KU volleyball drops 2 matches in Kansas Invitational

With deep family roots in Kansas, it only made sense that Loyola Marymount’s star setter, Tess Reid would play well in front of some of her family who had performed well in the same gym she stood in.

Reid’s cousin, Emily Brown, played volleyball at Kansas under head coach Ray Bechard from 2004-07, as well as her aunts Jill and Jo Huntsinger in earlier seasons. Jo even coaches volleyball at Lawrence High School, also teaching science.

As the nation’s leader in assists per set, Reid paced Loyola to a 3-1 win (25-20, 28-26, 23-25, 25-20) over Kansas, Saturday afternoon with her 51 assists on the day. Kansas fell to 4-4 and finished the Kansas Invitational with a 1-2 clip on the weekend.

Kansas finished the match on a .278 efficiency alongside 13 blocks, but didn’t match up well on serving. The Jayhawks tallied 13 service errors and allowed Loyola to score on nine aces, three from Reid alone.

“You hit .278, you should win a match,” Bechard said. “When other teams are making plays at the end of sets, we’re not. As coaches, as a team, we’ve got to be more comfortable in situations like that.”

For her third start of the weekend, freshman Camryn Ennis stepped in at the setter position for Annika Carlson. Finishing with 30 assists, Ennis felt comfortable jumping into a single setter system even though she had not played in one prior to Kansas.

“Everything is new, but you just have to play your own game and not worry,” Ennis said. “I don’t even feel like a freshman when I am out there just because we’re just one team.”

Kansas held a five point lead in the second set up 21-16, unable to tie the match after getting to a set point. With a pair of points to close out a 28-26 win, Loyola was finding the holes in the backline.

Entering the third set, Kansas kept things close for most of the set with three late points points to give them a 22-21 lead, forcing a Loyola timeout. Facing a 23 all situation, Kansas capitalized on its second set point of the day for the 25-23 win.

Flipping leads for the first ten rallies, Loyola jumped out to to a 6-5 lead and never looked back en route to a 25-20 fourth set win, taking the match 3-1.

“I think that we struggle a little bit at being consistent, when we’re good we’re really good, we proved that at Kentucky in the beginning sets,” senior right side Gabby Simpson said. “When we’re bad, we’re just kind of hanging down there so we just got to work as a team in practice, just stay consistent with our play and play better longer.”

Junior middle blocker Zoe Hill was the lone Jayhawk to earn all tournament honors.

Kansas will travel to North Carolina for its first match in the Tussle in the Triad against Elon on at 5 p.m. Friday.

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