No. 7 Kansas sweeps Belmont, 3-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Seventh-ranked Kansas volleyball swept Belmont in its first matchup of the Kansas Invitational at Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Friday afternoon (25-18, 25-20, 25-18).
The Jayhawks continue their unbeaten streak, improving to 8-0, by outpacing the Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite in kills, 45 to 30, and hitting percentage, .309 to .196. Senior All-American setter Ainise Havili guided KU’s offense with her seventh double-double in eight matches this season – recording 38 assists and 10 digs.
Senior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne led the Jayhawks in kills with 15 on a .385 hitting percentage, adding four digs in the process. Senior All-American outside hitter Madison Rigdon followed closely behind Payne with 11 kills and a team-leading 11 digs.
Rigdon enters Friday’s nightcap against No. 17 Purdue three kills away from becoming the 16th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career kills.
The Jayhawks opened up the first set with a 4-0 run and never relinquished their lead. Belmont narrowed the margin to 16-13 after a 3-0 run, but Rigdon’s five kills pushed KU to a 25-18 first-set victory.
Kansas and Belmont rallied back and forth all throughout the second set until the Jayhawks went on three separate runs to take control of the set with and 18-9 lead. The Bruins followed with a 6-0 run to cut the Jayhawks lead to three, but an emphatic kill by Rigdon on set point gave KU the 25-20 win.
Following the second set’s pattern, the Jayhawks and Bruins traded off runs for another back-and-forth set. Belmont’s 11-10 lead would spark two separate KU runs which would be enough to complete the sweep.
Belmont (5-4) was led by Lenexa, Kansas, native Arianna Person with 11 kills on a .346 hitting percentage and seven digs.
The Jayhawks face 17th-ranked Purdue tonight at 7 p.m. in their second match of the Kansas Invitational.
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