No. 4 Kansas defeats Chattanooga, 3-1
OMAHA, Neb. – Fourth-ranked Kansas volleyball improved to 8-0 with a 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-17, 25-13) victory over Chattanooga at D.J. Sokol Arena on Friday. The Jayhawks complete their stay at the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha with a 2-0 record, and will travel back to Lawrence to face Northern Iowa at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The Jayhawks have now tied for the fourth-best start to a season in program history, becoming the seventh Kansas team to start a season 8-0.
Kansas showed glimpses of dominance against Chattanooga (5-3) on Friday, holding their opponent to a hitting percentage under .100 for the fifth time this season, owning a 7-1 advantage in aces, and out-digging UTC by 23. But the Mocs – reigning Southern Conference regular-season champions – recovered from a 14-7 Kansas lead in the second set to go into intermission even with the Jayhawks, one set apiece.
After intermission, Kansas put the pedal to the metal by not giving up a lead during the last two sets.
“I was pleased with how we pretty much controlled sets three and four after the break,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “We don’t want to get in a habit of staying out there longer than we need to. Credit to Chattanooga though – they didn’t give up and fought hard.”
Junior All-American setter Ainise Havili and junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon recorded their third-straight double-doubles, respectively. Havili contributed 47 assists and 16 digs, while Rigdon went for 15 kills and 12 digs.
Junior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne led Kansas with 19 kills on a .350 hitting percentage. Payne recorded 12 of her kills in the third and fourth sets to help close out the match.
The Jayhawks play host to Northern Iowa in Lawrence on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
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