🏐 Jayhawks Sweep Mountaineers
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 14 Kansas volleyball team swept West Virginia, 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-19), in Big 12 action Thursday night before a sold out crowd at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena in Lawrence.
Winning their third-straight match, the Jayhawks moved to 15-4 overall and 6-3 in Big 12 play, while the Mountaineers dropped to are 9-14 (2-8 Big 12).
“You could tell before we even started that tonight was going to be a pretty enthusiastic crowd,” said Head Coach Ray Bechard. “The band gets everybody stirred up and it’s great to see the crowd react to this team, and I think they enjoy watching this group play because we play with a lot of joy and enthusiasm.”
In the first set, West Virginia kept it close early on, battling with the Jayhawks to tie up the score three different times. After some dynamic hitting from KU’s Reagan Cooper and a huge momentum-swinging ace from teammate Toyosi Onabanjo, KU began to create a little more distance between themselves and the visiting Mountaineers. At 17-12, WVU called a timeout, and from there, it was smooth sailing for the Jayhawks. Match point came on West Virginia serve into the net, and the home team would carry the momentum into set two.
KU went on a 3-0 run to open the second with Onabanjo on the serve. The Mountaineers kept trying to hang on, but strong team defense and various Jayhawks stepping up on the attack would eventually result in a 9-4 lead and a WVU timeout. Once again, Kansas would have smooth sailing to get the win. The lead grew as large as 10 points when the Jayhawks went up 22-12, and Ayah Elnady was able to carry KU to its second win with her strong serving and another service error from WVU to end the set.
Set three saw more of a back and forth flow between the two teams, with various long rallies up through 11-9. The Jayhawks began to create more of a gap once Katie Dalton stepped back to serve, knocking down an ace to make it 14-10. WVU tried to close back in, but back-to-back kills from Cooper to secure her ninth and 10th of the match would put the Jayhawks up 18-13 and push the Mountaineers to take a timeout. Various service errors on both sides would close the score up 21-18 at one point, but the Jayhawks stayed calm and collected on their home court outscoring the Mountaineers 4-1 down the stretch to claim the victory.
Elnady and Cooper were the Jayhawks with double-digit kills tonight with 12 and 11 respectively. London Davis was right on the cusp with nine kills and an outstanding .600 hitting percentage.
(On having Elnady and Cooper to help open up her game)
“It’s a reliever for sure. Usually when they get set, I know they are going to put the ball down,” said Davis. “It gives me a great opportunity to put the ball down at the seams. They do a really good job and our middles do a really good job getting it up in transition.”
Camryn Turner (11), Raegan Burns (10) and Caroline Bien (10) all posted double digits digs, while Dalton led the way with two aces on the night.
These two teams will square off again on Friday, Oct. 27, with the match starting at 6:30 p.m. CT from the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. The contest will be televised on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.