🏐 Kansas Volleyball Does it Again, Winning at Texas Tech, 3-2
LUBBOCK, Texas – Down two sets, Kansas volleyball showed resilience in winning at Texas Tech in five sets for the second straight night, 3-2 (19-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-9) Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena.
Kansas won its eighth-straight match and improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play. KU also improved to 3-0 in five-set matches for the 2021 season. Texas Tech dropped to 10-5 and 0-2.
Texas Tech looked like it was in control of the match winning the first two sets and outhitting .300 to .091 in the first set and .562 to .097 in the second. Kansas turned the table in the final three sets hitting a combined .289 to TTU’s .135. KU also collected 11 service aces to Tech’s two, with 10 service errors, for the match.
“We played a very quality team that was lights out the first half of the match tonight,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “And then we settled in and got things going. I was really encouraged by the ability of our team to stick to the game plan. It was back-to-back nights of us finding different ways to win.”
Individually, freshman Caroline Bien led Kansas with career-highs of 16 kills and five services aces to go along with 12 digs. Super-senior Jenny Mosser posted 12 kills, five aces and a team-high 17 digs for match, while sophomore Caroline Crawford also had 12 kills and four total blocks. Redshirt-senior Anezka Szabo led KU with five blocks, while senior Rachel Langs also had four. Junior Kennedy Farris was second on the team with 13 digs, while sophomore Elise McGhie paced KU with 41 set assists, her second most this season.
“Everyone was great and Elise was great running the offense,” Bechard said. “Crawford was great coming off the bench. Our serving was outstanding and our passing was consistent. The bench on the road was really, really a bright spot. When things weren’t going well, the bench was enthusiastic and kept us going.”
Texas Tech led 10-4 early in the first set but the Jayhawks would fight back. Following a TTU 8-2 run to make the score 21-13, Kansas countered scoring six of the next eight points highlighted by kills from Mosser, freshman London Davis and Bien and a combo block from Mosser and Langs to make it 23-19. Tech would answer scoring the final two points in winning the set 25-19.
Texas Tech hit a blistering .526 to Kansas’ .097 in the second set and would win the set 25-14. The Red Raiders jumped out to an 11-3 lead and the Jayhawks cut is to 16-11 which included three kills by Bien, one kill from Crawford and a kill and ace from Mosser. Tech would then go on an 8-2 run en route to the set win.
Kansas garnered the momentum in the third set taking a 10-6 lead with balanced scoring. Kills from Szabo, Langs, Bien, Crawford and McGhie and blocks from Szabos and Mosser led the way. Also included was an ace from Bien. Texas Tech battled back and knotted the score at 18-18. The set would be tied four more times before Crawford scored two of KU’s final four points including the set winner, a KU 25-22 triumph. Also, in the run was a Bien kill.
Kansas was resilient for the second straight night, forcing a fifth and deciding set by taking the fourth game 25-15. In the fourth, Kansas built a 10-5 lead with three-straight service aces from Bien. Up 12-8, KU would increase its lead by scoring six of the next seven points highlighted by kills from Langs and Szabo and a combo block from Crawford and Szabo to make it 18-9 in favor of the visitors. KU would keep Tech at arm’s length with two kills from Mosser and kills from Crawford and Bien and an ace from Schultz. A Szabo kill, her second of the game, ended the set.
In the fifth set, Bien scored four of Kansas’ first five points via kills. Beginning at 4-4, the set had six ties until Kansas took control of the set closing the match. KU scored the final six points of the set highlighted by two aces from Mosser, blocks from Langs and Szabo and a Szabo kill to end the match.
Kansas returns home to the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena, Oct. 1-2, when it hosts Iowa State. Both matches will begin at 4 p.m. (Central) and will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.