🏐 UCF Edges Jayhawks in Friday Night Battle
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 23 Kansas volleyball team was upended by future Big 12 competitor UCF, falling short by a score of 3-0 (25-22, 28-26, 25-21) on Friday, Sept. 16, at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.
The Knights improve their record to 7-0, while the Jayhawks fall to 9-2.
“We had a couple opportunities to end the second set and I think we could have been more aggressive,” stated head coach Ray Bechard. “We could’ve taken more risks and in there lies some really tight games.”
The Knights started off the match in the lead 4-2 with two service aces. Kansas responded soon after with an ace from junior Kennedy Farris and a kill by redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady to tie the score 6-6. Kills from both sophomore Caroline Bien and sophomore Camryn Turner kept Kansas within a point of UCF, 13-12. The score went back-and-forth until the Knights took the lead off back-to-back kills, 21-18. Graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and Elnady kept the Jayhawks fighting with kills of their own, but the Knights would go on to win the first set, 25-22.
Kansas went back-and-forth with UCF until the Jayhawks gained a two-point lead off a kill by Bien. A kill by super-senior Anzeka Szabo and a solo block by Elnady kept the Jayhawks in the lead, 15-12. The Knights battled back to make the score 16-16, however the Jayhawks regained the lead off a solid kill from Elnady, 17-16. The Jayhawks tied it up after another kill by Elnady and an attack error by the Knights, 23-23. Bien had a solid kill to put the Jayhawks ahead 26-25, but UCF was able to come back in extra points to top Kansas in set two 28-26.
Kansas gained the first point of the set off a kill from Dooley to take an early lead 1-0. UCF stole the lead from the Jayhawks off back-to-back kills. Szabo recorded a kill to keep the Jayhawks battling, however the Knights continued their control of the lead, 11-8. A 3-0 Jayhawk run from kills by sophomore London Davis, Elnady, and Bien, inched the Jayhawks closer to the lead, 16-12. Elnady and Dooley combined for a block to keep the Jayhawks fighting, 21-17. UCF would go on to win set three, 25-21.
- Sophomore Caroline Bien collected her second double-double of the season, finishing with 11 digs and 10 kills.
- Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady and sophomore Caroline Bien both posted double-digit kills, Elnady with 12 and Bien with 10.
- Sophomore setter Camryn Turner recorded a season-high 6 kills.
“UCF is a veteran team,” said Bechard, “There were very few hitting errors, so it was a lot of clean volleyball. UCF is going to fit nicely in our league. At the Big 12 level, you need to be consistently competitive.”
No. 23 Kansas will return to Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on September 17 for their third match of three in the Jayhawk Classic. The Jayhawks will play Omaha at 2:30 p.m. CT.