🏐 Kansas Wins Jayhawk Classic with 3-0 Sweep of Albany

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas won its sixth-straight match and second-consecutive tournament defeating Albany, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-23) to win the Jayhawk Classic at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena Saturday.

With the victory, Kansas improved to 7-3 on the season, while Albany fell to 3-10. Kansas’ six-consecutive wins includes two tournament titles dating back to last weekend’s Kansas Invitational, also played in Lawrence. Before the Albany win, KU defeated Kansas City, 3-1, on Thursday, and Missouri State, 3-0, Friday and went 3-0 in the Jayhawk Classic this weekend.

After controlling the first set against Albany, Kansas faced some adversity coming from behind late in the second set and holding off a late Great Dane charge in the third and final set.

“You always have to be ready,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “Things are moving along and you feel like the pace of the game and the tempo of the game is what you are looking for, and then your opponent has an uptick. You have to be ready to respond and fortunately we did that. We played pretty well late in matches, especially sets two and three.”

KU sophomore Carolina Crawford led the Jayhawks with 11 kills and only one error for a .625 hitting efficiency. She also had four blocks and one ace for the match. Super-senior Jenny Mosser added nine kills and nine digs, while freshman Caroline Bien had eight kills and freshman London Davis recorded seven kills. Davis had a team-high five blocks, while senior Rachel Langs had three to go along with three kills.

As a team, Kansas recorded six aces led by junior Kennedy Farris’ two. Kansas once again platooned two setters as freshman Camryn Turner led the team with 16 assists, while sophomore Elise McGhie had 14. Bien and Farris tied for the team high with 10 digs each.

Kansas took the first set 25-17 behind four kills from Mosser. With Kansas up 12-11, the Jayhawks went on a 5-0 run with two kills by Mosser, a kill by Langs and an ace from McGhie to make the score 17-11. KU would increase the lead to 23-14 with a booming kill from Crawford and a block assist from Szabo and Crawford.

With Bien serving and the Jayhawks down 23-22, Kansas would score the final four points of the second set to win 25-23. KU led 18-11 when the Great Danes would go on a 5-0 run. The Jayhawks then went up 21-17 on a Bien kill, but Albany would counter with a 6-0 run to take a 23-22 lead. Following an Albany timeout, Davis would end the set with a kill.

Kansas led 12-5 in the third set that included two Crawford kills and an ace along with two kills by Davis and an ace from Bien. Albany would tie the set at 15-15 and Kansas then went on a 5-1 run, which included back-to-back aces by Farris, to make it 20-16. KU would not relinquish the lead the remainder of the set winning 25-23 on a Turner kill to end the match.

Kansas will next enter Big 12 play at Texas Tech, Sept. 24-25. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. (Central).

“We know it’s going to be challenging,” Bechard said of beginning conference play. “It’s going to be a fight every night. We’ll be ready.”