🏐 Kansas Falls to No. 13 Baylor in Five Sets

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle upper-half Big 12 volleyball teams No. 13 Baylor defeated Kansas 3-2 (25-13, 25-27, 17-25, 25-13, 9-15) at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena Saturday morning.

Kansas dropped to 12-4 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play, while Baylor improved to 12-3, 2-1 Big 12.

“We dominated in two sets, Baylor had their way in one set, there was a close one that could’ve gone either way,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “It was a good volleyball match, but we couldn’t make enough plays in the end. Baylor played well.”

Set One

Down 6-1, Kansas responded scoring five of the next six points pulling the home team to within one at 7-6 on a block by super-senior Rachel Langs and sophomore Ayah Elnady. Down 8-7, kills by Elnady, Langs and two from sophomore Caroline Bien gave KU its first lead of the match at 9-8, but the Kansas run did not stop there. KU would score seven straight and 10 of the next 11 points to take a 16-9 lead forcing Baylor to call its second timeout. Bien had four kills and Langs added three during the run. Kansas continued its surge and led by 10 twice before scoring the last three points to a 25-13 set win. For the set, Baylor hit .128, while Kansas posted an efficient .441 led by Bien’s six kills. She also led KU with six digs for the set.

Set Two

The second set was close with 18 ties, 10 lead changes and no team led by more than three points. Down 22-20, Kansas scored three-straight points including kills by sophomore London Davis and Elnady to give the Jayhawks a one-point lead at 23-22. A Davis kill gave KU a set point but Baylor responded scoring the final three points of the set to win it 27-25. Elnady and Davis tied for the team lead with six kills in the second set.

Set Three

Baylor carried its momentum to the third set defeating KU 25-17. The Bears jumped out to a 6-2 lead and twice led by six midway through the set. KU cut the lead to 20-16 on a kill from super-senior Anezka Szabo but the Bears scored five of the final six points to go up 2-1. Kansas hit .061 for the set, while Baylor hit .303.

Set Four

Elnady powered three kills to give Kansas a 3-0 lead in starting the fourth set. The Jayhawks increased their advantage to 10-3 that included three Szabo kills and another by Bien. Baylor would not go away and cut the lead to 10-6 before KU would go on a 4-1 run and take a 14-7 lead on a Bien service ace. Kansas increased its lead to 10 five times controlling the remainder of the set. KU would score four of the last five points, including two kills from Davis, in claiming 25-13 set win and forcing a deciding fifth set. Elnady led KU with seven kills in the fourth set.

Set Five

In the final set, Baylor jumped out to a 4-1 lead and increased its cushion to 9-4. KU would cut the lead to 9-7 highlighted by kills from graduate Lauren Dooley and Davis. Baylor then scored five of the next six points and eventually won the set 15-9.

Kansas Notables

  • Kansas played its third five-set match of the 2022 season. All three have come in the last four matches and have been against Big 12 competition – Texas, Kansas State and Baylor.
  • Baylor outhit Kansas with a .240 hitting percentage to KU’s .216.
  • Elnady and Davis paced Kansas with 15 kills apiece.
  • Elnady has posted double-digit kills in four straight matches and nine times this season.
  • Davis’ 15 kills were her second most this season with her season high being 22 at Kansas State (8.24.22).
  • Sophomore Camryn Turner led KU with 35 set assists and 16 digs. Her 16 digs tied her season high. She also had 16 at Kansas State (8.24.22).
  • Bien recorded 12 kills to mark the 10th time this season she has posted double-digit kills which includes three in Big 12 play.

“We got out blocked 16-11, so that was disappointing,” Bechard said. “We did have some good balance offensively, but at end game, we need to be a little bit better. Hats off to Baylor and now there is an opportunity for us to go back and identify somethings that need to be better.”

Kansas will hit the road and play at Iowa State on Friday, October 7. The match from Hilton Coliseum will start at 6:30 p.m. (Central) and will be televised on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.