🏐 Kansas Wins at Texas Tech in Big 12 Opener, 3-2

LUBBOCK, Texas – Behind super-senior Jenny Mosser’s season-high 18 kills, Kansas volleyball posted a come-from-behind victory at Texas Tech, 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-18, 15-7) Friday night at United Supermarkets Arena. The contest was the Big 12 opener for both teams.

With the win, Kansas extended its match-winning streak to seven and improved to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 play. Texas Tech fell 10-4, 0-1, ending its four-match winning streak.

Kansas came alive in the final two sets hitting .212 in the fourth set and .429 in the fifth and deciding set. KU entered the fourth set hitting .134, which included .341 in the second set, which it won. Overall, the Jayhawks outhit the Red Raiders .176 to .164.

“We made enough plays late in the fourth set to get the momentum going and carry it over to the fifth,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “There could have been times we could have got a little frustrated and said ‘hey, it’s not our night’ but we stayed the course and got a little better as the night went along.”

Sophomore outside hitter Karli Schmidt posted a season-high seven kills in the win, while sophomore Caroline Crawford had nine kills and freshman Caroline Bien added eight to lead KU. Mosser also paced Kansas with 13 digs, while Bien had 12. Senior Rachel Langs combined for a team-high six blocks, including three solo, while Crawford had five, one solo. Sophomore Elise McGhie had 10 digs to go along with her team-high 29 assists, while freshman Camryn Turner posted 17 assists.

Texas Tech started the match hot jumping out to a 6-2 lead on the Jayhawks. KU climbed back to 6-5 highlighted by a kill from Bien and a combo block from Crawford and Mosser. Tech then went on a 5-0 run and kept KU at arm’s length the remainder of the set winning 25-15. Crawford and Bien each posted three kills in the set to lead Kansas.

With three kills by Mosser and a block assist from redshirt-senior Anezka Szabo and Langs, Kansas scored the final five points to win the second set 25-22. The second game was a back-and-forth battle throughout as no team led by more than two points until Texas Tech built a 19-16 advantage. KU would then score four of the next five points with kills from Bien, Crawford, McGhie and Mosser to tie the score at 20-20. Down 22-20, KU would go on its run to win the set with three of Mosser’s seven kills for the set closing the door.

In the third set, with the scored tied at 4-4, Tech went on a 5-0 run but Kansas would fight back and make the score 17-15 on a combo-block from Langs and freshman London Davis and a kill by Mosser. Tech would then scored six of the next seven points and eventually win the set 25-17.

Kansas would dominate the second half of the fourth set, winning 25-17. Early on, the fourth was much like the second in both teams could not take control. Down 13-12, Kansas would score nine of the next 10 points highlighted by two kills from Schmidt, an ace from Bien, back-to-back aces from sophomore Molly Schultz and a block solo from Langs to make the score 20-14. A Crawford kill would end the fourth forcing a fifth set.

Kansas scored five of the first seven points in the fifth and deciding set with two kills from Schmidt and one each from Crawford and Mosser to go up 5-2. Two more Mosser kills and a combo block by Mosser and Langs followed by kills from Bien and Davis gave KU an 11-5 cushion. A McGhie ace would end the match in the Jayhawk win, 15-7.

“I think we found out what it’s going to be like night-in and night-out in the Big 12 tonight,” Bechard said. “There are just a lot of good quality teams.”

Kansas and Texas Tech will conclude their 2021 Big 12 two-match series Saturday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. (Central) at United Supermarkets Arena. The contest will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+. Fans can also follow live stats here.