🏐 No. 23 Jayhawks Top No. 22 Utah 3-1
SALT LAKE CITY – No. 23 Kansas volleyball battled No. 22 Utah in the second match of the day for the Utah Classic on August 26. After a tough fight, Kansas defeated Utah 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-20, 25-23).
“It was a really solid day for the Jayhawks,” stated head coach Ray Bechard. “You wonder what you are going to get sometimes opening weekend and we set the tone early. Utah Valley, we had very strong passing and then made enough volleyball plays tonight to beat a good Utah team.”
The first point of the match went to the Jayhawks after a kill by redshirt-freshman Ayah Elnady. Shortly after, sophomore Caroline Bien had a kill of her own to extend the lead 2-0. Sophomore Camryn Turner and super-senior Rachel Langs earned a block and kept the momentum going, increasing the gap 5-2. A service error by the Utes moved Kansas to a 10-5 lead. The Utes tied up the set 14-14 after a block. It was back and forth for both teams, but the Jayhawks came out on top 25-22.
Utah came out with an early 3-1 lead and went on a 6-0 run shortly following. Kansas couldn’t find their way in the second set and fell to Utah 25-16.
Super-senior Anezka Szabo opened set three with a kill, followed by a kill from Bien, moving the score to 2-0. Utah tried to make a comeback, but couldn’t come within two points of Kansas. Back-to-back errors by the Utes pushed the Jayhawks to a 17-12 lead while Bien recorded a service ace shortly afterwards. A blocking error by Utah shut down set three as KU was victorious 25-20
Back-to-back attack errors by Utah made for an early 3-0 lead for the Jayhawks. Graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and Szabo recorded a dual block to kick off the set. Three attack errors by KU were enough to push Utah to a 10-9 lead. A tough run for Kansas was cut after a kill by Elnady. Utah came back after a service ace, but Kansas had already clinched the set and defeated the Utes 25-23.
- Super-senior Anezka Szabo collected 12 kills and hit .381.
- Szabo had seven block assists while graduate transfer Lauren Dooley had six.
- Freshman Molly McCarthy earned three service aces.
- Sophomore Camryn Turner recorded 40 assists.
“Szabo had double figure kills in both matches and then Bien really stepped up at a key time in the second match,” said Bechard. “Turner was a warrior, as she always is. She really directed our offense, once again, against a good Utah team. We had just enough serving and we had a lot of Jayhawks create opportunities for other teammates.”
KU elevates to a record of 2-0 (0-0 Big 12) while No. 22 Utah drops 1-1 (0-0 PAC-12). No. 23 Kansas will close out the Utah Classic on August 27 as they play Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. CT at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.