🏐 Kansas Edged in Five-Set Thriller Against No. 25 Purdue

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle of two ranked teams, No. 25 Purdue edged No. 23 Kansas 3-2 (25-17, 19-25, 25-16, 19-25, 15-17) in the opening round game of the Kansas Invitational at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena Thursday evening.

A crowd of 1,838 saw a thrilling match that went this distance and included 11 ties and five lead changes in the final set. Neither team led by more than two in the deciding set as Kansas fell to 2-1 on the season, while Purdue improved to 2-2.

Kansas was paced by graduate Raegan Cooper who had 18 kills, while junior Caroline Bien had 17 kills and junior London Davis had 11 kills for the match. Junior Camryn Turner led KU with 14 digs, while freshman Raegan Burns and junior Ayah Elnady had 12 digs each. Early in the match Elnady recorded her 500th career kill as she finished with six for the night. Kansas edged Purdue in hitting percentage .398-331.

Kansas dominated the opening set jumping out to a 9-3 lead highlighted by three kills from Davis. KU forced a second Purdue timeout when it took a 17-9 lead. The Jayhawks would keep the Boilermakers at bay winning the first set 25-17. Davis and Cooper paced KU with four kills each for the set, while Burns led KU with five digs. As a team, KU outhit Purdue .405 to .194 for the set.

Purdue overcame an 8-4 deficit to defeat Kansas 25-19 in the second set and tie the match at one set each. Elnady recorded four kills in the set, including three during KU’s 8-4 lead forcing a Purdue timeout. With the set tied at 15-15, Purdue went on a 6-0 run to lead 21-15 and kept its cushion to win the set.

Recording no kills in the match’s first two sets, KU turned to Bien in the third set where she amassed nine kills. Up 10-9, Kansas went on an 11-1 run to make the score 21-10 in favor of the home team. In the run, Bien posted three kills and a block solo, while Burns had an ace. Seven of KU’s points in the run came on Burns’ serve. The Jayhawks would cruise to a 25-16 set win to go up 2-1.

Purdue used a late surge to win the fourth set 25-19. Early on, neither team led by more than three in the fourth set and Kansas cut the Purdue lead to 19-18 on a Davis kill. The Boilermakers would then score four-straight points and later send the match to a fifth and deciding set.


Kansas will play its second and final match of the Kansas Invitational when it plays host to No. 19 Marquette on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. The match will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+. Purdue and Marquette will play on Friday at 3 p.m. in the second round of the Kansas Invitational at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.