🏐 Kansas Hosts Xavier Friday to Open Spring Competition
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball (5-9, 5-9 Big 12) returns to action against Xavier (3-4, 1-1 Big East) for the first time since its series vs. Texas Tech in late November. The Jayhawks host the Musketeers Friday at 6 p.m. in the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.
All home matches for the 2021 spring season will be exclusive to family members of volleyball student-athletes, coaches and volleyball staff. While tickets will not be available to the general public, all Jayhawk fans are encouraged to follow Kansas volleyball through the official Kansas Jayhawks app, KUAthletics.com and social media for updates and behind-the-scenes coverage.
The Jayhawks won both matches against the Red Raiders and finished the fall Big 12 slate of matches 5-9. Kansas was scheduled to finish Big 12 play against TCU, but the two matches in Fort Worth were moved to the spring. KU won four of its final six matches of the fall season, including the sweep over the Red Raiders and a victory over then-No. 11 Kansas State. The Jayhawks also were ranked in the top-10 in back-to-back weeks.
Jenny Mosser, a transfer from UCLA, led the Kansas offense through the fall season, finishing with a team-high 3.38 kills per set to go along with her team-leading 0.43 service aces per set. Ayah Elnady, another newcomer for the Jayhawks in the fall, finished second on the team through 14 matches with 2.35 kills per set and was a close second to Mosser’s team-high 17 service aces with 16 of her own. Elnady also finished third on the team with 90 digs, averaging 1.73 digs per set.
Caroline Crawford emerged as the Jayhawks’ potent blocker in the middle, recording 1.05 blocks per set. The freshman from Lansing joined Mosser and Elnady with 100-or-more kills, finishing with 101 kills on 265 attempts. Rachel Langs finished second behind Crawford in block per set (0.83) and joined Crawford as the only Jayhawks with 40-or-more blocks (44).
Molly Schultz and Kennedy Farris split time as the Kansas’ libero during the fall with Schultz averaging a team-high 2.71 digs per set with Farris closely behind with 2.64 digs per set. The duo were the only two to top the 100-dig mark.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: XAVIER
Xavier opened the 2020-21 season Jan. 30, beating Bellarmine in four sets to open the season. After back-to-back losses, the Musketeers beat Cincinnati to move to 2-2. In its final three matches, Xavier finished 1-2 and beat DePaul Feb. 19.
The Musketeers offense is led by Delany Hogan, who is the team leader in kills (77), kills per set (2.57) points (94.5), points per set (3.15) and attack percentage (.367). Hogan is joined by Norah Painter (2.43 KPS) and MaryAnn O’Toole (2.09 KPS) in averaging 2.00-or-more kills per set. Hogan, along with Kelly Franxman and Carrigan O’Reilly have started all seven matches for Xavier.
Jayda Carlton is the team leader with 1.09 blocks per set, while Hogan is second averaging 0.97 blocks per set. Alyssa Overbeck has a team-high 144 digs and 4.50 digs per set. O’Toole is second on the team with 3.44 digs per set.
Kansas continues its home stand to start the season, hosting Texas State on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. Texas State is the Sun Belt’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.