Payne ties kills record as No. 16 Kansas volleyball defeats Texas Tech, 3-1
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kelsie Payne tied Kansas volleyball’s record for career kills on Friday night as the 16th-ranked Jayhawks defeated Texas Tech at United Supermarkets Arena, 3-1 (27-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-22).
Payne’s 13 kills on a .312 hitting percentage gives her 1,483 career kills and moves her into a tie for first place with Josi Lima (2002-05) on KU’s all-time list. The two-time first-team All-American will need just one kill in her final regular-season match of her career next Saturday against West Virginia, which is also Senior Day for KU’s group of seven seniors who have accumulated 101 wins in a four-year period at KU.
Senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon led the Jayhawks on Friday night with a double-double of 19 kills and 12 digs in her first start since missing three matches due to injury. Senior setter Ainise Havili added another double-double in the winning effort, assisting on 45 KU kills and recording 13 digs.
“We fought hard in the fourth set — had too many hitting errors but had some good performances all around,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “This is a Texas Tech team that has been playing really well and generally plays well at home. It’s a hard-fought Big 12 win on the road and that sets us up for a good week next week.”
The Jayhawks (22-6, 11-4 Big 12) lead the series against Texas Tech, 29-16, including 15-straight victories. Since 2007, Kansas is 21-1 against TTU.
The first set went to extra points and included 15 ties and 11 lead changes before Kansas won, 27-25. KU took a 4-1 lead after Payne recorded her first kill of the match. Starting with a 20-19 first-set lead, Texas Tech was the first team to reach 20 points in two of the four sets on Friday.
Payne countered to tie the first set at 20 and 23, respectively, with a pair of kills and combined with sophomore Zoe Hill on a block which gave KU set point, 24-23, in the first set. TTU responded with a kill by Missy Owens and a solo block by Allison White to give the Red Raiders set point, 25-24. After a KU timeout, the Jayhawks went on a 3-0 run to win the set, 27-25.
KU’s .485 team hitting percentage and Rigdon’s seven kills helped the Jayhawks dominate a 25-14 decision in the second set. Midway through the set, a kill by sophomore outside hitter Jada Burse followed by an ace by senior defensive specialist Tori Miller gave KU a 13-10 lead and sparked a 14-4 run for KU which closed the second-set victory.
Kansas recorded three aces in the third set, but a down-turn in offensive efficiency — 12 kills and 12 attacking errors — led to Texas Tech’s 25-22 victory. Texas Tech’s third set win broke KU’s set winning streak at 41 in the series against the Red Raiders. TTU’s previous set victory over KU dated back to Nov. 12, 2011.
Kansas regrouped from an 8-5 deficit early in the fourth set behind seven fourth-set kills by Rigdon and timely decision making from Havili. Payne’s record-tying 13th kill of the night gave KU the go-ahead 21-20 lead. Havili used her signature setter’s dump on match point to clinch KU’s 25-22 victory.
Emily Hill led the Red Raiders (15-13, 4-11) with a double-double of 14 kills and 17 digs.
Kansas plays host to West Virginia in the final match of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 25 (1 p.m., JTV/ESPN3). The Thanksgiving Week contest will be highlighted by Senior Day festivities, in which KU’s dynamic class of seven graduating seniors will be honored.
During the last four years, the seven magnificent seniors — Tori Miller, Kayla Cheadle, Kelsie Payne, Taylor Alexander, Ainise Havili, Madison Rigdon and Addison Barry — account for 101 victories, KU’s first-ever Big 12 title, a Final Four appearance, and six All-America honors to date.
|10.||Mary Beth Albrecht||1996-99||1,171|
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