🏐 Kansas Wins Ninth Straight with 3-1 Victory Against Iowa State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle of conference unbeatens, Kansas volleyball won its ninth-straight match with a 3-1 (26-28, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20) victory against Iowa State at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena Friday afternoon.
Kansas’ nine-match winning streak is its longest since the 2018 season as KU improved to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play in 2021. The Jayhawks posted a 10-1 record in the month of September and opened October 1-0. Iowa State dropped to 10-4 and 2-1 in conference.
“It would have been easy to hang our head a little bit but this team played the next point and came out solid in sets two, three and four,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said of losing the first set. “We served it tough. We ended up with 14 blocks and out-dug them (68-62). The physicality took over too.”
For the match, Kansas outhit Iowa State .236 to .184. The Jayhawks also recorded 24 total blocks to Iowa State’s 15.
The Jayhawk duo of super-senior Jenny Mosser and freshman Caroline Bien each recorded 15 kills to lead Kansas. Sophomore Caroline Crawford added 10 kills and led the squad with a .500 hitting percentage (10-1-18).
Mosser led KU with 17 digs, while junior Kennedy Farris had 15 digs and sophomore Elise McGhie added 14 digs with 21 assists. Freshman Camryn Turner paced KU with 22 assists in the win. Senior Rachel Langs posted nine total blocks, including one solo, while freshman London Davis had five blocks to go along with six kills.
The first set was an indication of how close the two teams are as Iowa State edged KU 28-26. Kansas led 4-1, which included two kills from Crawford, but Iowa State responded by scoring 12 of the next 13 points to lead 13-5. Kansas fought back and tied the set at 17-17, highlighted by a Mosser ace and two kills. The match then went back and forth with six ties and Kansas had two set points but could not capitalize.
Kansas dominated the second set, winning 25-16. With the game tied at 6-6, Kansas scored six of the next seven points. Two kills from Mosser and another from Davis and Bien, along with an ace from Turner made the score 12-6 in favor of the Jayhawks. KU would keep Iowa State at arm’s length with multiple kills from Langs and Bien to win the set.
Kansas didn’t let up in the third set, outdistancing Iowa State 25-19 to go up 2-1. Up 14-12, KU went on a 5-1 run that included kills by Langs and Mosser. A Farris ace would put the Jayhawks up 21-14. Mosser would end the set with a pair of kills for the Jayhawks.
The fourth set featured many long rallies with Kansas prevailing, 25-20. Up 11-10, Kansas went on a 6-2 run with kills from Crawford, Mosser and redshirt-senior Anezka Szabo, who also had three blocks for the match. The Jayhawks pushed the lead to 22-16 after a Mosser kill. A combo block from Langs and Szabo and a kill by Davis ended the match.
“We’ve been down 1-0 in all three (conference matches),” Bechard said. “This team doesn’t panic. They stick to the game plan. I thought our defensive game plan was really good tonight. And they believe in each other and believe in what we are doing.”
Kansas and Iowa State will conclude their weekend series Saturday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. (CT). The match will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.