RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.3 (Volleyball)
— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 10, 2017
A post shared by Kansas Volleyball (@kuvolleyball) on Sep 8, 2017 at 9:50pm PDT
The most basic rule of volleyball is to never let the ball hit your side of the court.
The ninth-ranked Jayhawks did that more than once on the way to a pair of wins over top-20 teams last week, defeating No. 13 Kentucky and No. 17 Purdue, and showing their point-by-point passion for each play in the process.
It was first displayed as senior All-American Ainise Havili sprawled out for an athletic dig during a sweep of the 13th-ranked Wildcats. Havili made a quick reaction to scoop up the ball that deflected wide off a block attempt from Kelsie Payne and Taylor Alexander, which set up a perfect cross-court set from senior Tori Miller to Madison Rigdon, who registered the kill.
— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 5, 2017
KU’s first-year libero Allie Nelson made the kick heard ’round the nation she used her foot, legally, to keep a rally alive during a four-set win over the 17th-ranked Boilermakers.
Purdue nearly started to celebrate a point when another quick reaction by Havili tipped the ball in the air just enough for Nelson to get her foot under it. Sophomore outside hitter Jada Burse pushed it over the net in the last of a sequence of three touches that spanned less than a second. The Jayhawks were able to regroup and set up a back-row kill by Rigdon on the next play to set off an enthusiastic celebration.
— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 9, 2017
Later that night, Nelson’s kick made an appearance at No. 8 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the night.
Kansas takes its never-say-die defense to the Bay Area of California as nonconference play concludes this weekend at the Santa Clara / San Jose Tournament. The Jayhawks will face the joint hosts of the event in a doubleheader on Friday, followed by a Saturday morning match against Idaho.