🏐 Kansas Defeats Wichita State in Four
WICHITA, Kan. – Graduate Reagan Cooper led the attack with 21 kills as the No. 22 Kansas volleyball team defeated Wichita State in a four-set victory (25-22, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23) Thursday night in the Charles Koch Arena in the opening round of the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
"We started off with great pressure and played great defense behind it and it got to be really interesting. Obviously, we relied pretty heavily on Cooper and Elnady, so we need to create a little better offensive balance. It was a great environment and Wichita State is going to have a great year, so we're happy to get out of here with a hard-fought win. "Head Coach Ray Bechard
In the first set, the Jayhawks (4-1) looked solid, but Wichita State (3-3) put up a fight, closing things up 20-22 and forcing a late Kansas timeout. The visiting Jayhawks were able to hold steady, however, scoring the final five points of the set and coming out on top in a 25-22 victory.
Kansas looked a bit rattled at the start of the second set falling behind 3-1, but bounced back scoring four straight points. The Jayhawks remained out in front for the duration of the set, winning 25-19.
The Shockers ran up a lead in the third that the Jayhawks had trouble clawing back from, which would ultimately end in a 25-22 Wichita State victory.
Both teams played even-up in the fourth, going point-for-point for the majority of the set. Sophomore Katie Dalton checked in for the first time this season, bringing a new energy to an already strong Kansas offense. Junior Ayah Elnady started heating up offensively, then Cooper recorded back-to-back kills to make it 24-21 in a fight to the finish. The Shockers kept the Jayhawks at bay for two more points, but Cooper put the nail in the coffin, pushing the Jayhawks to a 25-23 victory and the 3-1 match win.
Along with the dynamic duo of Cooper and Elnady (18 kills, .314 hitting percentage), junior Camryn Turner kept the KU offense moving as always, recording 53 assists and two service aces. Freshman Raegan Burns and junior Caroline Bien each recorded a team-leading 12 digs, while Elnady posted a double-double by adding 11 kills to her stat line.
The Jayhawks will remain in Wichita to play Colorado tomorrow in a neutral site match slated for 3 p.m. CT. There will be no livestream, but fans can follow along with both the live stats and Kansas Volleyball social media accounts.