🏐 Jayhawks Sweep Wildcats in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas Volleyball secured the sweep over Kansas State by a score of 3-2 in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Saturday evening at Bramlage Coliseum.
The win moves the Jayhawks record to 16-11 overall and 8-8 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats drop to 15-12 overall and 6-10 in Big 12. At 8-8, Kansas finished tied for third in the 2021 Big 12 standings along with West Virginia and Iowa State. Texas (15-1) finished first followed by Baylor at 14-2.
Kansas had 71 kills, with four Jayhawks putting up double-digit kills. Freshman Caroline Bien led with 17, her second-highest this season. Sophomore Caroline Crawford had 15, followed by freshman London Davis with 13 and super-senior Jenny Mosser with 11. Mosser also had the game-winning kill in the fifth set.
The two rivals kept it close during the first set as no team had more than a two point lead until the Wildcats pulled ahead 19-16. Kansas began to put the pressure on, coming within one at 21-22, but the Wildcats went on a three-point run to secure the win.
Similar to the first set, KU and K-State kept it close early in the second set. Again, neither team had more than a two point lead and the two teams were tied at 11-all. Kansas State then went on a 6-0 run to establish a lead over Kansas that they were unable to break. The closest the Jayhawks would come to catching up to the Wildcats was within four at 18-22, 19-23 and again at 20-24, but the Wildcats persisted and secured the win 25-20 to go up 2-0 in the match.
A kill by senior Rachel Langs allowed the Jayhawks to take the lead 6-5 in the third set and continued to go on a 6-0 run to build the lead to 11-5 as the run was capped off with a solo block by Bien. Kansas State attempted to close the gap, but could not finish the job. Kansas went on to win the set 25-16.
The Jayhawks fell behind early in the fourth, going down 5-1, however, Kansas worked to close the gap and tied the game at 12-all. The team was unable to grasp the lead until a kill by Crawford gave them an 18-17 lead. The Jayhawks held the lead for the remainder of the set and went on to win 25-21 and tie the match at 2-2, forcing a fifth set.
Kansas took the lead early in the fifth and never looked back. The Jayhawks were up 5-2 when the Wildcats took their first timeout. After the break, KU continued to add to their lead, forcing K-State to take another timeout after falling behind 7-2. Kansas State tried to chip away at Kansas’ lead, but the closest they came was within two. Kansas finished off the set and secured the match victory 15-12 with a kill by Mosser.
The Selection Show for the NCAA Volleyball Tournament is Sunday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The show will be broadcast on ESPNU.