🏐 Szabo Collects Career-High Kills in Five-Set Loss to OU

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision (25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14) to the Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday afternoon in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.

The Jayhawks fell to 15-7 (5-5 Big 12), with the Sooners moving to 12-10 (2-8 Big 12).

β€œIt’s just a great environment here,” stated head coach Ray Bechard. β€œWe were in a sellout situation and Oklahoma has been playing teams tough throughout and they were due to breakthrough. Unfortunately, it happened today but we really thought it was a great environment and we are looking forward to another big crowd on Wednesday.”

Super-senior Anezka Szabo collected a career-high 19 kills and sophomore Caroline Bien contributed 14. Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady helped the Jayhawk offense with 13 kills.

Kansas hit.225 while Oklahoma hit 259. Sophomore Camryn Turner led KU in assists with 55 and freshman Brynn Kirsch tied her career-high with 18 digs.

Set One

Szabo kicked off the set with the first kill of the match, 1-0. Oklahoma tied up the first set at three, but a block by Elnady and super-senior Rachel Langs brought Kansas ahead 4-3.

The Sooners took the lead 6-5 until Elnady added a kill for Kansas and tied the score 6-6. OU took off with a 5-1 run and forced the Jayhawks to call for a timeout, trailing 11-7.

A double block by graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and Bien halted the OU offense, 13-8. Szabo brought Kansas to double digits with her third kill of the afternoon, to make it 16-10. The Sooners eventually went on another scoring run before Langs put the ball past the OU defense for a Kansas kill, which made it 20-15.

Following an Oklahoma point, KU would go on a 4-0 run to put the Jayhawks within two, 21-19. OU was at set point, but the Jayhawks challenged a touch that reversed the point to Kansas, 24-22. Oklahoma closed out the set, however, 25-23.

Set Two

The Jayhawks grabbed the first point of set two off an attack error by the Sooners. The set went back-and-forth with Bien collecting a kill and sophomore Molly Schultz grabbing the first ace of the match to go up 4-3.

The Sooners took the lead off a Jayhawk attack error, however two kills by Szabo tied the set back up at 9-9. Oklahoma took the lead again off a kill of its own, but junior Kennedy Farris responded with an ace to put the Jayhawks back in the lead, 11-10. A kill by Turner and an Oklahoma attack error forced a media timeout.

Kansas went on a 3-0 run, where Langs and Elnady tallied a kill. Szabo tallied another kill; however, the Sooners were able to close the gap off a Kansas error and make it 20-19. Turner collected another kill of her own to keep KU in the lead, 21-19.

The Sooners were able to tie it up 21-21, but a Sooner service error put the Jayhawks ahead, 22-21. The Jayhawks won set two after a kill by Szabo and Dooley.

Set Three

Oklahoma started the set with a 4-0 run, forcing a timeout for the Jayhawks.

Coming out of the timeout, Szabo tallied a kill, putting Kansas on the board, 4-1. OU was ahead 7-3 until Langs and Elnady had back-to-back kills, making it 7-5. Elnady had her first service ace of the match and Bien recorded another kill, tying the set 8-8.

Kansas and Oklahoma remained close until KU earned a two-point lead with an Elnady kill and a Schultz ace to make it 14-12. A surprise kill by Turner put Kansas ahead 16-13.

The Jayhawks were in the lead until a 6-1 run by OU put the Sooners on top 19-17. KU came within one point after a kill by Bien to keep the Kansas offense alive, 20-19.

The teams went back and forth before OU took a three-point lead, 23-20. The Sooners were at set point until Elnady brought the ball back to Kansas with a kill. OU eventually took set three 25-22.

Set Four

Bien put Kansas on the board after a 2-0 run by Oklahoma.

An attack error by the OU offense and a kill by Szabo tied up the set 5-5. A 4-0 Kansas run highlighted with a block by defensive duo Szabo and Dooley, two kills by Szabo and an ace by freshman Brynn Kirsch allowed Kansas to take the lead 9-6.

It didn’t take long for Oklahoma to tie the score at 11, but Bien responded with a kill to take back the lead 12-11. With the roar of the crowd, Szabo pushed the ball to the ground for a kill before heading into a media timeout, with Kansas leading 15-13.

Farris recorded her second service ace and progressed Kansas’ lead to 19-15. An attack error by the Sooners followed by another kill from Szabo, the Jayhawks finished the set on top 25-21.

Set Five

A powerful kill by Bien began set five. The Sooners remained close and were able to tie up the set numerous times before KU took the lead with a kill by Elnady to go up 6-5.

A long rally ended with an attack error by OU, making it 7-6, and bringing the Horejsi crowd to its feet. The Jayhawks were the first to reach eight, when Bien earned a kill and both teams switched sides with Kansas leading 8-7.

Coming out of the media timeout Oklahoma had an attack error that pushed the Kansas lead to two, 9-7. OU made a comeback in set five and was in the lead 13-11. No OU defense was around and Elnady kept the kills coming, putting KU within one, 13-12.

The lead maintained for Oklahoma as the visitors ended up victorious 16-14.

Up Next

Kansas will remain in Lawrence as the Jayhawks take on the Kansas State Wildcats in a sold out Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on November 2. The match will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with first serve at 6:30 p.m. CT.