really high level.”
Elnady led the Kansas offense with 18 kills, hitting .375, tying her career-high.
Super-senior Rachel Langs collected six total blocks in the victory.
Bechard and the Jayhawks have now won 29 of the last 31 matches against the Red Raiders
A double block by graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and super-senior Anezka Szabo kicked off the match, allowing Kansas to take a 1-0 lead. The Jayhawks and the Red Raiders went back and forth, until an ace by Elnady gave Kansas a 5-4 lead. Sophomore Caroline Bien collected her third kill of the match to put the Jayhawks within one, 10-9.
The Red Raiders kept the game close but a kill by Rachel Langs gave the Jayhawks a chance to tie up the set at 14. Sophomore Camryn Turner had a surprise attack off a dig by junior Kennedy Farris to keep Kansas close, 16-15.
Texas Tech was able to maintain the lead the remainder of the set. The Red Raiders were at match point before a double block by Szabo and Langs halted Texas Tech’s 2-0 run. The Red Raiders closed out set one 25-20.
Kansas opened with an early 3-0 lead after three Texas Tech attack errors. The Jayhawks went on a 4-0 run, which included a kill by Szabo and an ace by freshman Brynn Kirsch, 7-1. Elnady collected her second ace of the match putting the Jayhawks ahead 10-3.
Texas Tech was able to go on a three-point run, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Jayhawks, 10-6. Turner collected back-to-back aces forcing a Texas Tech timeout, 14-7. The Jayhawks would continue the momentum and go on a 6-0 run late in the set.
Back-to-back-to-back kills by Elnady, Langs, and Szabo pushed Kansas to a 20-9 advantage. A kill by sophomore London Davis secured a set two win for the Jayhawks, 25-13.
Elnady began set three with a kill of her own, allowing Kansas to lead 1-0. Soon Texas Tech took the lead 3-2, but the Jayhawks would go on a 5-0 scoring run to extend the set 7-3.
Two service aces and a kill by Elnady highlighted the run. A service error by Kansas allowed the Red Raiders to get the ball back, but another scoring run by KU, 3-0, stopped Texas Tech from regaining control. Turner tallied two block assists in the run to halt the Red Raider offense. Szabo earned back-to-back kills to push Kansas to 14-7, followed by a solo block by Dooley.
The Red Raiders found their rhythm and were able to come back within three points, 17-14, forcing a Jayhawk timeout. An aggressive swing by Elnady brought the Horejsi fans to their feet and sophomore Molly Schultz followed up with an ace to make it 22-15.
Dooley recorded her first kill of the evening to advance Kansas to 23-16. An attack error by TTU closed out set three with KU victorious 25-17.
Bien had a kill and assisted Langs in a block to start the fourth set 2-0. Soon after, the Red Raiders took the lead 3-2, but a service error by TTU tied up the set at three.
Each time Texas Tech attempted to advance its lead, Kansas was able to tie the score. It wasn’t until back-to-back failed attacks by the TTU offense and a block by Szabo and Dooley, KU was able to advance the score to 8-5. The score was tied at nine before Elnady pushed the ball past Texas Tech’s defense.
The aces for Elnady continued as the Cairo, Egypt native had another round of back-to-back aces. Coming out of the media timeout, TTU claimed a tie at 15 before Bien had an attack attempt that was blocked by the Red Raiders, but Dooley responded with her own kill.
Multiple ties and lead changes continued on in set four, but Texas Tech claimed the lead 20-18. After a reversed call and yet another ace by Elnady, Kansas gained the lead 22-21. The Red Raiders found their momentum and were able to finish the set 25-23.
A service error by Texas Tech followed by a kill from Elnady and an attack error by the Red Raiders, Kansas was able to advance to 3-0 in set five.
Elnady’s power remained as she earned another kill and blocked the Red Raiders offense with Langs to continue the momentum for KU at 5-1.
The Jayhawks were the first team to reach eight points, 8-5, and both teams switched sides. Three kills in a row by Bien took Kansas to 10-6. Two kills by Szabo and another kill by Elnady gave the Jayhawks a 13-7 lead.
Elnady shut down the match with a kill, 15-8.
“Any time you can win two in a week is great,” said Bechard. “We have a chance to compete against a good West Virginia team to finish out the first half of conference play.”
Kansas will hit the road once again to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown, West Virginia on Wednesday (October 19) at 4 p.m. CT. The match between KU and WVU will be televised on ESPNU.