🏐 Kansas Volleyball Falls to No. 15 Western Kentucky in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kansas dropped a three-set decision to No. 15 Western Kentucky (11-25, 22-25, 17-25) in the third and final round of the LUV Invitational on Saturday. The Jayhawks went 2-1 in the event with wins against host Lipscomb and previously unbeaten Wake Forest before Saturday’s finale.

With the loss, Kansas fell to 2-3 on the season, while Western Kentucky remained undefeated at 5-0.

Kansas was led by super-senior Jenny Mosser with a team-high 12 kills to go along with six digs. Sophomore Molly Schultz led KU with seven digs, followed by six each from Mosser and junior Kennedy Farris. Sophomore setter Elise McGhie paced KU with 21 assists and she and Farris each recorded an ace for the match. Kansas showed its depth at the tournament using 13 players in Friday’s win against Wake Forest and 14 in the Western Kentucky match on Saturday.

Western Kentucky started out hot, hitting .536 for the first set with 15 kills, one error in 26 attempts. Down 4-0, Kansas clawed its way back to a 6-5 deficit on a kill by senior Rachel Langs. WKU would then go on a 10-2 run en route to taking the first set 25-11.

Kansas found its groove in the second set jumping out to a 4-1 lead on an ace from sophomore Caroline Crawford. Western Kentucky came back and tied the set at 11-11. From there, neither team led by more than two points until WKU broke a 16-16 tie with a 6-1 run that included five kills and one ace to make the score 22-17. Down 24-19, kills by redshirt-senior Anezka Szabo, sophomore Karli Schmidt and McGhie would pull KU to within two at 24-22, but a WKU kill would end the Jayhawks’ threat as the Hilltoppers claimed the frame 25-22.

Kansas could not overcome an early WKU 6-1 start in the third set. Down 10-3, Kansas scored three straight points highlighted by a Crawford kill to make the score 10-6. Kansas would later cut the score to 14-11 with a Mosser kill and a Kennedy ace. A kill by McGhie made the score 16-13, but WKU kept KU at arm’s length and took the set 25-17.

After playing its first five matches of the 2021 season away from Lawrence, KU opens the home portion of its schedule when it hosts the Kansas Invitational, Sept. 9-11 at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. KU will play Delaware on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m., Wichita State on Friday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. and Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m.