Jayhawks defeat Cougars in five-set comeback fashion
LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second time in one day, the Kansas volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit and prevailed in a five-set match. On Friday morning, KU outlasted Dayton and during Friday’s nightcap the Jayhawks defeated College of Charleston after a back-and-forth tilt inside Memorial Coliseum, 3-2 (18-25, 25-15, 16-25, 25-11, 16-14).
Kansas (3-1) earns its third five-set victory of the season and moves on to 2-0 in the Bluegrass Battle this weekend. College of Charleston falls to 2-3 on the season.
Ashley Smith posted a career-high 18 kills and Mmachi Nwoke stuffed a career-high eight attacks at the net, including three solo blocks and five block-assists. On the offensive end, Nwoke registered 11 kills to join Smith and Jada Burse, who had 10 kills and four blocks, as three Jayhawks in double-figure points.
Lackluster performances in the first set — which featured a lowly team hitting percentage of -.031 — and the third set found the Jayhawks with a 2-1 deficit in the match heading into the fourth set for the second time in a matter of hours.
But Kansas turned up the heat in the air-condition-less Memorial Coliseum to the tune of a .455 hitting percentage in the final two sets of the match to take control of the momentum.
After losing by seven in the first set and nine in the third set, the Jayhawks delivered the most dominating performance of the evening during a 25-11 fourth set win, led by freshman Camryn Ennis. Ennis recorded three-straight aces to power a 7-0 Kansas run in the fourth set and went on to tally her first-career double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs.
On match point in the fifth set, the Jayhawks clinched the victory as Lacey Angello served up an ace to complete the 16-14 deciding-set victory. Angello finished with 20 digs on the night.
The Jayhawks have a chance to capture the Bluegrass Battle championship heading into Saturday evening’s 6 p.m. CT first serve against host No. 16 Kentucky. The match will be video streamed on SEC Network Plus.
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