No. 2 Texas defeats No. 16 Kansas volleyball, 3-0
AUSTIN, Texas – On Wednesday night in Gregory Gymnasium the Big 12 Conference championship baton was passed from Kansas to Texas as the 16th-ranked Jayhawks lost to the second-ranked Longhorns, 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-16).
UT’s win over the 2016 Big 12 champion Jayhawks gives the Longhorns (22-2, 14-0 Big 12) at least a share of the 2017 Big 12 title. Kansas and Texas account for the last seven conference championships.
Kansas (21-6, 10-4 Big 12) was led by senior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne’s 13 kills and sophomore libero Allie Nelson’s 18 digs. Senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon returned from injury to post eight kills on a .304 hitting percentage with five digs in two sets played in her six-rotation role.
Texas recorded a .337 hitting percentage on the night, led by Chiaka Ogbogu’s 14 kills on a .545 clip. Micaya White registered a double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs for the Longhorns.
Kansas overcame deficits in the first and second sets, despite losing by a slim margin in both.
Trailing by six in the first set, 19-13, Kansas rallied with a 10-4 run to tie the set at 23. Texas finished the first set with a kill by Ogbogu and a KU attacking error to capture the last two points for the 25-23 win. Payne and sophomore outside hitter Jada Burse led Kansas’ first-set surge with five kills each to open the match.
Rigdon checked in for the first time of the contest in the second set and didn’t waste any time contributing, adding four kills and three digs during her first set played in the last four matches. Kansas overcame a 12-7 Texas lead with a 6-0 run, which tied the set at 14. KU’s second-set run was sparked by back-to-back kills by Rigdon and a successful joust at the net by senior middle blocker Taylor Alexander.
Kansas reached 20 points first in the second set, 20-19, but the Longhorns finished the second set on a 6-2 run to take the set, 25-22.
The Jayhawks and Longhorns played to a match-high seven tied scores in the third set before UT broke out to a commanding 16-9 lead and eventually clinching the match, 25-16.
Consecutive losses to No. 23 Baylor on Saturday and No. 2 Texas on Wednesday mark the first time since 2014 that Kansas has lost back-to-back matches.
Kansas travels directly from Austin to Lubbock to face Texas Tech on Friday, Nov. 17 (6 p.m.).
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